About the Author

Photo: Gasper Tringale

Cullen Murphy joined Vanity Fair as its editor at large in 2006. Before that, he spent more than two decades at The Atlantic Monthly, serving as managing editor. For 25 years he wrote the comic strip Prince Valiant, which was drawn by his father, the illustrator John Cullen Murphy. He has also written a number of books, among them Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage (HarperCollins, 1992), with co-author William L. Rathje, the essay collection Just Curious (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), and The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own (Houghton Mifflin, 1998). His most recent book, Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (Houghton Mifflin), was published in 2007 and excerpted in Vanity Fair. Murphy is a member of the board of trustees of Amherst College, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Emily Dickinson Museum. He lives in Massachusetts.