The Best American Magazine Writing 2007by The American Society of Magazine Editors (Editor)
This year's selection includes William Langewiesche's probing investigation in Vanity Fair of the slaughter of twenty-four Iraqis in Haditha; C. J. Chivers's chilling account in Esquire of the 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan, which killed 331 people, 186 of them children; Susan Casey's revelation in Best Life of a virtually unknown, Texas-sized/i>/i>/i>
This year's selection includes William Langewiesche's probing investigation in Vanity Fair of the slaughter of twenty-four Iraqis in Haditha; C. J. Chivers's chilling account in Esquire of the 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan, which killed 331 people, 186 of them children; Susan Casey's revelation in Best Life of a virtually unknown, Texas-sized garbage dump resting at the bottom of the Pacific ocean; and Andrew Corsello's harrowing portrait in GQ of Robert Mugabe's mad rule and two men-a white farmer and a fiery black priest-who strive for forgiveness instead of hate.
The collection also includes Vanessa Grigoriadis's hilarious portrait of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld in New York Magazine; Christopher Hitchens's profile of survivors of Agent Orange in Vanity Fair; Sandra Tsing Loh's coverage of the stay-at-home-mommy debate in the Atlantic Monthly; Paul Theroux's thoughts on the dangers of anthropomorphism and our misconceptions about birds in the Smithsonian; Janet Reitman's unraveling of the mysteries of Scientology in Rolling Stone; and the work of nine other exceptional writers.
All of the essays in the series' eighth year exhibit a timeless prose in the midst of meeting deadlines. But many also resonate with a special sense of timeliness, such as the insightful "Rules of Engagement" by William Langewiesche, a detailed study for Vanity Fairof the U.S. massacre of Iraqi citizens in the town of Haditha. Other essays have a similar sense of urgency: "Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman for Rolling Stone-the result of a nine-month investigation-is a terrific and balanced look at an organization whose top leaders assert that false ideas, "including the concepts of God, Christ, and organized religion," date back 75 million years to the work of "an evil galactic warrior named Xenu." C.J. Chivers's "The School" for Esquireis a harrowing account of the three-day siege by Chechen terrorists of a grammar school in the Russian town of Beslan. Other, lighter pieces include Vanessa Grigoriadis's skillful depiction for New Yorkof the crazy-like-a-fox business and personal lifestyle of "Karl Lagerfeld, Boy Prince of Fashion." (Dec. 26)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The editors' selections for this eighth annual anthology draw not just from the likes of The New Yorkerand Vanity Fairbut also from magazines with comparatively smaller readerships, such as McSweeney'sand Best Life. Similarly, while some of the authors whose work is featured may be well known (e.g., Ian Parker, Christopher Hitchens), others (e.g., Susan Casey, Rajesh Parameswaran) are not. The entries fall into eight categories: public interest, profiles, reporting, features, columns and commentary, essays, reviews and criticism, and fiction. Many of the topics are relatively timely-e.g., the Chechen siege of a Beslan school in 2004 and U.S. Marine actions in Haditha, Iraq. Two pieces centering on or inspired by events as recent as 2006-the suicide of a gifted 14-year-old girl and the re-creation of a Brooklyn man's life from his letters and papers-are timeless. On the whole, these are balanced, comprehensive, thought-provoking, involving, and well-crafted examples of specific categories of writing that readers are unlikely otherwise to encounter in one place. Highly recommended for all libraries, particularly academic libraries with programs in journalism and/or creative writing.
Meet the Author
The American Society of Magazine Editors is a nonprofit professional organization for editors of print magazines that are edited, published, and sold in the United States, as well as editors of online magazines. It sponsors the National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia School of Journalism.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews