About Betsy

betsy-bio-editedBetsy Hartmann writes nonfiction and fiction about important national and global challenges. Her new book The America Syndrome: Apocalypse, War and Our Call to Greatness reveals how end-times thinking profoundly influences American foreign policy, environmental politics and the persistence of injustice. Now in its third edition, Betsy’s feminist classic Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control tackles the powerful myth of overpopulation and its negative consequences for women’s reproductive health and rights.

Betsy began her career researching and writing about rural poverty and foreign aid in South Asia. The New Internationalist described her first book A Quiet Violence: View from a Bangladesh Village (co-authored with James K. Boyce) as “beautifully written.” From 1988 until recently she taught at Hampshire College where she directed the Population and Development Program (PopDev). She is currently PopDev’s senior policy analyst.

She became a well-known educator, commentator and advocate on women’s rights, population, environment and security concerns. In the wake of 9/11, she co-edited the anthology Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties.

Betsy is also the author of two political thrillers on the Far Right. Set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, her first novel The Truth About Fire is about a neo-Nazi bioterrorist plot. Publishers Weekly calls it an absorbing, compelling tale in which Hartmann proves herself an able storyteller, creating fearless, idealistic, knowledgeable and opinionated female characters who make difficult choices and reluctantly get involved in dangerous enterprises to protect themselves, their families and their communities.” Eerily prescient, her second novel Deadly Election concerns an attempt to undermine American democracy during a hotly contested presidential election. She is currently working on a novel about the war on drugs.

Betsy has consulted for the United Nations Environment Program and UN Women, and in spring 2015 was a Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair in New Delhi, India. In 2012 she was the recipient of a Mesa Refuge writing residency in Point Reyes, California. She has appeared on CNN, BBC and French television and is a frequent public speaker and radio guest. Her articles and op-eds have appeared in diverse popular, policy and scholarly venues.

Betsy received her BA in South Asian Studies magna cum laude from Yale University, where she entered in the first class of women. She received her PhD in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband James K. Boyce and has two grown children and two grandchildren, all of whom keep her optimistic about the future.

Contact Betsy at betsyhartmannbooks@gmail.com