From his early-seventies dispatches as a fledgling critic for The Village Voice on rock ’n’ roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the eighties and nineties that made him both feared and famous to his must-read reports on the cultural weather for Vanity Fair, James Wolcott has had a career as a freelance critic and a literary intellectual nearly unique in our time. This collection features the best of Wolcott in whatever guise—connoisseur, intrepid reporter, memoirist, and necessary naysayer—he has chosen to take on.
Included in this collection is “O.K. Corral Revisited,” a fresh take on the famed Norman Mailer–Gore Vidal dustup on The Dick Cavett Show that launched Wolcott from his Maryland college to New York City (via bus) to begin his brilliant career. His prescient review of Patti Smith’s legendary first gig at CBGB leads off a suite of eyewitness and insider accounts of the rise of punk rock, while another set of pieces considers the vast cultural influence of the enigmatic Johnny Carson and the scramble of his late-night successors to inherit the “swivel throne.” There are warm tributes to such diverse figures as Michael Mann, Sam Peckinpah, Lester Bangs, and Philip Larkin and masterly summings-up of the departed giants of American literature—John Updike, William Styron, John Cheever, and Mailer and Vidal. Included as well are some legendary takedowns that have entered into the literary lore of our time.
Critical Mass is a treasure trove of sparkling, spiky prose and a fascinating portrait of our lives and cultural times over the past decades. In an age where a great deal of back scratching and softball pitching pass for criticism, James Wolcott’s fearless essays and reviews offer a bracing taste of the real critical thing.
From her years as the presidential press secretary to her debates with colleagues on Fox News' The Five, Dana Perino reveals the lessons she's learned that have guided her through life, kept her level-headed, and led to her success, even in the face of adversity.
Thoughtful, inspiring, and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . traces Dana Perino's unlikely journey through politics and television. It's a remarkable American story-made up of equal parts determination and clear-eyed optimism.
From facing professional challenges and confronting personal fears to stepping up to a podium for a President, Dana has come to expect the unexpected and has an uncanny ability to find the good news in any tough situation. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . takes us from her Western childhood in Wyoming and Colorado to a chance meeting on an airplane that changes her life entirely. Then, with refreshing honesty and humor, she recounts her frustration with a string of unsatisfying jobs and living circumstances until a key career tip leads her back to Washington, D.C. to work for the Bush Administration.
Dana also shares here her best work and life lessons-tips that will help you to get your point across convincingly while allowing your own grace and personality to shine through. As someone who still believes in working together to solve the problems our nation faces, Dana offers clear, practical advice on how to restore civility to our personal and public conversations. The result is a fascinating read that can help anyone become more successful, productive, and joyously content.
Americans are at the mercy of powerful figures in business and government who are virtually unaccountable. The Obama Administration in particular has broken new ground in its monitoring of journalists, intimidation and harassment of opposition groups, and surveillance of private citizens.
Sharyl Attkisson has been a journalist for more than thirty years. During that time she has exposed scandals and covered controversies under both Republican and Democratic administrations. She has also seen the opponents of transparency go to ever greater lengths to discourage and obstruct legitimate reporting.
Attkisson herself has been subjected to “opposition research” efforts and spin campaigns. These tactics increased their intensity as she relentlessly pursued stories that the Obama Administration dismissed. Stonewalled is the story of how her news reports were met with a barrage of PR warfare tactics, including online criticism, as well as emails and phone calls up the network chain of command in an effort to intimidate and discourage the next story. In Stonewalled, Attkisson recounts her personal tale, setting it against the larger story of the decline of investigative journalism and unbiased truth telling in America today.
Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling “Gonzo Papers” is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine. These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style.
Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S. Thompson piece to be dubbed “gonzo”—“The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” which appeared in Scanlan's Monthly in 1970. From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters. Thompson's razor-sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful ‘60s and ‘70s.
Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and brazen, Hunter S. Thompson's infamous rule breaking—in his journalism, in his life, and under the law—changed the shape of American letters, and the face of American icons.
Call it the evolution of an outlaw. Here are the formative experiences that comprise Thompson’s legendary trajectory alongside the weird and the ugly. Whether detailing his exploits as a foreign correspondent in Rio, his job as night manager of the notorious O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, his epic run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, or the sensational legal maneuvering that led to his full acquittal in the famous 99 Days trial, Thompson is at the peak of his narrative powers in Kingdom of Fear. And this boisterous, blistering ride illuminates as never before the professional and ideological risk taking of a literary genius and transgressive icon.
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.
Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.
In Alysia’s teens, Steve’s friends—several of whom she has befriended—fall ill as AIDS starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then in France, her father tells her it’s time to come home; he’s sick with AIDS. Alysia must choose whether to take on the responsibility of caring for her father or continue the independent life she has worked so hard to create.
Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
“A beautifully crafted memoir, rich with humor and wisdom.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club
“The idea of a cultured gay man leaving New York City to care for his aging mother in Paris, Missouri, is already funny, and George Hodgman reaps that humor with great charm. But then he plunges deep, examining the warm yet fraught relationship between mother and son with profound insight and understanding.” —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.
As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
From the Hardcover edition.
Now, for the first time ever, Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour have interviewed the Good Doctor's friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues and woven their memories into a brilliant oral biography. From Hell's Angels leader Sonny Barger to Ralph Steadman to Jack Nicholson to Jimmy Buffett to Pat Buchanan to Marilyn Manson and Thompson's two wives, son, and longtime personal assistant, more than 100 members of Thompson's inner circle bring into vivid focus the life of a man who was even more complicated, tormented, and talented than any previous portrait has shown. It's all here in its uncensored glory: the creative frenzies, the love affairs, the drugs and booze and guns and explosives and, ultimately, the tragic suicide. As Thompson was fond of saying, "Buy the ticket, take the ride."
Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova have taken Grossman's raw notebooks, and fashioned them into a gripping narrative providing one of the most even-handed descriptions --at once unflinching and sensitive -- we have ever had of what Grossman called “the ruthless truth of war.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dispatches from the Edge of the World is a book that gives us a rare up-close glimpse of what happens when the normal order of things is suddenly turned upside down, whether it’s a natural disaster, a civil war, or a heated political battle. Over the last year, few people have witnessed more scenes of chaos and conflict than Anderson Cooper, whose groundbreaking coverage on CNN has become the touchstone of twenty-first century journalism. This book explores in a very personal way the most important - and most dangerous - crises of our time, and the surprising impact they have had on his life.
From the devastating tsunami in South Asia to the suffering Niger, and ultimately Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Cooper shares his own experiences of traversing the globe, covering the world’s most astonishing stories. As a television journalist, he has the gift of speaking with an emotional directness that cuts through the barriers of the medium. In his first book, that passion communicates itself through a rich fabric of memoir and reportage, reflection and first-person narrative. Unflinching and utterly engrossing, this is the story of an extraordinary year in a reporter’s life.
Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier shares the New York Times bestselling story of his son Paul's ongoing battle with heart disease, and how it transformed his own life and family.
This deeply touching personal story is told through the eyes of a journalist as he faces his life's greatest crisis: caring for his critically ill son. With the acute insight of a seasoned reporter, and the deep love of a husband and father, Baier shares behind-the-scenes stories and emotional narrative of young Paul's life thus far. Bret and his wife Amy emerge-just like their brave young son-scarred but infinitely stronger, and clearly understanding what matters most in life. Told by a loving father and master storyteller, this hope-filled account offers an inspirational glimpse into the family of a man who just happens to be someone millions turn to for the day's news.
One hundred percent of what the author receives from the sale of this book is donated to various non-profit pediatric heart causes.
In this candid memoir, celebrity news anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson shares her inspiring story and offers important takeaways about what it means to strive for and find success in the real world. With warmth and wit, she takes readers from her Minnesota childhood, when she became a violin prodigy, through attending Stanford and later rising to anchor of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on Fox News after working her way up from local television stations.
Carlson addresses the intense competitive effort of winning the Miss America Pageant, the challenges she’s faced as a woman in broadcast television, and how she manages to balance work and family as the wife of high-profile sports agent Casey Close and devoted mother to their two children. An unceasing advocate for respect and equality for women, Carlson writes openly about her own struggles with body image, pageant stereotypes, building her career, and having the courage to speak her mind. Encouraging women to believe in themselves, chase their dreams, and never give up, Carlson emerges in Getting Real as a living example of personal strength and perseverance.
From the Hardcover edition.
“I have breast cancer.” When Good Morning America anchor Amy Robach revealed her shocking diagnosis on live television in November 2013, the seasoned news reporter embarked on the most difficult and illuminating journey of her life. In this intimate memoir she retraces the twelve months following her announcement and speaks candidly, for the first time, about how her illness affected her family life and her marriage, tapped into her deepest fears and strengths, and transformed her in ways she never could have imagined.
Only weeks earlier, in September 2013, ABC producers asked Robach to get an on-air mammogram to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her first instinct was to say no—there was no history of cancer in her family, she was only forty years old, and she felt strange drawing attention to herself when she had no personal connection to the issue. (She’d been meaning to get her first mammogram that year but had conveniently “lost” the prescription.) Her colleague Robin Roberts, herself a cancer survivor, convinced her to do it with one simple sentence: “I can pretty much guarantee it will save a life.”
To Robach’s surprise, the life she saved was her own: Tests revealed malignant tumors in her breast, and she immediately underwent a bilateral mastectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy treatments.
Better is more than a story of illness and recovery. Robach recounts the day she and her husband, Andrew Shue, got the terrible news; the difficulty of telling her two young daughters, and the challenges of carrying on with the everyday duties of parenting, nurturing a fledgling second marriage, and managing a public career. She lays bare the emotional toll of her experience and mines her past for the significant moments that gave her the resilience to face each day. And she describes the incredible support network that lifted her when she hit bottom.
With honesty, humility, and humor, Robach connects deeply with women just like her who have struggled with any kind of sudden adversity. More important, she shares valuable wisdom about the power of the human spirit to endure the worst—and find the way to better.
Praise for Better
“By selflessly sharing the incredible story of her unexpected journey with breast cancer, Amy has given countless others hope. Better is the perfect title for her beautiful book. Sitting next to her every morning at GMA, I’m blessed to experience how my dear colleague and friend makes everything and everyone better.”—Robin Roberts, co-anchor of Good Morning America
“Amy is tough as nails and tenderhearted. The perfect combination, no? I have loved her for years, but never more than when I watched her beat cancer with such strength and grace. Her book is full of hope and healing—for Amy, and for all of us.”—Hoda Kotb, co-host of Today
“[Robach’s] beautiful new book, Better, is an exploration of her battle with breast cancer. What I love about it is that she never claims to be fearless; she was petrified. . . . Super inspiring stuff, the kind we need way more of in general.”—Meredith Rollins, editor in chief, Redbook
“With the amazing background to Robach’s discovery of her disease, plus her inspirational tenacity during her career, readers will likely never miss their annual mammogram again. For all patient health collections.”—Library Journal
Writing with unflinching clarity, Politkovskaya depicts a society strangled by cynicism and corruption. As the Russian elections draw near, Politkovskaya describes how Putin neutralizes or jails his opponents, muzzles the press, shamelessly lies to the public–and then secures a sham landslide that plunges the populace into mass depression. In Moscow, oligarchs blow thousands of rubles on nights of partying while Russian soldiers freeze to death. Terrorist attacks become almost commonplace events. Basic freedoms dwindle daily.
And then, in September 2004, armed terrorists take more than twelve hundred hostages in the Beslan school, and a different kind of madness descends.
In prose incandescent with outrage, Politkovskaya captures both the horror and the absurdity of life in Putin’s Russia: She fearlessly interviews a deranged Chechen warlord in his fortified lair. She records the numb grief of a mother who lost a child in the Beslan siege and yet clings to the delusion that her son will return home someday. The staggering ostentation of the new rich, the glimmer of hope that comes with the organization of the Party of Soldiers’ Mothers, the mounting police brutality, the fathomless public apathy–all are woven into Politkovskaya’s devastating portrait of Russia today.
“If anybody thinks they can take comfort from the ‘optimistic’ forecast, let them do so,” Politkovskaya writes. “It is certainly the easier way, but it is also a death sentence for our grandchildren.”
A Russian Diary is testament to Politkovskaya’s ferocious refusal to take the easier way–and the terrible price she paid for it. It is a brilliant, uncompromising exposé of a deteriorating society by one of the world’s bravest writers.
Praise for Anna Politkovskaya
“Anna Politkovskaya defined the human conscience. Her relentless pursuit of the truth in the face of danger and darkness testifies to her distinguished place in journalism–and humanity. This book deserves to be widely read.”
–Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent, CNN
“Like all great investigative reporters, Anna Politkovskaya brought forward human truths that rewrote the official story. We will continue to read her, and learn from her, for years.”
“Suppression of freedom of speech, of expression, reaches its savage ultimate in the murder of a writer. Anna Politkovskaya refused to lie, in her work; her murder is a ghastly act, and an attack on world literature.”
“Beyond mourning her, it would be more seemly to remember her by taking note of what she wrote.”
From the Hardcover edition.
“Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Jann S. Wenner, the outlaw journalist’s friend and editor for nearly thirty-five years, has assembled articles—and a wealth of never- before-seen correspondence and internal memos from Hunter’s storied tenure at Rolling Stone—that begin with Thompson’s infamous run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Party ticket in 1970 and end with his final piece on the Bush-Kerry showdown of 2004. In between is Thompson’s remarkable coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign and plenty of attention paid to Richard Nixon; encounters with Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, and the Super Bowl; and a lengthy excerpt from his acknowledged masterpiece, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The definitive volume of Hunter S. Thompson’s work published in the magazine, Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone traces the evolution of a personal and professional relationship that helped redefine modern American journalism, presenting Thompson through a new prism as he pursued his lifelong obsession: The life and death of the American Dream.
Garrels's narrative starts with several trips she made to Baghdad before the war, beginning in October 2002. At its heart is her evolving relationship with her Iraqi driver/minder, Amer, who becomes her friend and confidant, often serving as her eyes and ears among the populace and taking her where no other reporter was able to penetrate. Amer's own strong reactions and personal dilemma provide a trenchant counterpoint to daily events. The story is also punctuated by e-mail bulletins sent by Garrels's husband, Vint Lawrence, to their friends around the world, giving a private view of the rough-and-tumble, often dangerous life of a foreign correspondent, along with some much-needed comic relief.
The result is enthralling, deeply personal, utterly authentic--an on-the-ground picture of the war in Iraq that no one else could have written. As Chicago Sun-Times critic Lloyd Sachs wrote about Garrels's work in Baghdad, "a few choice words, honestly delivered, are worth more than a thousand pictures . . . In your mind's eye, they carry lasting truth."
What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various disguises, she finds herself changed not just superficially, but in character as well. She gives a remarkable account of how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites.
As she writes, "Every restaurant is a theater . . . even the modest restaurants offer the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while." GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES is a reflection on personal identity and role playing in the decadent, epicurean theaters of the restaurant world.
A “searingly honest self-exploration”* of the experience and psyche of the Asian American male, including Tizon’s stunning final article, “My Family’s Slave”
Shame, Alex Tizon tells us, is universal—his own happened to be about race. To counteract the steady diet of American television and movies that taught Tizon to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height, he turned outward. (“I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me.”) Tizon illuminates his youthful search for Asian men who had no place in his American history books or classrooms. And he tracks what he experienced as seismic change: the rise of powerful, dynamic Asian men like Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang, actor Ken Watanabe, and NBA starter Jeremy Lin.
Included in this new edition of Big Little Man is Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave”—2017’s best-read digital article. Published only weeks after Tizon’s death in 2017, it delivers a provocative, haunting, and ultimately redemptive coda.
* New York Times
“Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes
At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office, where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and old-time agents doze at their desks after martini lunches. At night she goes home to the tiny, threadbare Williamsburg apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic instinct, Rakoff is tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the candid, heart-wrenching letters from his readers around the world, she finds herself unable to type out the agency’s decades-old form response. Instead, drawn inexorably into the emotional world of Salinger’s devotees, she abandons the template and begins writing back. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and liberating terms.
Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.
From the Hardcover edition.
Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures—one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She’s traveled the globe for network television, smuggling videotapes in her shoes and stepping along roads riddled with land mines. She’s weathered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and a personal Category 5 as well: divorce and breast cancer in the same year. And if that’s not scary enough, she then began cohosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford. (Oh, c’mon, KLG! That’s funny . . . put down the huge pour of Chardonnay and laugh with us.)
HODA reads just like Hoda—light, funny, positive, and positively inspiring.
Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work was deeply admired. On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi; reports from East Timor in 1999 where she shamed the UN into protecting its refugees; accounts of her terrifying escape from the Russian army in Chechnya; and reports from the strongholds of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers where she was hit by shrapnel, leaving her blind in one eye.
Typically, however, her new eye-patch only reinforced Colvin’s sense of humour and selfless conviction. She returned quickly to the front line, reporting on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and, lately, the Arab Spring.
Immediate and compelling, On the Front Line is a street-view of the historic events that have shaped the last 25 years, from an award-winning foreign correspondent and the outstanding journalist of her generation.
Forty years after its original publication, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 remains a cornerstone of American political journalism and one of the bestselling campaign books of all time. Hunter S. Thompson’s searing account of the battle for the 1972 presidency—from the Democratic primaries to the eventual showdown between George McGovern and Richard Nixon—is infused with the characteristic wit, intensity, and emotional engagement that made Thompson “the flamboyant apostle and avatar of gonzo journalism” (The New York Times). Hilarious, terrifying, insightful, and compulsively readable, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is an epic political adventure that captures the feel of the American democratic process better than any other book ever written.
Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.
In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterizes the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.
In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde's relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide-and challenge-of our time.
In this warm, engaging memoir, a #1 New York Times bestseller upon its initial release in 2004, Russert casts a fond look back to the 1950s Buffalo neighborhood of his youth. In the close-knit Irish-Catholic community where grew up, doors were left unlocked at night; backyard ponds became makeshift ice hockey rinks in winter; and streets were commandeered as touch football fields in the fall. And he recalls the extraordinary example of his father, a WWII veteran who worked two jobs without complaint for thirty years and taught his children to appreciate the values of self-discipline, of respect, of loyalty to friends.
These deep roots stayed with Russert as he forged a remarkable career, first in government and then in media, and finally in his 16 years at Meet the Press as one of the most recognized and trusted face in television news. As Russert explains, his fundamental values sprung from that small house on Woodside Avenue and the special bond he shared with his father—values he passed down to his own son, Luke. As Tim Russert celebrates the indelible connection between fathers and sons, readers everywhere will laugh and cry in identification with the life lessons of Big Russ and in mourning of Tim Russert, a big American voice in his own right.
For this special 10th anniversary trade paperback edition of Big Russ & Me, Tim's son Luke will contribute an extensive introduction, commenting on his father's legacy, and on how these lessons passed down from his grandfather impact the third generation. Luke had just graduated from college in 2008 when his father passed away. Since then, he has followed in his father's footsteps, working as a special correspondent and congressional reporter for NBC news and contributing frequently to various NBC and MSNBC outlets. Despite his youth, Luke has already shown that the ideals promoted by Big Russ in midcentury Buffalo still apply in 21st century New York, and that these lessons are as relevant for us as ever.
"Martha Gellhorn was so fearless in a male way, and yet utterly capable of making men melt," writes New Yorker literary editor Bill Buford. As a journalist, Gellhorn covered every military conflict from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam and Nicaragua. She also bewitched Eleanor Roosevelt's secret love and enraptured Ernest Hemingway with her courage as they dodged shell fire together.
Hemingway is, of course, the unnamed "other" in the title of this tart memoir, first published in 1979, in which Gellhorn describes her globe-spanning adventures, both accompanied and alone. With razor-sharp humor and exceptional insight into place and character, she tells of a tense week spent among dissidents in Moscow; long days whiled away in a disused water tank with hippies clustered at Eilat on the Red Sea; and her journeys by sampan and horse to the interior of China during the Sino-Japanese War.
Jeannette Walls chronicles all the heartbreak, deprivation, humor, and love of her childhood in The Glass Castle, a memoir of growing up dirt-poor on a cross-country odyssey with her charismatic, but alcoholic, father and her codependent mother.
Jeannette began thinking of her childhood after spotting her mother, Rose Mary, rummaging through trash in New York City. Her parents were basically living on the street, but offers of help were always rejected. Jeannette went home to her husband’s apartment on Park Avenue. She arranged to have lunch with her mom, who advised her to stop feeling guilty, accept her parents as they were, and stop hiding the truth about them.
Taking this advice, Jeannette started writing her story. Her first memory went back to a trailer park in Arizona. At the age of three, she spent six weeks in a hospital after her pink tutu caught fire while she was boiling hot dogs with no supervision…
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread Summary & Analysis of The Glass Castle
• Summary of book
• Introduction to the Important People in the book
• Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
People tell Bob Mankoff that as the cartoon editor of The New Yorker he has the best job in the world. Never one to beat around the bush, he explains to us, in the opening of this singular, delightfully eccentric book, that because he is also a cartoonist at the magazine he actually has two of the best jobs in the world. With the help of myriad images and his funniest, most beloved cartoons, he traces his love of the craft all the way back to his childhood, when he started doing funny drawings at the age of eight. After meeting his mother, we follow his unlikely stints as a high-school basketball star, draft dodger, and sociology grad student. Though Mankoff abandoned the study of psychology in the seventies to become a cartoonist, he recently realized that the field he abandoned could help him better understand the field he was in, and here he takes up the psychology of cartooning, analyzing why some cartoons make us laugh and others don't. He allows us into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week. For desert, he reveals the secrets to winning the magazine's caption contest. Throughout How About Never--Is Never Good for You?, we see his commitment to the motto "Anything worth saying is worth saying funny."
In the summer of 2006, racing through Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion, Anthony Shadid found himself in his family’s ancestral hometown of Marjayoun. There, he discovered his great-grandfather’s once magnificent estate in near ruins, devastated by war. One year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun, not to chronicle the violence, but to rebuild in its wake.
So begins the story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist’s wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside the history of his family’s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century. In the process, he memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into a shifting Middle East. This paperback edition includes an afterword by the journalist Nada Bakri, Anthony Shadid’s wife, reflecting on his legacy.
“A poignant dedication to family, to home, and to history . . . Breathtaking.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Entertaining, informative, and deeply moving . . . House of Stone will stand a long time, for those fortunate enough to read it.” — Telegraph (London)
Here, against a backdrop of late-night tattoo sessions and soldier-of-fortune trade shows, Dr. Thompson is at his apocalyptic best—covering emblematic events such as the 1987-88 presidential campaign, with Vice President George Bush, Sr., fighting for his life against Republican competitors like Alexander Haig, Pat Buchanan, and Pat Robertson; detailing the GOP's obsession with drugs and drug abuse; while at the same time capturing momentous social phenomena as they occurred, like the rise of cable, satellite TV, and CNN—24 hours of mainline news. Showcasing his inimitable talent for social and political analysis, Generation of Swine is vintage Thompson—eerily prescient, incisive, and enduring.
Kill the Messenger tells the story of the tragic death of Gary Webb, the controversial newspaper reporter who committed suicide in December 2004. Webb is the former San Jose Mercury News reporter whose 1996 "Dark Alliance" series on the so-called CIA-crack cocaine connection created a firestorm of controversy and led to his resignation from the paper amid escalating attacks on his work by the mainstream media. Author and investigative journalist Nick Schou published numerous articles on the controversy and was the only reporter to significantly advance Webb's stories. Drawing on exhaustive research and highly personal interviews with Webb's family, colleagues, supporters and critics, this book argues convincingly that Webb's editors betrayed him, despite mounting evidence that his stories were correct. Kill the Messenger examines the "Dark Alliance" controversy, what it says about the current state of journalism in America, and how it led Webb to ultimately take his own life. Webb's widow, Susan Bell, remains an ardent defender of her ex-husband. By combining her story with a probing examination of the one of the most important media scandals in recent memory, this book provides a gripping view of one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of investigative journalism.
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Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson's life: a savage beating at the hands of the Hells Angels, talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail (“the only time in 20 years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn't lying”), and his unlikely run for sheriff of Aspen. Elsewhere, passionate tirades about journalism, culture, guns, drugs, and the law showcase Thompson's voice at its fiercest.
Arranged chronologically, and prefaced with Anita Thompson's moving account of her husband's last years, the interviews present Hunter in all his fractured brilliance and provide an exceptional portrait of his times.
Mike was thinking that he wanted to give his parents the ultimate family reunion. And so, one February morning, three generations of Leonards set out on their journey under the dazzling Arizona sky. Thirty minutes later, one of the humongous recreational vehicles has an unplanned meeting with a concrete island at a convenience store. Thus begins the adventure of a lifetime–and an absolute gem of a book.
In the course of their humorous, often poignant cross-country tour, from the desert Southwest to the New England coastline, the Leonards reminisce about their loves, their losses, and their rich and heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) lives, while encountering a veritable Greek chorus of roadside characters along the way. The home stretch finds the clan racing back to Chicago, hoping to catch the arrival of the next generation, Jack and Marge’s first great-grandchild. Through it all, Mike pieces together acentury of family lore and lunacy–and discovers surprising sides to his parents that allow him to see them in a whole new light.
Mike Leonard has captivated millions of television viewers with his wry and witty feature stories for NBC’s Today. Now he brings that same engaging charm and keen insight to the foibles and passions of his own blessedly unique family. By turns uproariously funny and deeply moving, The Ride of Our Lives delivers a lifetime of laughs, lessons, and priceless memories.
This edition’s exclusive DVD features never-before-seen footage from the trip as well as candid family video and photographs.
From the Hardcover edition.
After college, Joe Muto—a self-professed bleeding-heart, godless liberal—took an entry-level position at Fox News. Joe kept quiet about his political views and initially enjoyed the newsroom camaraderie. But after he began working for Bill O’Reilly—Fox’s number one talking head—Joe just couldn’t take it anymore. He went rogue by becoming Gawker’s Fox Mole, and was outed (and fired) in thirty-six hours.
Reminiscent of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, An Atheist in the FOXhole is filled with hilarious, untold tales that will appall and delight the millions who love to hate FOX news.
Chopin's magnificent Ballade No. 1 in G minor, arguably one of the most difficult Romantic compositions in the repertory. With pyrotechnic passages that require feats of memory, dexterity, and power, the piece is one that causes alarm even in battle-hardened concert pianists. He gives himself a year.
Under ideal circumstances, this would have been a daunting task. But the particular year Rusbridger chooses turns out to be one of frenetic intensity. As he writes in his introduction, "Perhaps if I'd known then what else would soon be happening in my day job, I might have had second thoughts. For it would transpire that, at the same time, I would be steering the Guardian through one of the most dramatic years in its history." It was a year that began with WikiLeaks' massive dump of state secrets and ended with the Guardian's revelations about widespread phone hacking at News of the World. "In between, there were the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring, the English riots . . . and the death of Osama Bin Laden," writes Rusbridger. The test would be to "nibble out" twenty minutes per day to do something totally unrelated to the above.
Rusbridger's description of mastering the Ballade is hugely engaging, yet his subject is clearly larger than any one piece of classical music. Play It Again deals with focus, discipline, and desire but is, above all, about the sanctity of one's inner life in a world dominated by deadlines and distractions.
What will you do with your twenty minutes?
In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. Gopnik is a longtime New Yorker writer, and the magazine has sent its writers to Paris for decades--but his was above all a personal pilgrimage to the place that had for so long been the undisputed capital of everything cultural and beautiful. It was also the opportunity to raise a child who would know what it was to romp in the Luxembourg Gardens, to enjoy a croque monsieur in a Left Bank café--a child (and perhaps a father, too) who would have a grasp of that Parisian sense of style we Americans find so elusive.
So, in the grand tradition of the American abroad, Gopnik walked the paths of the Tuileries, enjoyed philosophical discussions at his local bistro, wrote as violet twilight fell on the arrondissements. Of course, as readers of Gopnik's beloved and award-winning "Paris Journals" in The New Yorker know, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with day-to-day, not-so-fabled life. Evenings with French intellectuals preceded middle-of-the-night baby feedings; afternoons were filled with trips to the Musée d'Orsay and pinball games; weekday leftovers were eaten while three-star chefs debated a "culinary crisis."
As Gopnik describes in this funny and tender book, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys--both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik weaves the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the twentieth century. "We went to Paris for a sentimental reeducation-I did anyway-even though the sentiments we were instructed in were not the ones we were expecting to learn, which I believe is why they call it an education."
Although his career spans decades, the seven years that Jimmy Breslin spent at the New York Daily News sparked some of his finest work. When New York City tumbled into economic and social chaos at the end of the 1970s, Breslin was there. In his brief, insightful columns, he looked at the city not from the top down but from the bottom up. Eschewing the view of politicians, socialites, and captains of industry, Breslin’s heroes are men like Jim Moran, the cop who drove John Lennon to the emergency room after he was shot, or Barney Baker, an ex-boxer who served as bodyguard to mobster Meyer Lansky. These are average people who see big things, and Breslin is their herald. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jimmy Breslin including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Now Juan Thompson tells the story of his father and of their getting to know each other during their forty-one fraught years together. He writes of the many dark times, of how far they ricocheted away from each other, and of how they found their way back before it was too late.
He writes of growing up in an old farmhouse in a narrow mountain valley outside of Aspen—Woody Creek, Colorado, a ranching community with Hereford cattle and clover fields . . . of the presence of guns in the house, the boxes of ammo on the kitchen shelves behind the glass doors of the country cabinets, where others might have placed china and knickknacks . . . of climbing on the back of Hunter’s Bultaco Matador trail motorcycle as a young boy, and father and son roaring up the dirt road, trailing a cloud of dust . . . of being taken to bars in town as a small boy, Hunter holding court while Juan crawled around under the bar stools, picking up change and taking his found loot to Carl’s Pharmacy to buy Archie comic books . . . of going with his parents as a baby to a Ken Kesey/Hells Angels party with dozens of people wandering around the forest in various stages of undress, stoned on pot, tripping on LSD . . .
He writes of his growing fear of his father; of the arguments between his parents reaching frightening levels; and of his finally fighting back, trying to protect his mother as the state troopers are called in to separate father and son. And of the inevitable—of mother and son driving west in their Datsun to make a new home, a new life, away from Hunter; of Juan’s first taste of what “normal” could feel like . . .
We see Juan going to Concord Academy, a stranger in a strange land, coming from a school that was a log cabin in the middle of hay fields, Juan without manners or socialization . . . going on to college at Tufts; spending a crucial week with his father; Hunter asking for Juan’s opinion of his writing; and he writes of their dirt biking on a hilltop overlooking Woody Creek Valley, acting as if all the horrible things that had happened between them had never taken place, and of being there, together, side by side . . .
And finally, movingly, he writes of their long, slow pull toward reconciliation . . . of Juan’s marriage and the birth of his own son; of watching Hunter love his grandson and Juan’s coming to understand how Hunter loved him; of Hunter’s growing illness, and Juan’s becoming both son and father to his father . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
After 30 fascinating years uncovering the hard truth, Jorge Ramos opens up for the first time about life-altering lessons by sharing captivating never-before-told stories. Widely recognized for his unapologetic, no-holds-barred approach to interviewing global leaders, business titans, democratic policy makers, and dictators, Ramos unearths their one common trait—they were all rebels at one point in their lives.
Rebels are different. They decided to challenge the prevailing status quo. Sometimes they rebelled to change a regime, other times to prevent abuse or discrimination, but in all cases they strived to correct an injustice.
Candid and at times controversial, Ramos draws invaluable awareness of issues that influence the mindset of the largest minority in the country—Latinos—and how they will undoubtedly shape not only presidential elections but also the future of America.
At the pinnacle of his career, a broken back and failed surgery left Willis permanently disabled and condemned to life in a body brace. Then came a diagnosis of terminal, stage IV throat cancer.
At his 50th birthday party, friends gathered around Willis, who was crippled, almost mute, depressed, strung out on narcotic medications, and dying. Halfway through the celebration Willis realized the party’s true purpose—his friends were there to say goodbye.
Everyone knew Willis was on his way out...everyone except his 2-year-old son, who urged, “Get up, Daddy!”
His son’s words ringing in his ears, Willis chose to abandon Western medicine and embrace the most esoteric practices of Yoga to heal his body, mind, and soul—ridding himself of cancer and fully restoring his back. As a symbol of his journey, he took the spiritual name Bhava Ram, which stands for “Living from the Heart.”
Warrior Pose is an adventure chronicling some of the most momentous events of our time through a journalist’s eyes, an unforgettable story about the power of love between father and son, and a transformational journey of self-healing, inner peace, and wholeness.