I HAVE EDITED BOOKS for major New York publishers as well as academic presses, and have extensive experience working with top-drawer writers as a magazine editor. Publishers of books that I have edited or co-edited include MIT Press, Penguin, Random House, Smithsonian, and University of California Press. I am also a national award-winning writer and designer.
YOSEMITE: A STORIED LANDSCAPE is a new enhanced ebook celebrating park's founding. It is the winner of a 2015 Digital Book Award and given a Quality-Excellence-Design certification by Digital Book World. The San Francisco Chronicle review (below) called it a "gorgeous, informative book... like having a museum exhibition at your fingertips."
Available in iBook and Kindle formats. Your purchase supports Yosemite Conservancy. More information at yosemitestories.org
San Francisco Chronicle, December 31, 2014:
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, which established the first protected wilderness in the United States, the California Historical Society has released a multimedia e-book featuring art, photography and essays on an array of subjects: the military’s role in settling the park, Yosemite’s surprising place in the debate between creationism and evolution, the building of the Ahwahnee hotel, and the histories of mountaineering, zoology, Indian basket weaving, art and photography.
Though all the essays have something to recommend them, a couple stand out. Rebecca Solnit’s piece about the 19th century botanist Asa Gray and his battles with fellow Harvard professor Louis Agassiz over evolutionary theory and the relationship between God and nature is fascinating. With her usual combination of graceful prose and trenchant insight, Solnit places Yosemite on an epic stage.
Susan Landauer’s art history essay touches on Albert Bierstadt’s panoramas “filled with religious allegory” and Ansel Adams’ iconic photographs, but reserves her best analysis and highest praise for the watercolors and woodblock prints of Chiura Obata, whose "espousal of the Zen tradition … led him to imbue his landscapes with an intense, often calligraphic expressiveness." This gorgeous, informative book is like having a museum exhibition at your fingertips.
–Reviewed by Porter Shreve
It’s a little-known story that the first Russians came to the California coast in 1803. Driven by hunger and profit, officers of the Russian American Company sailed south in search of treasure, especially the sea otter furs that commanded a high price in China. Nine years later, in 1812, they established a settlement north of San Francisco at Fort Ross, which today is a beloved state park.
On the bicentennial of the founding of Fort Ross, a new interactive app tells the colorful stories of the early years of Russian settlement, incorporating striking photos and paintings, videos and music, as well as short essays and letters. Included is an informative interactive guide to the grounds, buildings, and artifacts faithfully restored at Fort Ross State Historic Park, where thousands of California school children stay overnight to learn about the early Russians.
Russian California: Hidden Stories from Fort Ross and Beyond also follows the trials and joys of the many Russians who came to California to escape war and revolution in the early 20th century. Many were processed at the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, including a favorite daughter of novelist Leon Tolstoy, and the celebrated composer of Peter and the Wolf, Sergei Prokofiev, whose sarcastic retorts to immigration officials are recorded here.
This app, which Arjun Gupta and I developed on iPad and Kindle for Conservation International, contains every known fish species in the richest diving region on Earth (over 2600). It can be taken it out to sea, since it does not require an internet connection. This is a definitive 3-volume app guide by Gerald Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann. All 3 volumes link together on the iPad, enabling the user to go instantly from one to another. Volume 3 is free. It enables bookmarks, note-taking and sharing. More information is available at reef-fishes.com.
DIVE magazine in the UK declared the app guide "Definitive," and Tauschen called it "First rate," and "simply unbeatable."
I produced this interactive multimedia book app as the companion publication for the California Historical Society's inspiring exhibition of the same name (February 26–October 14, 2012), It captures the rich history and amazing story of the Golden Bridge on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. Over 350 historic objects, dozens of photographs and other ephemera from the CHS collection, and special interactive components are featured, including photographs by Dorthea Lange, paintings by Maynard Dixon, Ray Strong, and Chesley Bonestell, and a special interactive feature showing the crazy paint schemes originally proposed for the bridge.
Wayne, who died recently, was an important WWI and postwar photographer, and the past president of Magnum Photo Agency. He was also a friend. In 1998, I helped him organize and curate a show of his extraordinarily intimate set of photographs right after the war of Chicago's African-American neighborhoods. More recently, Wayne asked me to write the lead essay for this retrospective book on his career organized by Stephen Daiter Gallery. The essay, Seeing Feeling, is reprinted here.
I initiated and led a thorough redesign of California Magazine, which markedly increased surveyed reader interest, won numerous national and regional awards, including Folio's Best Association Magazine two years in a row, and more than doubled its advertising revenue. We managed to attract and publish some of the state's finest writers.
PRAISE FOR CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE
“I did a consulting project for the Alumni Association at UC Berkeley when Kerry became editor of California magazine. Although I had met Kerry years earlier, and read his writing over the years, this was the first time I’d seen him in action. I found him a rare editor who could understand the business dynamics of publishing. He had to be an ambassador for the magazine amid what seemed to me to be a dysfunctional academic setting, with lots of politics. He managed to navigate through all of that, get the job done, and bring the team together. I still don’t know how he did it! And the result is obvious—UC Berkeley now has an alumni magazine to be proud of, after decades of publishing a pamphlet. Kerry did this with a slim budget but lots of smarts and ambition. It was a pleasure to watch.” —Robin Wolaner, Founding publisher of Parenting and former EVC of Time-Warner Inc.
“Kerry is making [California magazine] a lot more interesting than it used to be,” says history professor and department chairman David Hollinger. “It’s taking its subtitle, ‘a magazine of ideas,’ seriously.” —article in the San Francisco Chronicle
“Kerry has terrific ideas and instincts that he backs up with thorough editing and a sharp intellect. He is also a very steady and generous guy, a real pleasure to work with throughout.” —Quentin Hardy, New York Times Columnist
Kerry isn't easily reduced to a single profession. He is a wonderful journalist and editor -- this I know as a writer who has worked with him. But, he is also an intellectual entrepreneur who envisions content, design, marketing and sheer feasibility beyond what you would imagine from his resume. There are few people whose mere involvement in a project would make me think the more of it, would make me want to jump in. Kerry is one. –Laurie Becklund, author
As someone serious about quality journalism, I've found Kerry to be a writer's dream. He brings out the best in the people he works with, and is willing to take the risks necessary to reach excellence. He's a thinker and a visionary. – Sally Lehrman, noted science writer
Kerry is an outstanding magazine editor. When he became editor of California Magazine, it was worthless throwaway. Kerry totally reinvented it, and in short order, his revamped magazine won a Folio Gold Eddy for Best Association Magazine in America, among other awards. Things like that don't just happen. They happen because a visionary editor rolled up his sleeves and accomplished his goals. That's Kerry—a visionary who gets things done. –Michael Castleman, bestselling health writer
Kerry is the kind of tough, supportive editor that we need more of in this industry. He has an excellent ear for storytelling and a trustworthy news sense. He also has the kind of focused determination that allows him to demand the best from those that write for him and settle for nothing less. He makes you see that the editorial process is there to benefit both the writer and the magazine and then push you to excel. –Erik Vance, Discover Magazine Contributing Writer
I began as the Art Director of Mother Jones, graduated to Creative Director a few years later and, as I started doing more editorial work, became the Executive Editor. I also established the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography, raising funds and awarding grants to photographers all over the world. Here are a few of the stories I brought in to the magazine and the artists and writers with whom I had the privilege of working.
Smithsonian magazine hired me to write this story about a Native American man named Andrew Callicum who had helped revive the language and culture of his Nuu-chal-nuth people, and died suddenly and tragically at a young age, taking much that rare knowledge with him. It was a parable of what's happening to so many native languages. I traveled to Andrew's homeland on the northwest edge of Vancouver Island, where I met his brother and sister, and to the Macah home in northwest Washington, where his son went to a school that emphasizes learning the language. The Nuuchalnuth and Macah are closely related by blood and shared traditions. As always, the more you learn, the more complicated it gets.
I spent over six months investigating corruption in the leadership of the Presidio Trust, which administers the San Francisco Presidio in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The resulting article, published in San Francisco magazine, led immediately to the ouster of the director, and became a finalist for a National Magazine Award.
“Kerry Tremain’s exposé of mismanagement at the Presidio Trust led to a change in leadership at America’s newest national park—giving new hope for the future development of an American treasure.” —American Society of Magazine Editors, National Magazine Awards 2002
“Kudos to Bruce Kelley, editor of San Francisco magazine, and intrepid reporter Kerry Tremain. Kelley and Tremain are up for a National Magazine Award for a terrific piece of reporting, “Trouble in the Presidio,” that ran in December’s issue. This article had impact. The then impresario of the Presidio resigned in utter disgrace after Tremain’s article appeared.” —P.J. Corkery, San Francisco Examiner
“Presidio Trust officials can deny it all they want, but it sure looks as if the latest San Francisco magazine had a big impact. It’s six-month investigation—’How arrogance, mismanagement, and infighting are threatening our new national park’—was barely on the newsstand for three weeks when Jim Meadows, the trust’s controversial director, resigned. [San Francisco] assigned the story to Kerry Tremain, a Berkeley writer and former Mother Jones editor.” —Dan Fost, San Francisco Chronicle
“Now the Presidio has a chance to get it right. The departure of executive director Jim Meadows should give all sides in the debate over the park’s future to reflect on its direction.” —San Francisco Chronicle editorial
Review of River of Colour: the India of Raghubir Singh, published in The Mix,Vancouver Sun, May 8, 1999
A wealth of ideas and ideals united those who created Yosemite’s magnificent hotel. This is an essay I wrote for Yosemite: A Storied Landscape, available as an iBook and Kindle ebook.
By Lisa Gansky
I collaborated with author Lisa Gansky to produce this Wall Street Journal bestseller in 2010. In the book's acknowledgements, Lisa wrote, "Led by the talented, well-humored, and pathologically soft-spoken Kerry Tremain, what many people warned me would be a horrific experience was entirely divine. Kerry, your focus, pace, and understated magnetism helped to make this book something that I am, and I hope you and your team are, very proud."
When 70 California state parks were threatened with closure, the California State Park Foundation asked me to create a documentary web site on the threatened parks. Under a very tight deadline, I created a highly interactive user interface with the webmaster, designed the site, and and researched and wrote 300-word essays for each of the 70 parks.
My essay on the history and role of photography and painting at Yosemite was published in American Art Review, August 2014.