journalism

Calvin Trillin has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker since 1963. His many books include novels, celebrated memoirs, such as About Alice and Remembering Denny; his classics on eating; and, of course, his humor writing. His latest is an update of his classic collection, Killings.

The first-ever book from CNN Politics, Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything was written and reported while it happened - a first draft of history.

From an FBI investigation that refused to die to allegations of sexual assault to an outcome that surprised even the victor, the book depicts every jab between a major party’s first female presidential nominee and a political neophyte who many discounted.

The book features a foreword by CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, and an introduction by historian Douglas Brinkley. Unprecedented is edited by veteran political reporter Jodi Enda.

Matt Taibbi, author of the New York Times bestsellers The DivideGriftopia, and The Great Derangement, is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2008 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary.

The 2016 presidential contest as told by Taibbi, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, is in fact the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society.

Taibbi's new book is Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," "Mustang Sally," and "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You." Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul.
 

More than that, Wilson Pickett's journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century.  

For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett's life, bestselling biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer's family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett's personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

South Sudan is the world’s newest country. The Central African nation gained independence in 2011, but in December 2013 internal conflicts erupted into civil war. Journalist Justin Lynch, a 25-year-old native of Saratoga Springs, was recently deported from South Sudan after publishing print articles and video on the war.

In his new novel, Into the Sun, Deni Ellis Béchard draws an unsentimental portrait of those who flock to warzones, indelibly capturing these journalists, mercenaries, idealists, and aid workers.

When a car explodes in a crowded part of Kabul ten years after 9/11, a Japanese-American journalist is shocked to discover that the passengers were acquaintances—three fellow ex-pats who had formed an unlikely love triangle.

Deni Eliss Bechard is the author of the novel Vandal Love, and Cures for Hunger, a memoir. His work has appeared in the LA TimesSalon, and Foreign Policy, and he has reported from Afghanistan, India, Rwanda, and Iraq.

  Nora Ephron was a phenomenal personality, journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and movie director (Sleepless in SeattleYou’ve Got MailWhen Harry Met SallyHeartburnJulie & Julia). She wrote a slew of bestsellers (I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman; I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections; Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media; Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women). She was celebrated by Hollywood, embraced by literary New York, and adored by legions of fans throughout the world.

Award-winning journalist Richard Cohen, writes about about his friend in his “third-person memoir,” She Made Me Laugh.

  In the early sixties, Calvin Trillin got his start as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Over the next five decades of reporting, he often returned to scenes of racial tension. Now, for the first time, the best of Trillin’s pieces on race in America have been collected in one volume: Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America.

  After four decades as a reporter, Lesley Stahl’s most vivid and transformative experience of her life was not covering the White House, interviewing heads of state, or researching stories at 60 Minutes. It was becoming a grandmother.

She was hit with a jolt of joy so intense and unexpected, she wanted to “investigate” it—as though it were a news flash. And so, using her60 Minutes skills, she explored how grandmothering changes a woman’s life.

Her new book is Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting.

Andrew Solomon will be at Oblong Books on 5/14.   (This interview names the incorrect date for the event.)

  Far and Away collects Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual.

Chronicling his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change.

  In Days Of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary, author Bryan Burrough offers an account of the decade-long battle between the FBI and the homegrown revolutionary movements of the 1970s.

Burrough digs deep to reveal the truth about what many call our country’s first “Age of Terror.”

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of five previous books, including The Big Rich and Public Enemies

  In his new book, Missoula, journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period.

Taking the town as a case study for a crime that is sadly prevalent throughout the nation, Krakauer documents the experiences of five victims: their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the skepticism directed at them by police, prosecutors, and the public; their bravery in pushing forward and what is cost them.

The War Reporter

Nov 5, 2015

  Martin Fletcher is a highly respected television news correspondent, also rapidly gaining an equally impressive reputation as a writer. He is the winner of  a National Jewish Book Award and the author of The List and Jacob's Oath.  He spent many years as the NBC news bureau chief in Tel Aviv and is now based in Israel, Mexico, and New York.  He is currently a special new correspondent for PBS. His new book is The War Reporter, it is published by Saint Martin's Press. 

  Tomorrow evening in the Recital Hall at the University at Albany, Morning Edition host David Greene and NPR reporter Yuki Noguchi will co-host an NPR Family Matters event, presented by WAMC and WMHT.

Together with Michelle Singletary, a nationally-syndicated personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, and financial planner Louis Barajas [lew-iss buh rah hass], they’ll tackle a number of topics, like paying for college, buying a home and saving for retirement. The event is free and open to the public.

  William F. Buckley, Jr., and Norman Mailer were the two towering intellectual figures of the 1960s, and they lived remarkably parallel lives. Both became best-selling authors in their twenties; both started hugely influential papers (National Review and the Village Voice); both ran for mayor of New York City; both were noted for their exceptional wit and venom; and both became the figurehead of their respective social movements (Buckley on the right, Mailer on the left). Indeed, Buckley and Mailer argued vociferously and publicly about every major issue of their time: civil rights, feminism, the counterculture, Vietnam, the Cold War.

But behind the scenes, the two were close friends and trusted confidantes. In Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties, historian Kevin M. Schultz delves into their personal archives to tell the rich story of their friendship, their arguments, and the tumultuous decade they did so much to shape.

  Music journalist Stephen Witt joins us this morning to tell us the story of how piracy took down the music industry. His new book is How Music Got Free.

Witt introduces us to the greatest pirate in history that no one has ever heard of, the most powerful executive in the music business, a revolutionary invention and an illegal website four times the size of the iTunes Music Store.

Even today, how music should be paid for (if at all) is under constant debate, and streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and now Tidal are continually jockeying for a place in the music consumer market.

  In Pig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat, Barry Estabrook, author of the New York Times bestseller Tomatoland explores the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on his personal experiences raising pigs as well as his sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience.

He joins us, along with Michael Yezzi of Flying Pigs Farm in Shushan, NY, to talk about the book and what he learned. 

  On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made world-wide headlines when she kicked and clawed her way out of a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years. And I’m here. I’m free now.” So began one of the most remarkable criminal stories of recent times. With an offer of a ride, Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver with a history of domestic violence, separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his run-down West Cleveland house, where he kept them locked and chained in the basement.

In the decade that followed, the three were repeatedly raped, psychologically abused, threatened with death, and often fed one meal a day.

In the new book: Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls.

    Often called the dean of writers about the American West, Ivan Doig is the author of such national bestsellers as The Whistling Season and The Bartender's Tale.

In his latest novel, Sweet Thunder, he reprises his beloved character, Morrie Morgan, to take on the power of the press in an era of intense corporate greed and social unrest.

    “I’m mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!”

Those words, spoken by an unhinged anchorman named Howard Beale, “the mad prophet of the airwaves,” took America by storm in 1976, whenNetwork became a sensation. With a superb cast (including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall) directed by Sidney Lumet, the film won four Academy Awards and indelibly shaped how we think about corporate and media power.

In Mad As Hell, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times recounts the surprising and dramatic story of how Network made it to the screen.

  Peter Carey is a two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize - and he's one of only three authors to have won Prize twice. Carey’s newest novel is Amnesia, a cyber-terrorism political thriller that explores Australia’s history and politics, and its quasi-colonial relationship with the United States, during three different periods of recent history: the 1940s, the 1970s, and the present-day era of cybersecurity, hackers, and WikiLeaks.

    

  Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris latest book, Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press, brings into focus the riveting life of one of the most significant yet least known figures of the civil rights era—pioneering journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press."

A self-proclaimed “instrument of change” for her people, Payne broke new ground as the Washington correspondent for the Chicago Defender. She publicly prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to support desegregation, and her reporting on legislative and judicial civil rights battles enlightened and activated black readers across the nation. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized Payne’s seminal role by presenting her with a pen used in signing the Civil Rights Act. In 1972, she became the first female African American radio and television commentator on a national network, working for CBS. Her story mirrors the evolution of our own modern society.

  For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism. After fierce struggles, three women—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour—broke into the newsroom’s once impenetrable “boys’ club.”

These extraordinary women were not simply pathbreakers, but wildly gifted journalists whose unique talents—courage and empathy, competitive drive and strategic poise—enabled them to climb to the top of the corporate ladder and transform the way Americans received their news.

Sheila Weller's new book is The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour—and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News.

  America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System is Steven Brill’s much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry.

Brill probed the depths of our nation’s healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest.

    Pulitzer Prize winning reporter James Risen's new book is Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. For his efforts, especially in his previous best-selling book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, he has become a target of both the Bush and Obama administrations and still faces the threat of jail time for his refusal to reveal how he found out so much information about an important story of CIA bungling.

In his new book he weaves several stories into the broadest canvas yet - a picture of how, he says, our endless war on terror has so corrupted us, so vastly warped the use of state power that America is waging wars on decency and truth.

    Margaret Fuller was a groundbreaking author, social reformer, and Transcendentalist. In her new biography about Fuller, Pulitzer finalist, Megan Marshall, tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New-York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a late-in-life hunger for passionate experience.

The book is entitled, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.

  Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof is often called the "reporter's reporter" for his human rights advocacy and his efforts to give a voice to the voiceless. He will give the 2014 MCLA Hardman Lecture on Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm in the MCLA Amsler Campus Center gymnasium.

  Mississippi Eyes chronicles the events and the powerful witness of five young photographers in The Southern Documentary Project, working during the pivotal summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Together they captured the sometimes violent, sometimes miraculous process of social change as segregation resisted then gave way to a new beginning toward social justice.

    In No Good Men Among The Living: America, The Taliban, And The War Through Afghan Eyes acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America’s war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality.

Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the US invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist—yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.

    Despite being front-page news nationwide, the true story of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team rape case has never been told in its entirety and is more complex than all the reportage to date would indicate.

The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities by William D. Cohan is the definitive, magisterial account of what happens when the most combustible forces in American culture— unbridled ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority—collide and then explode on a powerful university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.

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