Christian Parenti is an American investigative journalist, academic, and author. His books include: Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2000), a survey of the rise of the prison-industrial complex from the Nixon through Reagan Eras and into the present; The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America From Slavery to the War on Terror (2003), a study of surveillance and control in modern society. The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq (2004), is an account of the US occupation of Iraq. In Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011), Parenti links the implications of climate change with social and political unrest in mid-latitude regions of the world. Parenti has also reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ivory Coast and China.
Parenti's reporting in Afghanistan was the subject of an award-winning HBO documentary called Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. Directed and edited by Ian Olds, the film follows the working relationship between Parenti and his Afgan colleague Ajmal Naqshbandi, and after Naqshbandi's capture and murder by the Taliban, Parenti's investigation of that crime.
Parenti's writing is usually published in The Nation, and he frequently appears on Doug Henwood's radio show, Behind The News, on KPFA in Berkeley, to discuss his work. Parenti's book Tropic of Chaos was influential in making the recent PBS documentary "Extreme Realities." Parenti appears extensively in the documentary as a talking head and in vérité footage reporting. He also writes for many other publications, including the London Review of Books, Mother Jones and Condé Nast Traveler. He was a visiting fellow at CUNY's Center for Place, Culture and Politics, as well as a Soros Senior Justice Fellow. Parenti has taught at the New College of California and at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California. He currently teaches in the Liberal Studies program at New York University.
His most recent published work is a significant contribution to Anthropocene or Capitalocene? concerning the political and economic foundations of climate change.
Parenti is the son of Michael Parenti and Susan Parenti. Susan is an artist who lives in Vermont. He attended Buxton School in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the New School for Social Research in New York, and the London School of Economics, where he earned a PhD in Sociology and Geography. He divides his time between Brattleboro, Vermont, and New York City.
Since 2014, Parenti has been working on a book which focuses on "Rethinking the State in the Context of Climate Crisis." And he has recently published several articles addressing this theme. Other works include:Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (1999) ISBN 1-85984-303-4
The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America From Slavery to the War on Terror (2003) ISBN 0-465-05485-4
The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq (2004) ISBN 1-56584-948-5
Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011) ISBN 9781568587295