Matthew Stevenson was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island, attending first public and later private schools. He studied political science at Bucknell University from 1972 to 1976, although he spent his junior year with the Institute of European Studies in London and Vienna. '
He received a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, where he specialized in foreign policy and international economics. Later he served as president of the alumni association.
His first job was at Harper’s Magazine, where as associate editor he commissioned and edited pieces about politics, economics, and literature. In 1978, he also began publishing articles in national magazines, to which he has since contributed on subjects as diverse as the Russian economy, World War II, the Afghan war, and raising children.
He is the author of:
Biking with Bismarck: A Little Tour of France
Letters of Transit: Essays on Travel, History, Politics, and Family Life Abroad;
Mentioned in Dispatches: The Travel Essays of an Expatriate American;
An April Across America;
Remembering the Twentieth Century Limited;
Reading the Rails;
The Revolution as a Dinner Party: Across China with Edgar Snow, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stilwell, Chiang Kai-shek, and Sun Yat-sen.
He edited Rules of the Game: The Best Sports Writing from Harper’s Magazine and Incurable: A Life After Diagnosis by Charles Harris.
His next book is: The Ayatollah's Flying Circus.
His business experience includes broad experience as a chief executive officer in Australia and Switzerland (1983 - 2004), and he has worked in trade finance, wealth management, investment banking, consulting, and wine, based in Geneva, Switzerland since 1991. He is also the host of a radio broadcast, The Travel Hour.
He is a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, and his work has appeared in a diverse number of publications, such as Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, American Scholar, New Geography, Texas Observer, andCounterPunch.