Philip Baruth is currently a State Senator, representing Chittenden County, Vermont. He is also a novelist, and spent twelve years as a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His commentary series, “Notes from the New Vermont,” focused on both the national and the local, the deeply political and the undeniably absurd.
In addition to Vermont Associated Press awards for commentary on Howard Dean and the effects of 9/11, Philip won a national Public Radio News Directors Award for “Lonesome Jim Does Totally Gnarly,” a spoof of Jeffords’s split with the GOP. “Birth Rate Blues,” his satirical take on Vermont’s low fertility stats, shared a 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award in the Overall Excellence category, then won a Public Radio News Directors Award several months later.
His 2003 novel The X President took this penchant for satire to new lengths: the book follows the desperate attempts of a 109-year-old Bill Clinton to re-write his historical legacy. (Click here for more information.) The New York Times selected The X President as a Notable Book of 2003. [Photo: Kathy FitzGerald]
Philip lives in Burlington, Vermont, and has taught at the University of Vermont since 1993. Before that time, he earned a B.A. at Brown University, and his Ph.D at the University of California, Irvine. His latest novel, The Brothers Boswell (Soho Press), is a tracing the famous friendship between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, author of the first modern dictionary. The Washington Post eventually selected Brothers Boswell as one of the Best Books of 2009.
The Vermont Daily Briefing has been in operation since September, 2005. It was voted the state’s “Best Political Blog” in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 by the readers of Seven Days, the state’s largest alternative weekly. Philip was elected to the State Senate in 2010, largely through the die-hard support of VDB readers and friends.
Democratic National Convention, Denver 2008: Vermont Obama Delegation [Photo: Carolyn Dwyer]