His grandfather drove a bulldozer, and his father drove a garbage truck.
Like both of them, his name is Harry Bruinius, and he grew up in the blue-collar neighborhoods of Chicago’s south side. He, too, used to shovel concrete, carry a 22-ounce hammer, and help construct the foundations for modest suburban homes.
But this third-generation Bruinius eventually hung up his tool belt and moved to New York City to be a writer.
Now living in Manhattan, Harry is The Christian Science Monitor’s New York staff writer and editor, where he covers politics and other regional news. He has been writing for the Monitor since 1999.
His first book, Better For All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2006 and Vintage in 2007. It is a narrative history of the eugenics movement in the United States, tracing the lives of the victims of forced sterilization and the men and women who pioneered history’s first program of genetic engineering. Harry’s book was a finalist for the 2002 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, placed on Booklist “Editor’s Choice 2006″, and named one of New York Public Library’s “25 Books to Remember from 2006.”
Harry also moonlights as an adjunct professor of journalism at Hunter College, where he also teaches religion. His courses include Journalism as Literature, Religion and Film, and The Problem of Evil.