Duncan Murrell got an early start on being an outside observer. He went to college on an ROTC scholarship where he vigorously protested apartheid in between military drills. And when Murrell became a Marine, his left wing politics never kept him from being promoted and honored. He went to journalism school as one of the only military veterans, and he covered the Gulf Coast for a paper in Mobile, Alabama after growing up in the North. He's written several groundbreaking stories for Harper's Magazine about New Orleans, edited author Robert Morgan for Algonquin Books and now runs the literary program at The Center for Documentary Studies.