An early inspiration was the works of George Bernard Shaw, who besides his writing skills and wit, “created dramas out of ideas”. By this dictum, Beinhart seeks to “create situations in which ideas – about God, why we go to war, who gets the money, how politics work, what the media actually does, about science and morality – are challenged by circumstances”. Recipient of a Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing, Beinhart spent two years at Wadham College in Oxford, England. His No One Rides for Free (1986) received a 1987 Edgar Award.
Beinhart has been a columnist for Al Jazeera since October 2016, at Alternet 2005-2012 and had a blog at The Huffington Post in 2011. His principal concerns are the US economy and politics, taxes and the rising inequalities moving into the age of Trump. Beinhart joined the Al Jazeera TV series Empire as a behind-the-scenes consultant for the 2013 episode “Empire of Secrets” about the clandestine world of government secrets.
- Wag the Dog (1997) was directed by Barry Levinson; it starred Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, William H. Macy, Denis Leary, Kirsten Dunst, Woody Harrelson, and Willie Nelson. The New Yorker called the novel “a tour de force of satirical fiction.”
His novel Salvation Boulevard, was adapted as a film and released in 2011. It features Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, Isabelle Fuhrman, Ed Harris, and Jim Gaffigan. The director is George Ratliff, the producers are Cathy Schulman and Celine Rattray.
Books in order of publication:
- No One Rides For Free (1986)*
- You Get What You Pay For (1988)*
- Foreign Exchange (1992)*
- American Hero (1993) (reissued as Wag the Dog: A Novel)
- The Librarian (2004)
- Salvation Boulevard (2008)
- The Tony Cassella Mysteries (omnibus) (2013)*
* Tony Cassella series
How to Write a Mystery (1996)
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (2005) PublicAffairs