Nate Blakeslee

Nate Blakeslee's Profile Photo

Writer-at-large Nate Blakeslee is the author of the New York Times best-seller American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. The book was a finalist for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, was named Outside magazine’s best adventure book of the year, and won a Banff Mountain Book award. American Wolf was optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company and Warner Bros.

Blakeslee’s first book, Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, was based on a story he broke in 2000 about a police corruption scandal in the Texas Panhandle. His original story for the Texas Observer was a finalist for a National Magazine Award and eventually resulted in a major reorganization of the state’s drug enforcement bureaucracy and the exoneration of some three dozen wrongfully convicted individuals.

Tulia was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the New York Times. It won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction. The Washington Post called it one of the most important books about wrongful convictions ever written. Tulia has been acquired by Paramount Pictures.

Blakeslee was the coeditor of the Texas Observer from 2000 to 2003 and a senior editor at Texas Monthly from 2006 to 2014. Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, he has a master’s degree in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Austin with his family.

68 Articles

Politics & Policy|
April 26, 2011

Swingers in the Senate

Traditionally, swing votes are found in the middle of the political spectrum, but this session’s Anthony Kennedy in the state Senate may come from the far right. While all eyes have been on Royce West and Chuy Hinojosa, the two Democrats considered most likely to vote with the Republican caucus

Politics & Policy|
April 7, 2011

Somebody Call a Plumber

It has been three weeks since the creation of Senator Duncan’s Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters, the panel charged with finding around $5 billion in non-tax revenue to cover the funding the Senate Finance Committee intends to restore to public education and health and human services, among other items. Today we

Politics & Policy|
April 4, 2011

Video interview: Senator Dan Patrick

We spoke with Houston Senator Dan Patrick, the chair of the legislature’s Tea Party Caucus, about whether the state has a structural deficit, his opposition to using the Rainy Day Fund for the next biennium, and his vote to restore funding to public education.

Politics & Policy|
March 31, 2011

Sneak Attack on Public Integrity Unit?

Buried in the four-inch stack of amendments to the house budget bill is a subtly crafted ambush on the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s office. This is the outfit that investigates corruption cases involving public officials, the most famous of which in recent memory was Ronnie

Politics & Policy|
March 24, 2011

Zaffirini Throws a Lifeline

A bumpy ride for Senator Jane Nelson’s subcommittee on Medicaid came to an end this morning when senators voted 5-2 to move her recommendations on to the full Finance committee. The two “no” votes were Democratic senators Zaffirini and Whitmire, both of whom were spotted huddling with Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst

Politics & Policy|
March 8, 2011

The Colorado Connection

Last month, the Statesman’s Jason Embry reported that Governor Perry had turned to Colorado to find his newest University of Texas regent, energy executive Alex Cranberg. Now the regents have hired Rick O’Donnell, the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, as a special advisor. O’Donnell, who

Web Exclusive|
March 1, 2009


The Dallas Police Department’s posting of photos in its “indecency” section on its Web site is probably constitutional—the fact that prostitution cases are also listed means that gay men as a class are not being singled out—but is it responsible?

September 30, 2008

The Reluctant Prosecutor

After Randy Reynolds sat on his hands as the Texas Youth Commission scandal exploded, everyone wanted the district attorney of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties bounced from his job. Everyone, that is, except the people of Ward, Reeves, and Loving counties.

Politics & Policy|
February 1, 2008

Will to Power

After the Texas Youth Commission imploded last year, one of the state’s fiercest advocates for criminal justice reform was tapped to help rebuild. Inside his yet-to-be-completed slog.

December 1, 2007

Everyone’s Poop

Sewerage is the cornerstone of civilization, the sine qua non of urban life, and the best possible window into how we live, what we eat, and who we are.

Politics & Policy|
April 30, 2007

Sins of Commission

There are plenty of people to blame for the latest shock-inducing juvenile corrections scandal, beginning with the so-called reformers who didn’t heed the lessons of the last one.

March 1, 2007

Family Values

It may surprise you to learn that gay couples in Texas are more likely to have children than those in most other states, or that San Antonio is a gay parenting mecca, with a higher percentage of gay households with children than any other U.S. city. So why are gay

August 31, 2006

King Of the Christocrats

By preaching that the Founding Fathers opposed the separation of church and state, David Barton has become the darling of evangelicals everywhere—and one of the most powerful Texas Republicans you’ve never heard of.

August 31, 2005

The War on Thugs

Five years after the Tulia fiasco put the state’s amateurish, irresponsible drug task forces in the national spotlight, more than half of them have been dissolved. That’s a good start.

November 1, 2002

Bust Town

It's been two years since Tulia's tainted drug busts first came to light. Do you really want to know how little has changed there?

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