Ross Gregory Douthat (born 1979) is an American political analyst, blogger, author and New York Times columnist. He was a senior editor of The Atlantic. He has written on a variety of topics, including the state of Christianity in America and “sustainable decadence” in contemporary society.
Douthat was born on November 28, 1979, in San Francisco, California, and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. As an adolescent, Douthat converted to Pentecostalism and then, with the rest of his family, to Catholicism.
His mother, Patricia Snow, is a writer. His great-grandfather was Governor Charles Wilbert Snow of Connecticut. His father, Charles Douthat, is a partner in a New Haven law firm and a poet. In 2007, Douthat married Abigail Tucker, a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and a writer for Smithsonian. He and his family live in New Haven, Connecticut.
Douthat has written that he suffers from chronic Lyme disease, a diagnosis that is unrecognized by mainstream medicine. His symptoms began in 2015, soon after he and his family had moved to Connecticut. This is the subject of his book The Deep Places.
Douthat attended Hamden Hall, a private high school in Hamden, Connecticut. Douthat graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 2002, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While there he contributed to The Harvard Crimson and edited The Harvard Salient.
Douthat is a regular columnist for The New York Times. In April 2009, he became the youngest regular op-ed writer in The New York Times after replacing Bill Kristol as a conservative voice on the Times editorial page.
Before joining The New York Times, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic. He has published books on the decline of religion in American society, the role of Harvard University in creating an American ruling class and other topics related to religion, politics and society. His book Grand New Party (2008), which he co-wrote with Reihan Salam, was described by journalist David Brooks as the “best single roadmap of where the Republican Party should and is likely to head.” Douthat’s most recent book is The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success (2020), which has received positive reviews in The New York Times and National Review. Douthat frequently appeared on the video debate site Bloggingheads.tv until 2012.
Douthat has written in support of banning abortion, saying that science shows that a zygote (a fertilized egg) is a distinct human and that destroying it would be to kill a human.
Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class. New York: Hyperion. 2005. ISBN 978-1-4013-0112-5.
Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. With Salam, Reihan. New York: Doubleday. 2008. ISBN 978-0-385-51943-4.
Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. New York: Free Press. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4391-7830-0. Description.
To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. New York: Simon and Schuster. 2018. ISBN 978-1-5011-4694-7. 2019 pbk reprint
The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success. Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 2020. ISBN 978-1476785240
The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery. Convergent Books. October 26, 2021. ISBN 0-59-323736-6