Max Alexander is an author, journalist, onetime farmer and failed politician. Failure is in fact a central theme in his books, which have been called "how-not-tos," although many of his subjects refuse to cooperate and actually make something of themselves, against all odds. His latest book, "Bright Lights, No City," chronicles a three-year adventure in the West African country of Ghana, where his entrepreneur brother has been attempting to launch a new for-profit business providing innovative goos and services to low-income customers.
Alexander is a former senior editor at People magazine in New York and, before that, the executive editor of Variety and Daily Variety, the showbiz trade publications, in Los Angeles. His writing-on topics ranging from crime to adventure-appears in dozens of publications including Smithsonian, Saveur, Prevention, This Old House and The New York Times. In addition, Alexander has edited books by such notable authors as George Plimpton and film critic David Thomson. He is currently working on a book about China. He lives with his wife and two sons in an 1816 center-chimney Cape in midcoast Maine.