Published author to speak in Marquette

Robyn Goodman

Distinguished writer Tom Zoellner will come to Marquette’s Women’s Federated Clubhouse today as part of the Visiting Writers Program.

Zoellner has written three books and co-authored another. His most recent book, titled “Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World,” discusses the making of the atomic bomb, uranium’s impact on the world and the history behind it. In this book he reveals how the United States controlled a secret mine deep in the heart of Africa, how a Nazi sub escaped Germany with the remnant of Hitler’s bomb project, the real reason Iran wants a nuclear weapon and many other secrets involving uranium.

Perhaps most notably, Zoellner is known for co-authoring the book “An Ordinary Man,” which tells the true life story of Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina and was made into the major motion picture “Hotel Rwanda.” The book was a New York Times bestseller.

Zoellner is coming to Marquette because Jim McCommons, professor of journalism, met him at a conference. Zoellner is currently working on a book about trains, and McCommons wrote a book on trains in 2009 titled “Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service – A Year Spent Riding across America.” McCommons suggested that Zoellner come to Marquette to speak.

Jen Howard, director of the English Department’s Visiting Writers Program, said that while she doesn’t know if Zoellner will be reading from any of his books, she hopes students will come see him speak.

“It’ll be a good chance for students to come listen and talk to a working journalist,” Howard said.

Zoellner has worked as a contributing editor for “Men’s Health” magazine and as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. The Women’s Federated Clubhouse is located at 104 W. Ridge Street across the street from the Peter White Public Library. For more information on Zoellner, his website is