Simon Baatz

Simon Baatz

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Ph.D.  -  University of Pennsylvania (History and Sociology of Science)
A.M.   -  University of Pennsylvania (History and Sociology of Science)
M.Sc.  -  Imperial College London (History of Science)
B.A.    -  University of York (Physics/Philosophy)


Simon Baatz taught American Studies at universities in Britain before taking up a research position in 2000 in the history of medicine at the National Institutes of Health.  He subsequently taught at George Mason University as a visiting associate professor of history.  He is the author of five books, most recently, The Girl on the Velvet Swing (Little, Brown, 2018).  Principato-Young Entertainment, a film and television production company based in Beverly Hills, has optioned his history of the Leopold-Loeb case, For the Thrill of It (HarperCollins, 2008).

Knowledge, Culture, and Science in the Metropolis: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1817-2017 (Wiley)

For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder that Shocked Chicago (HarperCollins)

John Steele Gordon, "Murder Most Rational and Confounding," [review of For the Thrill of It], New York Times, August 17, 2008  "An absorbing history . . . Mr. Baatz has done meticulous research and he writes extremely well. . .  He brings to vivid life the major characters [and] gives us a picture of the crime-ridden, bootleg-liquor-fueled Jazz Age city of Chicago . . .  A page-turner of a book."

The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (Little, Brown) 

Harold Schechter, "The Architect, the Madman and 'The Girl on the Velvet Swing'," Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2018    "[Simon Baatz's history] is a terrifically entertaining work of popular history: swiftly paced, richly evocative, engrossing from the first page. . . . This vivid retelling of the 1906 murder of Stanford White couldn't be timelier. . . . The murder of Stanford White has been the subject of many other books [but] Baatz's gripping, deeply researched retelling is certain to stand as the definitive version."