David Cohen is an author and journalist. His work appears regularly in New Zealand and abroad, including commentary and reportage for The Spectator, Arab News and Radio New Zealand. For many years he wrote about higher education for the Guardian and local political affairs for The Christian Science Monitor. As a reporter, he has interviewed many political leaders, including several New Zealand premiers, the former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad and the first East Timorese president, Xanana Gusmão. He is the author of six books, including works of social history, family memoir and music criticism, the last being Book of Cohen, a collection of ‘late-night essays’ about the Canadian artist Leonard Cohen. He has co-authored or contributed chapters to several others. An influential earlier title, Little Criminals, was named one of the best books of the year by the New Zealand Listener. He lives in Wellington.