Ambush at Fort Bragg (CD)

Overview

He's been called "the inventor of the New Journalism — and possessor of the age's most distinctive prose style." Now in this original novella, published to critical acclaim in Rolling Stone magazine, Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities, turns his penetrating eye and devastating wit on the world of TV news...

Ambush at Fort Bragg

As the producer of a prime-time TV newsmagazine, Irv Durtscher fancies himself the Federico Fellini of ...

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Overview

He's been called "the inventor of the New Journalism — and possessor of the age's most distinctive prose style." Now in this original novella, published to critical acclaim in Rolling Stone magazine, Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities, turns his penetrating eye and devastating wit on the world of TV news...

Ambush at Fort Bragg

As the producer of a prime-time TV newsmagazine, Irv Durtscher fancies himself the Federico Fellini of television journalism. For who else can draw 50 million viewers, satisfy the network's gluttony for profits, and advance the cause of social justice? The only problem is that no one else recognizes Irv's genius. Instead, all the accolades go to the blonde bombshell anchor who won't give balding, near-sighted Irv the time of day. But suddenly Irv has chance to break the most sensational story of his career — one that will surely catapult him into the national spotlight and into Madame Bombshell's heart.

For months the wheels of justice have ground to a halt as three soldiers from Fort Bragg have categorically denied that they savagely beat and murdered a member of their company because he was gay. Now, Irv Durtscher, self-proclaimed soul of a soulless industry, is poised to expose the truth. With a fortune in surveillance equipment, he has infiltrated a bar near Fort Bragg, in the hopes that the unwitting soldiers will hang themselves on videotape. What he gets is pure dynamite. But Irv's story won't be complete until he arranges to ambush the three young toughs and show them the footage. What happens when one of New York's media elite confronts the Lords of Testosterone?...not what you think.

Ambush at Fort Bragg is classicWolfe — a blistering send-up of one man's drive for fame and glory and the outrageous lengths to which the media will go to showcase their version of the truth.

A graduate of Yale University and the Columbia School of Theatre Arts, Edward Norton's film credits include Everyone Says I Love You, The People Vs. Larry Flynt and Primal Fear, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553455687
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 3 CDs, 3 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 4.93 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lives in New York City.

Biography

Tom Wolfe was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He was educated at Washington and Lee (B.A., 1951) and Yale (Ph.D., American Studies, 1957) Universities. In December 1956, he took a job as a reporter on the Springfield (Massachusetts) Union. This was the beginning of a ten-year newspaper career, most of it as a general assignment reporter. For six months in 1960 he served as The Washington Post's Latin American correspondent and won the Washington Newspaper Guild's foreign news prize for his coverage of Cuba.

In 1962 he became a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune and, in addition, one of the two staff writers (Jimmy Breslin was the other) of New York magazine, which began as the Herald Tribune's Sunday supplement. While still a daily reporter for the Herald Tribune, he completed his first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties written for New York and Esquire and published in 1965 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. The book became a bestseller and established Wolfe as a leading figure in the literary experiments in nonfiction that became known as the New Journalism.

In 1968 he published two bestsellers on the same day: The Pump House Gang, made up of more articles about life in the Sixties, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a nonfiction story of the hippie era. In 1970 he published Radical Chick & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, a highly controversial book about racial friction in the United States. The first section was a detailed account of a party Leonard Bernstein gave for the Black Panthers in his Park Avenue duplex, and the second portrayed the inner workings of the government's poverty program.

Even more controversial was Wolfe's 1975 book on the American art world, The Painted Word. The art world reacted furiously, partly because Wolfe kept referring to it as the "art village," depicting it as a network of no more than three thousand people, of whom about three hundred lived outside the New York metropolitan area. In 1976 he published another collection, Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine, which included his well-known essay "The Me Decade and the Third Great Awakening."

In 1979 Wolfe completed a book he had been at work on for more than six years, an account of the rocket airplane experiments of the post-World War II era and the early space program focusing upon the psychology of the rocket pilots and the astronauts and the competition between them. The Right Stuff became a bestseller and won the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.

"The right stuff," "radical chic," and "the Me Decade" (sometimes altered to "the Me Generation") all became popular phrases, but Wolfe seems proudest of "good ol' boy," which he had introduced to the written language in a 1964 article in Esquire about Junior Johnson, the North Carolina stock car-racing driver, which was called "The Last American Hero."

Wolfe had been illustrating his own work in newspapers and magazines since the 1950s, and in 1977 began doing a monthly illustrated feature for Harper's magazine called "In Our Time". The book, In Our Time, published in 1980, featured these drawings and many others. In 1981 he wrote a companion to The Painted Word entitled From Bauhaus to Our House, about the world of American architecture.

In 1984 and 1985 Wolfe wrote his first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, in serial form against a deadline of every two weeks for Rolling Stone magazine. It came out in book form in 1987. A story of the money-feverish 1980s in New York, The Bonfire of the Vanities was number one of the New York Times bestseller list for two months and remained on the list for more than a year, selling over 800,000 copies in hardcover. It also became the number-one bestselling paperback, with sales above two million.

In 1989 Wolfe outraged the literacy community with an essay in Harper's magazine called "Stalking the Billion-footed Beast." In it he argued that the only hope for the future of the American novel was a Zola-esque naturalism in which the novelist becomes the reporter -- as he had done in writing The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was recognized as the essential novel of America in the 1980s.

In 1996, Wolfe wrote the novella Ambush at Fort Bragg as a two-part series for Rolling Stone. In 1997 it was published as a book in France and Spain and as an audiotape in the United States. An account of a network television magazine show's attempt to trap three soldiers at Fort Bragg into confessing to the murder of one of their comrades, it grew out of what had been intended as one theme in a novel Wolfe was working on at that time. The novel, A Man in Full, was published in November of 1998. The book's protagonists are a sixty-year old Atlanta real estate developer whose empire has begun a grim slide toward bankruptcy and a twenty-three-year-old manual laborer who works in the freezer unit of a wholesale food warehouse in Alameda County, California, owned by the developer. Before the story ends, both have had to face the question of what is it that makes a man "a man in full" now, at the beginning of a new century and a new millennium.

A Man in Full headed the New York Times bestseller list for ten weeks and has sold nearly 1.4 million copies in hardcover. The book's tremendous commercial success, its enthusiastic welcome by reviewers, and Wolfe's appearance on the cover of Time magazine in his trademark white suit plus a white homburg and white kid gloves -- along with his claim that his sort of detailed realism was the future of the American novel, if it was going to have one -- provoked a furious reaction among other American novelists, notably John Updike, Norman Mailer, and John Irving.

Wolfe's latest novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, explores the unique antics of college life. He lives in New York City with his wife, Sheila; his daughter, Alexandra; and his son, Tommy.

Author biography courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richmond, Virginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. (cum laude), Washington and Lee University, 1951; Ph.D. in American Studies, Yale University, 1957
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2003

    Is that it?

    I kept waiting for the punch, the suprising twist, the gotcha moment when the real story would unfold. But there was no such moment. I suppose there doesn't always have to be such a moment, but without it I admit I feel a little let down. Perhaps I've been conditioned by too many Law and Order episodes on TV and too many Stephen King books. Have I come to the place where a simple examination of human drive gone awry isn't enough for me? I am a journalist -- I write for a metropolitan daily newspaper -- and even the exposing of the foibles of television news wasn't titillating enough for me. I'm ashamed to admit it, but when I read (or listen to) a book for entertainment, I want a little more oomph! If you're a bit more high-brow than I am, perhaps you'll enjoy this one a little more. As for me, I feel... well... ambushed. I was brought into this tale expecting one thing, only to come out of it confronting things I never intended to confront about myself! Given that, maybe the book wasn't so bad after all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    WELL CRAFTED LOOK AT DIVISIVE ISSUE

    Frequently overlooked this short piece of fiction is some of the best work Tom Wolfe has written. In only a few short pages, Wolfe not only highlights why homosexuals in the military is an issue that continues to divide, he also reveals that the character traits of the military that frustrate a more equal policy are also the same qualities that make the US military an effective fighting force. As a army brat a strong supporter of the military and gay rights I found thsi work to be tremendous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2000

    'Bad, Bad, Bad!'

    A truly pointless and self-indulgent piece of writing (I'd have given it a negative rating if one was allowed)! Shallow, inane characters, inadequate 'back story' on an already thin plot, droning, endless monologues from the irritating main character/narrator,...etc., etc., etc. Only 2 redeeming qualities here -- Edward Norton's reading (great voice, great accents) and the dead-on description of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg (As a NC native, I know!)...and for this you'd do better to rent 'Primal Fear' and buy a NC map!

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