Synopsis : Second Read : Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage - November 2011
In the Columbia Journalism Review's Second Read series, distinguished journalists rediscover the works of reportage that inspired and informed their writing and careers. As they revisit these seminal books, contributors address such ongoing concerns as the conflict between narrative flair and accurate reporting, the legacy of New Journalism, the need for reporters to question their political assumptions, the limitations of participatory journalism, and the temptation to substitute "truthiness" for hard, challenging fact. Representing a wide range of views, this collection embodies the diversity and dynamism of nonfiction reporting and offers new perspectives on key works by such figures as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Rachel Carson, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The anthology also highlights pivotal moments and movements in journalism while offering rare insight into award-winning writers and their innovative techniques.
The anthology includes, among many other enlightening essays, Rick Perlstein on Paul Cowan's The Tribes of America; Nicholson Baker on Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year; Dale Maharidge on James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Marla Cone on Rachel Carson's Silent Spring; Ben Yagoda on Walter Bernstein's Keep Your Head Down; Ted Conover on Stanley Booth's The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones; Jack Shafer on Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Connie Schultz on Michael Herr's Dispatches; Michael Shapiro on Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day; Douglas McCollam on John McPhee's Annals of the Former World; Tom Piazza on Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night; Thomas Mallon on William Manchester's The Death of a President; Miles Corwin on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor; David Ulin on Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem; and Claire Dederer on Betty MacDonald's Anybody Can Do Anything.