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The Foer Brothers: A Complete Guide
Understanding who does what in Washington’s most accomplished set of siblings
Comments () | Published April 12, 2011

The trio of Foer brothers—sons of Cleveland Park lawyer Albert Foer and PR exec Esther Safran Foer—might be Washington’s most accomplished set of siblings, possibly matched only by Rahm Emanuel (who moved back to Chicago to run for mayor after his stint as White House chief of staff) and his brother Zeke, an NIH bioethicist (whose other brother, Ari, is a Hollywood agent). As the youngest Foer brother, Joshua, publishes his first book in March—one he sold for a reported $1.2 million—it’s a good time for a guide to the literary wonder that is the Foers.

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FRANKLIN FOER
Occupation: Editor-at-large, the New Republic (editor from 2006 to 2010)
Ivy alma mater: Columbia '96
Spouse: Abby Greensfelder, co-owner of Half Yard Productions, a reality TV company that produces such shows as Say Yes to the Dress and The Real Housewives of D.C.
Books: How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization (2004)
Insightful but contextless book snippet: "I suck at soccer."
Sample praise: "He is a substantial man with a crusading temperament." -- Leon Wieseltier
Side project: Now that he's not the New Republic editor anymore, he's finished a book on American liberalism.
Side side project: At one point rumored to be part of one of the groups vying to buy DC's Politics and Prose bookstore.

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JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER
Occupation: Angsty author
Ivy alma mater: Princeton '99
Spouse: Nicole Krauss, acclaimed novelist (The History of Love; Great House)
Books: Everything Is Illuminated (2002), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2009), Tree of Codes (2010)
Insightful but contextless book snippet: "My father told me we don't kick animals."
Sample praise: "He will win your admiration and he will break your heart." from Joyce Carol Oates
Side project: Wrote the libretto for an opera that premiered in Berlin in 2005
Side side project: Narrated the documentary If This is Kosher…, which critiques the kosher-certification process.

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JOSHUA FOER
Occupation: Science writer
Ivy alma mater: Yale '04
Spouse: Dinah Herlands, a medical student he met at Yale
Books: Moonwalking With Einstien: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (2011)
Insightful but contextless book snippet: "Joshua Foer, you are a great, great man. You are a handsome man. You are a man of your generation."
Sample praise: Named "one of ten people who could change the world" by the New Statesman.
Side project: He's a founder of the Athanasius Kircher Society, which celebrates the work of Kircher, a 17th-century German scholar.
Side side project: Cofounder of the architectural-design competition Sukkah City.

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This article first appeared in the March 2011 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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