I’m a former stone mason and book publisher turned writer and media consultant. Past clients include Random House, St. Martin’s Press, The Nation, CyberScout, Credit.com, Chef Gray Kunz, Adam Levin, PoliPointPress, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, International Masters Publishers and Melville House among others. I’m currently co-founding a podcast company called Loud Tree Media.
My work has appeared in many publications, including Harper’s Magazine, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Paris Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Huffington Post, NBC.com, Purple Magazine and the Air America website (dead and gone and by far the bulk of my online writing), The Dominion (Newspaper of the Diocese of Long Island) as well as several anthologies and journals. My work as a collaborator on the topics of privacy and cybersecurity has appeared widely in newspapers, periodicals, online and in speeches as well as in the New York Times, Inc Magazine, Forbes, The Hill, USA Today, Yahoo News, CBS News, ABC News, MSN, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Marketwatch, The Hollywood Reporter, SC Magazine, American Express, and The Street among other publications.
I conceived and edited/wrote the first-person narrative treatment using taped interviews for Marc Asnin’s Uncle Charlie book, published in Fall 2012. I was Adam Levin’s collaborator for Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves (Public Affairs, 2015), and I co-authored Lewis M. Steel’s autobiography, The Butler’s Child (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins, June 2016).
“A real eye-opener . . . rock-solid evidence on the rise of identity theft and multiple steps we can take to counteract an attack.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Alarming…a detailed account of how hackers steal information and identities.”
—Harvard Business Review
“The real value of Levin’s book, though, lies not in its diagnosis, alarming though it is, but in its practical advice on how to protect yourself. No one can make themselves completely safe, but much like burglars who target the most vulnerable house on the street, hackers will seek out those with the weakest online defenses. Levin has a wealth of suggestions for making yourself less vulnerable.” —The Sunday Times (UK)
The Butler’s Child:
“Steel writes movingly.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An articulate, emotionally moving chronicle of a life informed by racial unrest and elevated with dutiful humanitarianism.” –Kirkus Reviews
“…a boldly candid account.” ―Barbara Ehrenreich, author, Nickel and Dimed
“Timely, essential and deeply inspiring.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
I’ve appeared on The Today Show, Nancy Grace, Book TV, National Public Radio (including The Brian Lehrer Show and Think!), Doing Time with Ron Kuby, Break Room Live (Marc Maron’s show with Sam Seder) and other stuff along the way. I was the featured publisher at the Oxford Conference for the Book at the University of Mississippi in 2003 and I’ve been a guest lecturer or panelist at a few other schools including Columbia University, the University of Massachusetts and Wesleyan University.
I enjoy complex projects. I’ve worked in different capacities, and I’m always open to trying something new. Before starting Loud Tree Media with Adam Levin and some Air America alum, I was Director of Communications at The Intercept. I’ve worked as the Director of Media Strategy for the Chair of two commercial dotcoms, the editor-in-chief at Air America, and before that Creative Director at Chelsea Green Book Publishers, ranked by Publishers Weekly as one of ten fastest growing publishers in the United States several years running. I’m also a distinguished fellow at the Ponemon Institute, which conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy.
Although it was a while back, it’s still worth mentioning Context Books, an independent press. I was the founder and publisher. Context won several national awards and was credited by the New York Times for “codifying” the movement against the Iraq war in the Fall of 2002 (six months before the war began) with an international bestseller entitled War On Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You To Know. That book was translated into at least ten languages (I lost track), and many of those editions were also released before the war began. Context Books also published several award-winning works of literary fiction by authors including David Means, David Marshall Chan, and Daniel Quinn. Among the more noteworthy nonfiction authors were Norman Solomon, Reese Erlich, Rhoda Berenson, Derrick Jensen and Theodore Kaczynski, though this last author’s project was never fully realized (therein lies a tale).
I currently serve on the advisory board of the recently relaunched Evergreen Review, after serving on its board of directors for several years. I’m a founding board member at The Main Drag Music Foundation.
Educated at Bennington College, I was a probationer research student in English literature at Oxford University and received an M.Phil in comparative literature at Columbia University. I can read and translate Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and German (as if that matters post-Google Translate).
Other stuff and things: I’ve played classical guitar for the past 40+ years, and I like to cook. I live in Brooklyn with my two daughters (really excellent people and also the co-creators and abandoners of the long-defunct LarryGoober.com),
three two three one two dogs (and occasionally another 3/4 of a dog), one two cats, a rabbit, a teddy bear hamster a pygmy hedgehog a ferret and a bird. You can email me at simnyc (at, i.e., @, etc) rcn (dawt) com.