His first love, adult and young adult fiction, tackles diverse subjects from the world of horse racing to politics, focusing on characters as much as a page-turning plot. His novel, Abingdon's, was a bestseller and a Literary Guild Alternate Selection. His young adult novel, Pursuit, was awarded the California Young Reader Medal. He has also co-written two screenplays for Amazon Prime.
Receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University, he focused on creative writing and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. Working under his wife, Patricia, ten years ago they created a non-profit foundation, Dollar4Schools, which continues helping support Santa Fe public schools and its teachers.
An avid trekker and traveler to developing countries, French loves diving and snorkeling, and for the last decade began studying endangered marine and land mammals. He believes climate change is currently the world’s greatest long-term problem.
He and Patricia divide their time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I have a modest proposal in our age of ever-deepening polarization. My proposal is based on the idea of breaking bread with strangers, like the Pilgrims did with the Wampanoag tribe at Plymouth Colony. In the spirt of the First Thanksgiving, dwell on this for a minute. When Covid finally goes away, two coalitions (maybe three hundred folks each), are formed, each composed of volunteers who think of themselves as open-minded. One coalition is made up entirely of Progressives, while the second is entirely Conservatives. The two sides agree on a three monthlong period to get to know each other as human beings, not stereotypes—and in a very specific way. Basic organizational skills are required, as are cooking skills. The Progressives invite small groups of Conservatives into their homes for dinner and the Conservatives invite Progressives into their homes for a hot meal. One glass of wine only. Politics cannot be discussed, if at all, until dessert in served.
Over the years,i have seen more conflicts and disputes dissipate or even go away over delicious food and the accompanying hospitality. Simple, yes. Corny, not really. Difficult to pull off? Only if no one is serious about healing political wounds that are bleeding our democracy dry.
Michael R. French
Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University. He is a businessman and author who divides his time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.