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Peter Rader has worked as a film and television writer for 20 years. His first script, Waterworld, was produced by Universal in 1995. He has developed numerous projects for other studios, and industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis and John Davis.

He has worked as a cinematographer, editor  and producer on a number of award-winning documentary projects, including AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda, which THE GUARDIAN dubbed the Indie sleeper hit of 2014, following its extensive worldwide theatrical run.

Rader's first book, Mike Wallace: A Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), was a critically acclaimed biography of the legendary CBS journalist. He is currently releasing his second book, Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever (Simon & Schuster, 2018).

Rader attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is accomplished in a broad range of fields, including music and photography.  He has taught classes and workshops in writing and filmmaking at Harvard, Los Angeles Film School, and Cal State Fullerton. Rader has also volunteered to teach writing to homeless people at Step Up on Second.


Playing to the Gods

The riveting story of the rivalry between the two most renowned actresses of the nineteenth century: legendary Sarah Bernhardt, whose eccentricity on and off the stage made her the original diva, and mystical Eleonora Duse, who broke all the rules to popularize the natural style of acting we celebrate today.

Audiences across Europe and the Americas clamored to see the divine Sarah Bernhardt swoon—and she gave them their money’s worth. The world’s first superstar, she traveled with a chimpanzee named Darwin and a pet alligator that drank champagne, shamelessly supplementing her income by endorsing everything from aperitifs to beef bouillon, and spreading rumors that she slept in a coffin to better understand the macabre heroines she played.

Eleonora Duse shied away from the spotlight. Born to a penniless family of itinerant troubadours, she disappeared into the characters she portrayed—channeling their spirits, she claimed. Her new, empathetic style of acting revolutionized the theater—and earned her the ire of Sarah Bernhardt in what would become the most tumultuous theatrical showdown of the nineteenth century. Bernhardt and Duse seduced each other’s lovers, stole one another’s favorite playwrights, and took to the world’s stages to outperform their rival in her most iconic roles.

A scandalous, enormously entertaining history full of high drama and low blows, Playing to the Gods is the page-turning account of the feud that changed theater forever.

Mike Wallace: A Life

The untold story of how the world's most feared TV reporter transformed his inner darkness into a journalistic juggernaut that riveted millions and redefined the landscape of television news.

In his four decades as the front man for 60 Minutes, the most successful show in television history, Mike Wallace earned the distinction of being hyperaggressive, self-assured, and unflinching in his riveting exposés of injustice and corruption. His unrivaled career includes interviews with every major newsmaker of the late twentieth century, from Martin Luther King to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Behind this intimidating facade, however, Wallace was profoundly depressed and haunted by demons that nearly drove him to suicide. Despite reaching the pinnacle of his profession, Wallace harbored deep insecurities about his credentials as a journalist. For half his life, he was more "TV Personality" than reporter, dabbling as a quiz show emcee, commercial pitchman, and actor. But in the wake of a life-changing personal tragedy, Wallace transformed himself, against all odds, into the most talked-about newsman in America.

Peter Rader's Mike Wallace: A Life tells the story of a courageous man who triumphed over personal adversity and redefined the landscape of television news.

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My Books

Scenes in this thrilling, deeply researched book are described almost cinematically...[Rader] has a sizzling way of delivering 100-year-old scandals...and you have to flip back to the endnotes to remember that it’s also well sourced and rigorous.

Rader’s portrait is of the classic American workaholic, one whose burning ambition and freakishly tireless work ethic were fueled by massive insecurities and existential crises.

Bold, well-crafted biography of a long-elusive and controversial public figure.



Playing to the Gods

coming to the Big Screen!



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