The Author

As a reporter, Charles Fishman has tried to get inside organizations, both familiar and secret, and explain how they work.

In the course of reporting about water to write The Big Thirst, Fishman has stood at the bottom of a half-million-gallon sewage tank, sampled water directly from the springs in San Pellegrino, Italy, and Poland Spring, Maine, and carried water on his head for 3 km with a group of Indian villagers.

Fishman’s previous book, the New York Times bestseller The Wal-Mart Effect, was the first to crack open Wal-Mart’s wall of secrecy, and has become the standard for understanding Wal-Mart’s impact on our economy and on how we live. The Economist named it a “book of the year.”

Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism.

Fishman grew up in Miami, Florida, and went to Harvard. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife, also a journalist, their two children, their two Labradors, and their two parakeets. He likes his water from the refrigerator spigot, with ice, or splashing across the bow of a Sunfish.