Dale Maharidge has been teaching at the Columbia Journalism School since 2001; before that, he was a visiting professor at Stanford University for ten years and spent fifteen years as a newspaperman. Several of his books are illustrated with the work of photographer Michael S. Williamson. The first book, Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, later inspired Bruce Springsteen to write two songs. His second book, And Their Children After Them, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1990.
Sgt. Steve Maharidge, like many of his generation, hardly ever talked about the war. The only sign he'd served in it was a single black and white photograph of himself and another soldier tacked to the wall of his basement, where he would grind steel. After Steve Maharidge’s death, his son Dale, now an adult, began a twelve-year quest to understand his father’s preoccupation with the photo.