John M. Barry was born in 1947. He is a widely respected journalist who has covered national politics extensively. He has used this background to write two highly acclaimed books of nonfiction. The Ambition and the Power: A True Story of Washington (1989 is an examination of use and abuse of power. In Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (1997), he revisits the power theme, but this time in the setting of a natural disaster. Barry is a careful researcher who documents the devastating facts of the flood and intertwines it with the fascinating story of powerful men and their selfish agendas. The conflict between the ruling class and black racists, the clash of former Senator LeRoy Percy and demagogue James K. Vardaman, the candidacy of Herbert Hoover, and the backlash election of Huey Long, all had roots in the policies surrounding the flood. Barry's political expertise comes from his years as Washington editor of Dun's Review, where he covered national politics. He has written for the Washington Post and magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Esquire. The Transformed Cell: Unlocking the Mysteries of Cancer, coauthored with oncologist Steven A. Rosenberg, has been published in twelve languages. Barry maintains two homes, one in New Orleans and another in Washington, D.C.