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In the preface to his opus “The Best and the Brightest” (the definitive account of America’s involvement in Vietnam), journalist David Halberstam shared the secret to writing a bestseller: “A book that burns in your belly — something that has to be written before you can go on to anything else.”

Halberstam was one of my early role models. And I know that burning feeling he describes. I’m presently consumed with writing a big, sweeping, uniquely American story. I fall asleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it. And with very few exceptions, I’ve worked on it every day for the past 400-plus days. I’m so immersed that I’ve refused to do any other writing. No articles. No op-eds. Seven months ago I even stopped blogging.

But today I’m using my blog space to share something that my son Tennyson wrote for the Hartford Courant. He’s a law student at UCONN, and he spent part of his summer working at a U.S. detention facility for immigrants. His task was to help prepare asylum petitions for an LBGT couple that fled persecution in Central America. The stakes are high. If the couple is deported, they will likely be executed in their home country on account of their sexual orientation. It’s a situation I can scarcely relate to. But I can’t think of a better way my son could have spent his summer.

Here’s a link to his story:



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Jeff Benedict is the bestselling author of sixteen non-fiction books, as well as a television and film producer. His latest book, The Dynasty, is the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots under Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, each of whom cooperated for the book. Published in 2020, it was an instant New York Times bestseller. The book is being developed into a 10-part documentary series, which Jeff is executive producing. In 2018, Jeff co-wrote the #1 bestseller Tiger Woods and he was an executive producer on the HBO documentary “Tiger” that was based on the book and aired in 2021. The book is currently being developed into a scripted series, which Jeff is executive producing. Jeff is also the executive producer on a documentary based on his book Poisoned that will air on Netflix. In 2017, he co-produced “Little Pink House,” a feature film starring Catherine Keener and Jeanne Tripplehorn that was based on Jeff’s book of the same title. And in 2016, Jeff co-wrote with Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young his bestselling autobiography QB, which was the basis of an NFL Films documentary. Jeff has been a special-features writer for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, and the Hartford Courant, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times. His stories have been the basis of segments on 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, HBO Real Sports, Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, 20/20, 48 Hours, NFL Network, and NPR.

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