Throughout his career, Margolis gave eloquent voice to those
who are rarely heard. He was the consummate wordsmith, whose writing style
always had touches of poetry even when the subject matter delved into dry
public policy issues. He attempted to bring
the human story to the forefront, showing how abstract political and policy
debates affected real people. Using a combination of humor, eloquence and
logic, Margolis tried through his writing to move people -- individuals and
politicians -- to come to the aid of people in need.
His career spanned many roles, subjects and forms, which we have
organized into the following broad categories:
As a freelance journalist, Margolis wrote about education, racial issues,
urban and rural poverty, Native Americans, migrant farmers, and the elderly.
His articles appeared in many publications, including The Boston Globe, The
Christian Science Monitor, Change Magazine, Harper's Life, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post,
Working Papers, and Next. From 1968-1991, he was a regular
columnist for the New Leader.
In addition to being a freelance journalist, Margolis also wrote many
longer reports, booklets and monographs, usually for government agencies or
private foundations, including Basin Electric Cooperatives, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Carnegie Corporation, Civil Rights Commission, Community Services Administration, Department of Agriculture, Edna McDowell Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation, Housing and Urban Development, National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, Phelps-Stokes, Postal Rate Commission, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rosebud Sioux Tribe,
and the United Housing Foundation.
Op-Ed Pieces and Book Reviews
Margolis was also a frequent contributor to the op-ed and book review
sections of many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times
and The Washington Post.
In addition to numerous reports written for government agencies and
private foundations (see below), Margolis also authored one book about
low-income elderly Americans:
Risking Old Age In America (Westview Press, 1990).
Margolis wrote 6 children's books and 3 books of poetry for children and
Only the Moon and Me (J.D. Lippincott, 1968)
Looking for a Place (J.D. Lippincott, 1969)
The Upside Down King (Windmill Books, 1971)
Wish Again, Big Bear (Macmillan, 1971)
Homer the Hunter (Macmillan, 1972)
Big Bear to the Rescue (Greenwillow Books, 1975)
Big Bear, Spare that Tree (Greenwillow Books, 1980)
Secrets of a Small Brother (Macmillan, 1984) -- won the
Christopher Award in the Books for Young People Category.
- Brooklyn Heights Press, Editor-in-Chief, 1956-60 (awarded the George Polk
Memorial Award for Community Journalism in 1959)
- Change Magazine, Literary Editor, 1973-80
- Foundation News, Contributing Editor, 1983-1988
- Human Services in the Rural Environment, Editorial Board
- New Leader, Regular Columnist, 1970-1990
- Rural Electrification, Contributing Editor
- ruralamerica, Editor-in-Chief, 1976-79
- The Cooperator, Editor-in-Chief, 1972-73
- Working Papers, Senior Editor, 1981
- Kennedy Institute of Politics, Fellow, 1980-81
- Harvard University, Course on "Power and Conflict in Rural America",
- University of Connecticut, Writing Course, 1979
- State University of New York at Purchase, Writing Courses, 1974-77
- Rural Housing Alliance, Chairman, 1969-75
- Rural America, Inc., Co-founder and Chairman, 1976-?