is a veteran writer and an award-winning investigative journalist. He spent a decade as an international radio broadcaster for the Voice of America. He has authored three books, including the political bestseller, Marion Barry: The Politics of Race, published by British American Publishing, Ltd.
Agronsky’s investigative stories on murder conspiracies, police shootings, the Hamas terror group, a fatally botched D.C. Fire Department ambulance run, juvenile stickup artists and other villains and catastrophes have appeared in such national and regional periodicals as Penthouse, Vietnam, ABA Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Washingtonian, and Regardies.
The Agronsky name is well-known and well-respected in journalism circles. Mr. Agronsky’s father, the late Martin Agronsky, was an award-winning journalist with a career spanning a half-century. He was host of the long-running and news making roundtable television show, Agronsky & Company. The senior Agronsky still holds the record as the only broadcast journalist and commentator who worked for all three major networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- during his career.
Jonathan Agronsky is the recipient of 11 writing awards, including, the 2017 Lone Star Award from the Houston Press Club for his investigation of the fatal shooting of a student at the University of North Texas by a campus police officer.
Marion Barry: The Politics of Race
Jonathan Agronsky's book Marion Barry: The Politics of Race caused a seismic shift in Washington, DC and the nation. This honest, cutting political biography looked at the controversial civil rights leader turned politician turned convicted felon with unflinching clarity, and is still considered the best book on Barry's roller coaster career.
A 10,000-word excerpt from Marion Barry: the Politics of Race was published as a Penthouse magazine cover story, "Sex, Drugs, Lies, and Videotape."
Agronksy was also a conributor to the 2009 HBO documentary, "The Nine Lives of Marion Barry."
What the Critics Said About Marion Barry: The Politics
“In a dramatic, revealing biography, Voice of America reporter Agronsky charts Barry’s trajectory from courageous civil rights worker to compromised bureaucrat to ‘race-baiting’ mayor who silenced his critics with divisive rhetoric while his administration festered with scandals, corruption and mismanagement.”
“To date, no other book on a leading member of the African American political class matches Agronsky’s deft and sensitive portrayal of Barry’s rags-to-power metamorphosis. Agronsky captures contradictory twists and turns and the tragic moral deceptions that marred Barry’s replication of Horatio Alger fantasy.”
Martin Kilson, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“. . . a riveting book that reads like a black version of Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars, starring Marion Barry as Tiberius in a baseball cap and a blue velour jogging suit, lolling on beds on tropical afternoons, smacking his lips over dusky Caribbean beauties while his modern Rome on the Potomac goes to rack and ruin.”
Florence King, Chronicles
“Mr. Agronsky’s . . . great virtue as a chronicler lies in his unwillingness to tell us What It All Means. Few subsequent biographers of Marion Barry, you can be sure, will display the same modesty. There will be talk in the new-age mode of the inner child and symbolic parricide and lack of self-esteem, most of it fatuous and all of it beside the point.”
Andrew Ferguson, The Wall Street Journal
“Although it wasn’t intended to be such, Agronsky’s book is a powerful testimony to the failures of the Great Society [and] a valuable source work for anyone who wants to know where the civil rights movement went wrong.”
E. Michael Jones, Fidelity Reviews
"A careful, sober, and balanced account of Barry's decline and fall..."