Pamela Paul Named New York Times Book Review Editor

Sam Tanenhaus is out, Pamela Paul is in. Meet the next editor of the nation’s last free-standing book review.

Richard Drew/AP

Pamela Paul, author of books on parenting, pornography, and marriage, has been named the new editor of the New York Times Book Review, according to an internal memo sent out to Times employees earlier today.

She will replace Sam Tanenhaus, who has edited the section since 2004.

In the memo, Times editor Jill Abramson and managing editor Dean Baquet praised Tanenhaus for updating what is now the last free-standing newspaper book review in the United States by adding podcasts and video interviews, but added, “It is now Pamela's turn to take the Book Review in new directions.

“Her versatility as an editor and writer has strengthened the Book Review and many other sections, including the Magazine, Education Life and Sunday Styles, where she originated the biweekly ‘Studied’ column,” the editors continue. ”Her weekly Q. and A. with authors, ‘By the Book,’ has been a wonderful new addition to the Review, and she has assigned a galaxy of great writers including Martin Amis, Colson Whitehead and Meg Wolitzer, among others. “

Tanenhaus has been a prolific political writer, often for other publications. In a recent article in The New Republic, he traced how the Republican Party had become “the party of white people,” an account that brought him much ire from conservatives.

In the memo, Abramson and Baquet note that “we were jealous of some of those smart political stories Sam was writing elsewhere. So, beginning in May, he will be a writer at large and take a Richard Hofstadter-like approach to reporting on the ideological and historical roots—and emerging character — of today's roiling political movements.”

Paul’s three books include The Starter Marriage, a work of social science examining marriages that only last a couple of years; Pornofied, which examines people are affected by pornography; and Parenting Inc., a look at how raising children has turned into a billion-dollar industry.

The full memo is below: