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Of course Pulitzer Prize winner Jimmy Breslin recognized Burton Kaplan right away as the Mafia witness of the ages. Breslin comes from the same Queens streets as mob bosses John Gotti and Vito Genovese. But even they couldn't match Kaplan in crime--and neither could anybody else. In his inimitable New York voice, Breslin, "the city's steadiest and most accurate chronicler" (Tom Robbins, Village Voice), gives us a look through the keyhole at the people and places that define the mafia--characters like Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Gaspipe Casso (named for his weapon of choice), Thomas "Three-Finger Brown" Lucchese, and Jimmy "The Clam" Eppolito, interwoven with the good rat himself, Burt Kaplan of Bensonhurst, the star witness in the recent trial of two New York City detectives indicted for acting as hit men in eight gangland executions. Breslin takes us to the old-time hangouts like Pep McGuire's, the legendary watering hole where reporters and gangsters (all hailing from the same working-class neighborhoods) rubbed elbows and traded stories; the dog-fight circles and body dumps at Ozone Park; and the back room at Midnight Rose's candy store, where Murder, Inc., hired and fired. Most compelling of all, Breslin captures the moments in which the Mafia was made and broken--Breslin was there the night John Gotti celebrated his acquittal at his Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry, having bribed his way to inno#65533;cence only to incite the wrath of the FBI, who would later crush Gotti and others with the full force of the RICO laws. As in his unforgettable novel The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, Breslin brings together these real-life and long-forgotten Mafia stories to brilliantly create a sharp-eyed portrait of the mob as it lived and breathed, as it sounded and survived.
The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Joan Didion'sSlouching Towards Bethlehemremains, decades after its first publication, the essential portrait of America--particularly California--in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award Fifty years after the March on the Pentagon, Norman Mailer's seminal tour de force remains as urgent and incisive as ever. Winner of America's two highest literary awards, The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties' tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak. The time is October 21, 1967. The place is Washington, D.C. Depending on the paper you read, 20,000 to 200,000 protestors are marching to end the war in Vietnam, while helicopters hover overhead and federal marshals and soldiers with fixed bayonets await them on the Pentagon steps. Among the marchers is a writer named Norman Mailer. From his own singular participation in the day's events and his even more extraordinary perceptions comes a classic work that shatters the mold of traditional reportage. Intellectuals and hippies, clergymen and cops, poets and army MPs crowd the pages of a book in which facts are fused with techniques of fiction to create the nerve-end reality of experiential truth. "[Mailer's] genuine wit and bellicose charm, and his fervent and intense sense of legitimately caring, render The Armies of the Night an artful document, worthy to be judged as literature."--Time "Only a born novelist could have written a piece of history so intelligent, mischievous, penetrating and alive."--Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review
George Plimpton needed no encouragement. If there was a sport to play, a party to throw, a celebrity to amaze, a fireworks display to ignite, Plimpton was front and center hurling the pitch, popping the corks, lighting the fuse. And then, of course, writing about it with incomparable zest and style. His books made him a legend. The Paris Review, the magazine he founded and edited, won him a throne in literary heaven. Somehow, in the midst of his self-generated cyclones, Plimpton managed to toss off dazzling essays, profiles, and New Yorker “Talk of the Town” pieces. This delightful volume collects the very best of Plimpton’s inspired brief “excursions.” Whether he was escorting Hunter Thompson to the Fear and Loathing movie premiere in New York or tracking down the California man who launched himself into the upper atmosphere with nothing but a lawn chair and a bunch of weather balloons, Plimpton had a rare knack for finding stories where no one else thought to look. Who but Plimpton would turn up in Las Vegas, notebook in hand, for the annual porn movie awards gala? Among the many gems collected here are accounts of helping Jackie Kennedy plan an unforgettable children’s birthday party, the time he improvised his way through amateur night at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, and how he managed to get himself kicked out of Exeter just weeks before graduation. The grand master of what he called “participatory journalism,” George Plimpton followed his bent and his genius down the most unbelievable rabbit holes–but he always came up smiling. This exemplary, utterly captivating volume is a fitting tribute to one of the great literary lives of our time.
As a young reporter forThe New York Times, in 1961 Gay Talese published his first book,New York-A Serendipiter's Journey, a series of vignettes and essays that began, "New York is a city of things unnoticed. It is a city with cats sleeping under parked cars, two stone armadillos crawling up St. Patrick's Cathedral, and thousands of ants creeping on top of the Empire State Building." Attention to detail and observation of the unnoticed is the hallmark of Gay Talese's writing, andThe Gay Talese Readerbrings together the best of his essays and classic profiles. This collection opens with "New York Is a City of Things Unnoticed," and includes "Silent Season of a Hero" (about Joe DiMaggio), "Ali in Havana," and "Looking for Hemingway" as well as several other favorite pieces. It also features a previously unpublished article on the infamous case of Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt, and concludes with the autobiographical pieces that are among Talese's finest writings. These works give insightinto the progression of a writer at the pinnacle of his craft. Whether he is detailing the unseen and sometimes quirky world of New York City or profiling Ol' Blue Eyes in "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," Talese captures his subjects-be they famous, infamous, or merely unusual-in his own inimitable, elegant fashion. The essays and profiles collected inThe Gay Talese Reader are works of art, each carefully crafted to create a portrait of an unforgettable individual, place or moment.
The phrase radical chic was coined by Tom Wolfe in 1970 when Leonard Bernstein gave a party for the Black Panthers at his duplex apartment on Park Avenue. That incongrous scene is re-created here in high fidelity as is another meeting ground between militant minorities and the liberal white establishment.
chapter I Black Shiny FBI Shoes The bladder totem -- The electric suit -- What do you think of my Buddha? -- The rusky-dusky neon dust -- The bus -- Unauthorized acid -- Tootling the multitudes -- The crypt trip -- Dream wars -- The unspoken thing -- The bust -- The hell's angels -- A miracle in seven days -- Cloud -- The frozen jug band -- Departures -- Cosmo's tasmanian deviltry -- The trips festival -- The electric kool-aid acid test -- The fugitive --!Diablo! -- The red ride -- The Mexican bust -- Secret agent number one -- The cops and robbers game -- The graduation.
"In the short space of one decade, a new style of reportage has taken hold to the point where it has all but supplanted the novel as the most revered, prestigious and powerful literary form. Writers with reputations as fine novelists turned to writing the New Journalism; feature writers for newspapers, thinking themselves to be marking time until they, too, wrote The Novel, began writing the New Journalism. Tom Wolfe, who has watched and helped this new genre of novelistic nonfiction blossom over the years, here introduces, annotates and provides appendices for an anthology of the finest examples of the New Journalism written from 1962 through 1970"--Jacket.
Selections from Rex Reed, Gay Talese, Richard Goldstein, Michael Herr, Truman Capote, Joe Eszterhas, Terry Southern, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, Nicholas Tomalin, Tom Wolfe, Barbara L. Goldsmith, Joe McGinniss, George Plimpton, James Mills, John Gregory Dunne, John Sack, Joan Didion, "Adam Smith," Robert Christgau, and Garry Wills.
Conflicting journalistic voices that were raised in the past have become such a jumble that merely identifying them is difficult. Dennis and Rivers define, categorize, present, and examine the voices that contributed to what became known as "the new media" environment in the 1970s. This new journalism came about as a result of dissatisfaction with existing values and standards of the early 1960s style of journalism. The authors are comprehensive in their concerns, as reflected in the national scope presented. They cover developments in the major cities, on both coasts, in the Middle West and South--in every major region of the United States. Most of the research required travel and interviews; all of it required reading almost endlessly and watching the video productions of journalists who built the structure of alternative television. Dennis and Rivers offer a representative view of forms and media, as well as the people who fashioned the new orientation. The authors claim that the wrangling over objective and interpretative reporting misses the main point, which is that neither is in close touch with reality. The best objective report may cover all surfaces of an event, the best interpretative report may explain all its meanings, but both are bloodless, a world away from the experience. Color, flavor, atmosphere, the ultimate human meaning--all these, the new journalists contend, are far beyond the reach of traditional models of journalism. This is one of the central reasons for the emergence of different forms and practices in our time. This volume will help younger scholars understand the sources of quasi-journalistic practices extant today, including blogging and electronic-only publications. authors claim that the wrangling over objective and interpretative reporting misses the main point, which is that neither is in close touch with reality. The best objective report may cover all surfaces of an event, the best interpretative report may explain all its meanings, but both are bloodless, a world away from the experience. Color, flavor, atmosphere, the ultimate human meaning--all these, the new journalists contend, are far beyond the reach of traditional models of journalism. This is one of the central reasons for the emergence of different forms and practices in our time. This volume will help younger scholars understand the sources of quasi-journalistic practices extant today, including blogging and electronic-only publications.
The Best American Sports Writing of the Century showcases the best sports journalists of the twentieth century, from Jimmy Cannon, Red Smith, William Mack, Gary Smith, and Frank Deford to A. J. Liebling, Tom Wolfe, and Hunter S. Thompson, and includes such classics as "What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?" by Richard Ben Cramer, "Louis Knocks Out Schmeling" by Bob Considine, and "The Rocky Road of Pistol Pete" by W. C. Heinz. This outstanding collection captures not only the century's greatest moments in baseball, boxing, horseracing, golf, and tennis, but some of the finest writing of our time. Guest editor David Halberstam is the author of The Reckoning, The Summer of Forty-Nine, The Breaks of the Game, and The Children. Series editor Glenn Stout has written biographies of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson.
Collected in print for the first time is Mencken's scathingly honest and fiercely intelligent coverage of the Scopes Monkey Trial, with his perceptive rendering of the courtroom drama, piercing portrayals of key figures Scopes, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, and his ferocious take on the fundamentalist culture surrounding the case. It also includes his withering coverage of Bryan's death just days after the trial, as well as a complete transcript of the trial's legendary exchange: Darrow's blistering cross-examination of Bryan.
In 1867, Mark Twain set out from New York City for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle-steamer Quaker City. The result of that trip was The Innocents Abroad, a travel book unlike any that had gone before it. Irreverent and irrepressible, Twain pokes fun at officious tour guides andoffensive tourists alike. The book offers a glimpse of a major writer when he was young and just beginning to flex his muscles, and also serves as an enduring no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler to Europe and the Holy Land. The trip stimulates Twain to meditate on how the "new world" isdifferent from the "old" and engenders reflections on what a society must be like to be thought of as genuinely "civilized." The Innocents Abroad is alternately profound and profoundly entertaining. Twain may find himself exasperated or exhausted--but the story he tells is never dull. It is nowonder that the book was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.