Cast of Characters Wolcott Gibbs E B White James Thurber and the Golden Age of The New Yorker

Author: Thomas Vinciguerra
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393248747
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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“Exuberant . . . elegantly conjures an evocative group dynamic.” —Sam Roberts, New York Times From its birth in 1925 to the early days of the Cold War, The New Yorker slowly but surely took hold as the country’s most prestigious, entertaining, and informative general-interest periodical. In Cast of Characters, Thomas Vinciguerra paints a portrait of the magazine’s cadre of charming, wisecracking, driven, troubled, brilliant writers and editors. He introduces us to Wolcott Gibbs, theater critic, all-around wit, and author of an infamous 1936 parody of Time magazine. We meet the demanding and eccentric founding editor Harold Ross, who would routinely tell his underlings, "I'm firing you because you are not a genius," and who once mailed a pair of his underwear to Walter Winchell, who had accused him of preferring to go bare-bottomed under his slacks. Joining the cast are the mercurial, blind James Thurber, a brilliant cartoonist and wildly inventive fabulist, and the enigmatic E. B. White—an incomparable prose stylist and Ross's favorite son—who married The New Yorker's formidable fiction editor, Katharine Angell. Then there is the dashing St. Clair McKelway, who was married five times and claimed to have no fewer than twelve personalities, but was nonetheless a superb reporter and managing editor alike. Many of these characters became legends in their own right, but Vinciguerra also shows how, as a group, The New Yorker’s inner circle brought forth a profound transformation in how life was perceived, interpreted, written about, and published in America. Cast of Characters may be the most revealing—and entertaining—book yet about the unique personalities who built what Ross called not a magazine but a "movement."

Backward Ran Sentences

Author: Thomas Vinciguerra
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608197301
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Maybe he doesn't like anything, but he can do everything," New Yorker editor Harold Ross once said of the magazine's brilliantly sardonic theater critic, Wolcott Gibbs. And, for over thirty years at the magazine, Gibbs did do just about everything. He turned out fiction and nonfiction, profiles and parodies, filled columns in "Talk of the Town" and "Notes and Comment," covered books, movies, nightlife and, of course, the theater. A friend of the Algonquin Round Table, Gibbs was renowned for his wit. (Perhaps his most enduring line is from a profile of Henry Luce, parodying Time magazine's house style: "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.") While, in his day, Gibbs was equal in stature to E.B. White and James Thurber, today, he is little read. In Backward Ran Sentences, journalist Tom Vinciguerra introduces Gibbs and gathers a generous sampling of his finest work across an impressive range of genres, bringing a brilliant, multitalented writer of incomparable wit to a new age of readers.

Reporting at Wit s End

Author: St. Clair McKelway
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608191239
Format: PDF
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"Why does A. J. Liebling remain a vibrant role model for writers while the superb, prolific St. Clair McKelway has been sorely forgotten?" James Wolcott asked this question in a recent review of the Complete New Yorker on DVD. Anyone who has read a single paragraph of McKelway's work would struggle to provide an answer. His articles for the New Yorker were defined by their clean language and incomporable wit, by his love of New York's rough edges and his affection for the working man (whether that work was come by honestly or not). Like Joseph Mitchell and A. J. Liebling, McKelway combined the unflagging curiosity of a great reporter with the narrative flair of a master storyteller. William Shawn, the magazine's long-time editor, described him as a writer with the "lightest of light touches." His style is so striking, Shawn went on to say, that "it was too odd to be imitated." The pieces collected here are drawn from two of McKelway's books--True Tales from the Annals of Crime and Rascality (1951) and The Big Little Man from Brooklyn (1969). His subjects are the small players who in their particulars defined life in New York during the 36 years McKelway wrote: the junkmen, boxing cornermen, counterfeiters, con artists, fire marshals, priests, and beat cops and detectives. The "rascals." An amazing portrait of a long forgotten New York by the reporter who helped establish and utterly defined New Yorker "fact writing," Untitled Collection is long overdue celebration of a truly gifted writer.

Reporting Always

Author: Lillian Ross
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501116029
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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From the inimitable New Yorker journalist Lillian Ross—“a collection of her most luminous New Yorker pieces” (Entertainment Weekly, grade: A). A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1945, Lillian Ross is one of the few journalists who worked for both the magazine’s founding editor, Harold Ross, and its current editor, David Remnick. She “made journalistic history by pioneering the kind of novelistic nonfiction that inspired later work” (The New York Times). Reporting Always is a collection of Ross’s iconic New Yorker profiles and “Talk of the Town” pieces that spans forty years. “This glorious collection by a master of the form” (Susan Orlean) brings the reader into the hotel rooms of Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Charlie Chaplin; Robin Williams’s living room and movie set; Harry Winston’s office; the tennis court with John McEnroe; Ellen Barkin’s New York City home, the crosstown bus with upper east side school children; and into the lives of other famous, and not so famous, individuals. “Millennials would do well to study Ross and to study her closely,” says Lena Dunham. Whether reading for pleasure or to learn about the craft, Reporting Always is a joy for readers of all ages.

Letters from the Editor

Author: Thomas Kunkel
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0307557383
Format: PDF
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These exhilarating letters—selected and introduced by Thomas Kunkel, who wrote Genius in Disguise, the distinguished Ross biography—tell the dramatic story of the birth of The New Yorker and its precarious early days and years. Ross worries about everything from keeping track of office typewriters to the magazine's role in wartime to the exact questions to be asked for a "Talk of the Town" piece on the song "Happy Birthday." We find Ross, in Kunkel's words, "scolding Henry Luce, lecturing Orson Welles, baiting J. Edgar Hoover, inviting Noel Coward and Ginger Rogers to the circus, wheedling Ernest Hemingway— offering to sell Harpo Marx a used car and James Cagney a used tractor, and explaining to restaurateur-to-the-stars Dave Chasen, step by step, how to smoke a turkey." These letters from a supreme editor tell in his own words the story of the fierce, lively man who launched the world's most prestigious magazine. From the Hardcover edition.

Crooked Brooklyn

Author: Michael Vecchione
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1466871741
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From 2001 to 2013, Mike Vecchione was chief of the Rackets Division in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, which was the largest urban prosecution agency in the country. Vecchione grappled with organized crime and dirty politicians, during which he supervised, investigated, and prosecuted major felony cases. Crooked Brooklyn is a gritty story of corruption, greed and law enforcement. Vecchione navigated a political minefield and expertly rose to the judicial challenges of directing investigations into a wide variety of crimes, from bribe-taking judges to cold-blooded killers. He was responsible for taking down: - Three state Supreme Court judges - One of the most powerful political bosses in the country - Two cops who worked as assassins for the Mafia - A State Assemblywoman - An FBI agent - A corrupt oral surgeon who was secretly selling bones from the recently deceased to medical supply companies Unbelievable and unforgettable, Crooked Brooklyn is filled with characters and stories ripped straight from the tabloids, great for fans who enjoy Law & Order, readers of true crime and those hungry for details about the system that keeps us safe.

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn

Author: Robert P. Watson
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306825538
Format: PDF
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The most horrific struggle of the American Revolution occurred just 100 yards off New York, where more men died aboard a rotting prison ship than were lost to combat during the entirety of the war. Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, was a living hell for thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty. Crammed below deck--a shocking one thousand at a time--without light or fresh air, the prisoners were scarcely fed food and water. Disease ran rampant and human waste fouled the air as prisoners suffered mightily at the hands of brutal British and Hessian guards. Throughout the colonies, the mere mention of the ship sparked fear and loathing of British troops. It also sparked a backlash of outrage as newspapers everywhere described the horrors onboard the ghostly ship. This shocking event, much like the better-known Boston Massacre before it, ended up rallying public support for the war. Revealing for the first time hundreds of accounts culled from old newspapers, diaries, and military reports, award-winning historian Robert P. Watson follows the lives and ordeals of the ship's few survivors to tell the astonishing story of the cursed ship that killed thousands of Americans and yet helped secure victory in the fight for independence.

Genius in Disguise

Author: Thomas Kunkel
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307829413
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This hugely entertaining biography of the founding editor of The New Yorker tells the diverting story of how Ross and the brilliant group of people he gathered around him--including James Thurber, Charles Addams, Dorothy Parker, and John O'Hara--devised the formula that made the magazine such a popular and critical success. Photos & cartoons.

Raven Rock

Author: Garrett M. Graff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 147673545X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The shocking truth about the government’s secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil—even if the rest of us die—is “a frightening eye-opener” (Kirkus Reviews) that spans the dawn of the nuclear age to today, and "contains everything one could possibly want to know" (The Wall Street Journal). Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold first Helicopter Squadron, codenamed “MUSSEL,” flies over the Potomac River. As obvious as the Presidential motorcade, most people assume the squadron is a travel perk for VIPs. They’re only half right: while the helicopters do provide transport, the unit exists to evacuate high-ranking officials in the event of a terrorist or nuclear attack on the capital. In the event of an attack, select officials would be whisked by helicopters to a ring of secret bunkers around Washington, even as ordinary citizens were left to fend for themselves. “In exploring the incredible lengths (and depths) that successive administrations have gone to in planning for the aftermath of a nuclear assault, Graff deftly weaves a tale of secrecy and paranoia” (The New York Times Book Review) with details "that read like they've been ripped from the pages of a pulp spy novel" (Vice). For more than sixty years, the US government has been developing secret Doomsday strategies to protect itself, and the multibillion-dollar Continuity of Government (COG) program takes numerous forms—from its potential to evacuate the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to the plans to launch nuclear missiles from a Boeing-747 jet flying high over Nebraska. Garrett M. Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the 650-acre compound, called Raven Rock, just miles from Camp David, as well as dozens of other bunkers the government built for its top leaders during the Cold War, from the White House lawn to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado to Palm Beach, Florida, and the secret plans that would have kicked in after a Cold War nuclear attack to round up foreigners and dissidents and nationalize industries. Equal parts a presidential, military, and cultural history, Raven Rock tracks the evolution of the government plan and the threats of global war from the dawn of the nuclear era through the War on Terror.

The Teacher Wars

Author: Dana Goldstein
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385536968
Format: PDF, ePub
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In her groundbreaking history of 175 years of American education, Dana Goldstein finds answers in the past to the controversies that plague our public schools today. Teaching is a wildly contentious profession in America, one attacked and admired in equal measure. In The Teacher Wars, a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been similarly embattled for nearly two centuries. From the genteel founding of the common schools movement in the nineteenth century to the violent inner-city teacher strikes of the 1960s and '70s, from the dispatching of Northeastern women to frontier schoolhouses to the founding of Teach for America on the Princeton University campus in 1989, Goldstein shows that the same issues have continued to bedevil us: Who should teach? What should be taught? Who should be held accountable for how our children learn? She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools—instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting “elite” graduates to teach—are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. And she also discovers an emerging effort that stands a real chance of transforming our schools for the better: drawing on the best practices of the three million public school teachers we already have in order to improve learning throughout our nation’s classrooms. The Teacher Wars upends the conversation about American education by bringing the lessons of history to bear on the dilemmas we confront today. By asking “How did we get here?” Dana Goldstein brilliantly illuminates the path forward.