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One of the longest-running general-interest periodicals, Harper's magazine remains an icon of American publishing, having hosted such authors as Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Norman Mailer, and Seymour Hersh, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning story on the My Lai massacre exemplifies the magazine's dedication to quality writing and informed journalism. In this collection of recent Harper's pieces (2001-07), Wasik (senior editor, Harper's) showcases writers whose first-person dispatches most powerfully convey the experiences of reporters going undercover to get to the truth. There is Wells Tower pretending he is a Republican campaign volunteer in "Bird-Dogging the Bush Vote"; and Jeff Sharlet, who uncovers a secret society of prominent Christian politicians called "The Family" in his "Jesus Plus Nothing." In-depth exposés such as these are noticeably-and unfortunately-absent in most mainstream media. This collection should be read by any student who aspires to the true art of journalism, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about what really goes on in American politics-and society-today. For academic and larger public libraries.
—Donna Marie Smith