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Sunday, September 7, 2008

The New Kings of Nonfiction

By James

I'm a sucker for the Best American series that Houghton Mifflin puts out each year so I was interested in the recent collection of essays called The New Kings of Nonfiction, which was edited by This American Life host Ira Glass. Although I think Glass can be very pretentious and annoying (and I skipped through his introduction to the book), he put together a good collection of essays, although "New" does not really fit the title since many of the entries are ten to twenty years old.

Here are links to some of the highlights:

Jonathan Lebed's Extracurricular Activities by Michael Lewis (The New York Times Magazine - February 25, 2001)

Toxic Dreams: A California Town Finds Meaning in an Acid Pit by Jack Hitt (Harper's Magazine - July 1995)

Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg by Malcolm Gladwell (The New Yorker - January 11, 1999)

Power Steer by Michael Pollan (The New York Times Magazine - March 31, 2002)

Tales of the Tyrant by Mark Bowden (The Atlantic - May 2002)

Losing the War by Lee Sandlin (The Chicago Reader - May 1997)

I am too lazy to describe each of them so just give them a read.

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