Peter W. Bernstein | President

Peter W. Bernstein

Peter Bernstein is the president of Bernstein Literary Agency. He has a long and established track record in both the book and magazine worlds. In addition to working as a literary agent, representing mainly general non-fiction and fiction authors, he also writes, edits, and packages book and magazine projects.

Bernstein is a former publisher of Times Books/Random House, where he worked with, among other best-selling authors, Jimmy Carter, Christopher Patten, and Sally Bedell Smith. Before joining Random House, Bernstein was a top editor at U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT and FORTUNE magazine. He began his career as a reporter at The Pretoria News in South Africa and subsequently worked as a reporter at The New York Daily News.  During his eight years at Fortune, he served as the magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief and as a member of the Board of Editors. From 1985 to 1996, he was Managing Editor and then Executive Editor of U.S. News and World Report, where, among other things, he created and developed the magazine’s annual Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools, and Best Hospitals surveys. From 2001-2003, he was Editor-in-Chief and Director of Academic Programs at the Alliance for Lifelong Learning (, a not-for-profit distance learning company owned and operated by three of the world’s preeminent universities, Oxford, Stanford, and Yale.

He is also a best-selling author and editor. He was the editor of The Ernst & Young Tax Guide, one of America’s top tax guides since 1985, with over three million copies sold, for 30 years.  He co-edited, with Christopher Ma, The Practical Guide to Practically Everything  (Random House, 1995, 1996, 1997)  and, with Amy D. Bernstein, The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and 2009), and wrote Quotations from Speaker Newt, The Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution  (Workman) with Amy D. Bernstein. He also is the author with Annalyn Swan of All The Money In the World: How the Forbes 400 Make and Spend Their Fortunes (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007 and paperback 2009).

A graduate of Brown University (B.A., American History, 1973) and Christ College, Cambridge University (M.A., History, 1976), Bernstein currently serves on the board of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.  He also served for over a decade as a board member and member of the executive committee of the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., and Words Without Borders, a non-profit online literary magazine dedicated to translating contemporary foreign literature into English. Formerly, he has served as a trustee of Brown University, Tougaloo College, and WETA, Washington’s public TV and radio station, among other boards, and is a past president of the Brown Alumni Association. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.