Peter Booth Wiley

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Biography

Born November 6, 1942, Peter Booth Wiley received a B.A. in English literature from Williams College and an M.A. in U.S. history from the University of Wisconsin.

Wiley knocked out his first publication, “The Wiley Herald,” on an old Remington when he was still in grade school. Among the toys given to him by his parents was a children’s library kit. From there he progressed to his high school and college newspapers. After graduate school, Wiley moved to San Francisco where he was one of the founders, an editor, and staff writer for Leviathan, a review of current events. He then became an editor and reporter at The Bulkhead, a newspaper for military personnel. In 1975 Wiley joined Pacific News Service where he was an associate editor and staff reporter.

In 1981 Wiley and Bob Gottlieb started a syndicated newspaper column, Points West, covering the western United States and the Pacific Basin. They also wrote occasional columns for the Sacramento Bee and the Wall Street Journal. Wiley and Gottlieb coauthored two books on the West: Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West and America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power. Wiley was also a researcher and writer for a prize-winning public television documentary on the Mormon church. His articles have appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, Utah Holiday, Los Angeles, Sierra Club, Library Journal, Zyzzyva, and dozens of newspapers.

Wiley most recently wrote Yankees in the Land of the Gods: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan; A Free Library in This City: An Illustrated History of the San Francisco Public Library; and National Trust Guide, San Francisco: America’s Guide for Architecture and History Travelers.

In 1984 Wiley joined the board of his family’s publishing firm, John Wiley & Sons. He was elected chairman in 2002.


Selected Works

Travel
National Trust Guide: San Francisco. America’s Guide for Architecture and History Travelers
A unique guide to the history and architecture of San Francisco
History
Yankees in the Land of the Gods: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan
Authoritative account of the expedition that opened Japan to the outside world
Nonfiction
Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West (with Bob Gottlieb)
A study of city-building and city-builders in an arid climate



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