Jurek Martin

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Full name: Jurek Martin

Area of interest: America

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: onohana@aol.com

Personal website:

Website: FT.Com / Jurek Martin



Networks: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jurek-martin/8/146/ba2




Career: Joined the FT in 1966, working in US. Was twice Washington bureau chief, also head of the New York office, over that period covered six presidential election campaigns. Became Far East editor from 1982/86, based in Tokyo. Also served six years as foreign editor, based in London. Moved back to full time writing in Washington, notionally retiring in 1997, but accepting the invitation to return to write a column

Current position/role: freelance columnist

  • also writes/written for:

Other roles/Main role:

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Broadcast media:



  • Criticized former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz for the promotion/pay increase he gave to girlfriend Shaha Riza at the State Department (ref: Conference on world affairs: Inequality alive and thriving – 14th April 2007)

Awards/Honours: OBE (1997) for services to international journalism, especially in the USA; British Press Awards: David Holden foreign correspondent of the year, for coverage of Japan


Other: Married to Kathleen Newland co-founder of Migration Policy Institute ..."independent, non-partisan, non-profit think-tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide"

Books & Debate:

  • A redefinition of American foreign policy priorities: with special reference to Europe OCLC59923460 , 1991

Latest work:


Current debate:

Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: America, its policies and its people


Role: Commentator


Email: onohana@aol.com

Website: FT.Com / Jurek Martin

Commissioning editor:

Day published:

Regularity: Varies

Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

  • ’Tis the season to put a sock in it - The Senate might resound a little less to Joe Lieberman, Tom Coburn, Charles Schumer and Ben Nelson were my Great Aunt Edith’s favourite Christmas gift put to good use - 22nd December
  • Prepare yourself for Palin-Dobbs - Lou Dobbs, who resigned as America’s chief prime-time xenophobe last week, is hinting that public office beckons. Perhaps - 18th November
  • You can read too much into an election - Forthcoming US elections, including two governorships, one House seat and a handful of mayoralties and referendums, will be scrutinised for what they imply for mid-term congressional elections a year from now. But beware the ‘narrative’ - 3rd November
  • Outside Edge: When presidential siblings go rogue - None of America’s leaders has been an only child - 31st October
  • The right to bear grudges - In the land of the free, there is no prima facie reason why anybody should not own a sporting team, but it is pretty obvious that Rush Limbaugh was black-balled because of his politics - 21st October
  • Pavlov is alive and well in America - There is a lot of conditioning in America these days – from the laughter of the Letterman audience to the politicians on Capitol Hill - 9th October
  • American libertarianism is dancing to the shock-jocks - Outspoken peddlers of socialist-and-worse conspiracy theories on US television and radio are stealing a veneer of unearned respectability - 26th September
  • Outside Edge: Health and hot air on the sabbath - On Sunday morning, Barack Obama goes on five TV shows, probably a record, and on Monday he is on David Letterman’s late-night show, where gentle evisceration occasionally occurs. The US president’s calculation is that healthcare reform demands no less - 19th September
  • Obama can afford to take the pain for now - I’m a political not an economics junkie. But I know that if an American president takes an economic hit early in his first term, he will be re-elected; if he takes it late he is a goner after four years - 26th August
  • Bring out the cranks and conspiracy theorists - It is arguably better to let all this rubbish out because the oxygen of publicity will reveal to anybody with half a brain who the nut cases are - 8th August
  • Obama is right about racial profiling - A few injudicious words aside, the president’s reflections on the arrest of an eminent black Harvard professor in his own home were spot-on - 29th July
  • Supreme Court circus rolls into town - Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings began on Monday but she has little to fear if she keeps her head - 15th July
  • You only live once, except in America - Lost in the wash of all the obituaries this week of Robert McNamara as architect of the Vietnam War was the fact that he recreated himself as president of the World Bank for 13 years, arguably its most successful period ever - 11th July
  • Outside Edge: Presidential par for the course - Obama is the latest in a long line of presidential golf addicts - 27th June
  • Lobbyists re-emerge from the shadows - As legislative crunch time looms for the reform issues at the top of Barack Obama’s longer-term agenda, special interests that were lying low during the first five months of his administration are back with a vengeance - 17th June
  • A shared taste for political corruption - American corruption is mostly about money securing access to power, while in the UK it is much more about politicians feathering their own nests than influencing legislation - 5th June
  • Bewildered by a conservative cacophony - Parties need a face. But one of the key problems for today’s Republican party is that it has far too many of them - 20th May
  • One hundred days lived in parallel - Everybody and their grandmother is already writing about Barack Obama’s first 100 days as president, so I thought I’d take a different tack: to compare his with mine (last, of course, not first) and see what happens - 29th April
  • Outside Edge: One nation, under tea – or not - Americans seem to be developing a taste for tea - 18th April
  • Faint rumblings in Boulder - The University of Colorado’s annual conference on world affairs, 61 years old and going strong, remains mostly a conclave of the left. If discontent exists with Barack Obama, then it should be echoing back from the soaring Flatiron rock faces - 14th April
  • Obama’s escape from the Washington bubble - By skipping an annual dinner for the US political and media elite, Barack Obama showed his priorities are in the right place - 26th March
  • The restaurant reviewer’s guide to the South African political scene - There is no lack of talent trying to find a way of cracking the ANC’s monopoly on political power but this is far from the early days of democracy - 12th March
  • Perception of Obama shifts - The new president wants to try to change the ways of Washington and that may be the toughest nut of all - 12th February
  • Washington plays politics as the nation burns - No stimulus bill is worse than a bad, or imperfect, bill. That does not quite seem to have sunk into the Republican party’s collective head - 3rd February
  • Ode to Abe - New volumes written for Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birth anniversary explore the source of his mastery over both words and men - 31st January
  • Camelot’s second coming - This is a country which cannot wait to boot out the ancien regime and usher in the new, as it inaugurates man of colour, and hope, as president, amid a palpable sense of national buoyancy - 20th January
  • Knives will not stay sheathed - In hearings for Obama’s nominees on Capitol Hill, the Senate has shown itself at its preening worst - 15th January
  • Washington gets ready to party - Jurek Martin offers practical tips for visitors coming in for Obama’s inauguration - 10th January 2009
  • What I will miss about the Bush administration - 3rd January 2009

Articles: 2008

  • P.S. - The final work of late oral historian Studs Terkel may constitute just fragments from a substantial body of work, but they are special nonetheless - 15th December 2008
  • Richardson’s opportunity - The new US commerce secretary designate may have a better chance than his predecessors to make something of the job - 5th December 2008
  • A Republican field day for dentists - The way is clear for Republicans, if they can lift their heads from their hands - 18th November 2008
  • America’s staggering capacity for change - Obama’s genius in the campaign is that he threatened almost nobody not already threatened by his very existence - 31st October 2008
  • Getting off your butt is best - There was a time when the US media would get out of the Beltway and out around the country - 31st October 2008
  • Revival of the anti-socialist anthem - McCain’s campaign has revived the anti-socialist, anti-American anthem of the 1960s. It is not to its credit - 22nd October 2008
  • How low will presidential campaign go? - The real test of Republican restraint in the campaign will be whether McCain plays the race card against Obama - 8th October 2008
  • Outside Edge: No other word for it but a bail-out - For centuries, the name of the political game has been to dress up the unpalatable with grand euphemisms - 4th October 2008
  • A country for old men? - McCain’s age is generally considered to work against him, but the financial crisis has changed the dynamics of this election - 25th September 2008
  • Obama and the conservative backlash against Palin - As conservative commentators turn against Palin, Obama has a choice to join them in the mud, or switch the message to America’s economy - 17th September 2008
  • McCain opts for light entertainment - The choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate says troubling things about the American electorate - 2nd September 2008
  • Denver, as seen from Maine - If the old saw ‘as Maine goes, so goes the nation’ is true, the signs are good for Obama - 28th August 2008
  • Outside Edge: Apology never too late - There are serious corrections that mean real egg on the face for a newspaper - 16th August 2008
  • A glamorous Texan in the Court of St James’s - Anne Legendre Armstrong, who died last week of cancer at the age of 80, was born into comfort and created a career in US politics - 8th August 2008
  • The return of the Nixonian campaign - Republicans are going back to Nixon’s tactics to try to persuade America’s silent majority that Barack Obama is not really one of them - 5th August 2008
  • Obama and the foreigners - Not quite every European is in love with the Democratic candidate. The overseas media in the US have always had a difficult time in presidential campaigns - 23rd July 2008
  • Gingrich is to blame - A poisonous absence of bipartisanship has debased the currency of US political debate over the past generation - 8th July 2008
  • Political cold turkey - A confession is in order. I often only skim-read the political columnists these days; I frequently miss Matthews and Olbermann on MSNBC; I don’t check in daily with the better political blogs - 25th June 2008
  • The European end of the telescope - I might have been on the wrong continent last week when Barack Obama clinched the Democratic party’s presidential nomination - 10th June 2008
  • The strange silence on illegal immigration - Here is a conundrum. The issue of illegal immigration, white hot six months ago, has disappeared below the national political radar. Yet, across the country, crackdowns against illegal immigrants at the local level and documented examples of the darker side of immigration enforcement grow apace - 19th May 2008
  • Do not let Limbaugh pick the president - I had been thinking for some time that more attention should be paid to Rush Limbaugh – not to what he says, because it is pretty much the same old rightwing bombast he has been selling for 25 years, but to what he has been urging his legion of 20m similarly inclined radio listeners to do - 7th May 2008
  • Blood-letting could damage the Democrats - T he big winners at the Oscars were No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood , prescient choices for what happened in Tuesday's presidential primaries in the US - 6th March 2008
  • Why Democrats must ensure a good, clean contest - The riveting contest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has often been characterized over the last six weeks as one between his momentum, reflecting his personal magnetism, and her machine, the product of 35 years in politics - 13th February 2008
  • Bill: still a cause for hope? - It is necessary to write about Bill Clinton but I crave a little indulgence for a preamble to how I arrived at what I am going to write - 31st January 2008
  • Tennis beats Michigan’s primary - I gave a speech in Tulsa this week, could not sleep afterwards, which probably happened to the audience because they had snoozed well when I was talking, and spent the night channel flicking between the Australian Open tennis (good) and the analysis of the Michigan primary (depressing) - 17th January 2008
  • New Hampshire delivers a reality check - What a difference tears can make over the years. In 1972, Ed Muskie, the heavy favourite from neighbouring Maine, semi-wept on a flat bed truck in the snows of New Hampshire over newspaper insults to his wife and, suddenly, was dead politically. On Monday, Hillary Clinton allowed the hint of tears in a diner and put herself back in the race for the White House - 9th January 2008
  • Bush, forgotten man of 2008 - Everybody’s thoughts may be on Iowa, so maybe it is appropriate to spare one for George W. Bush, entering the last year of his presidency. In so doing, there is no reason to be charitable - 3rd January 2008

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