Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person from Harper's Magazine

Overview

“Submersion journalism” happens when a reporter dares to see a story from the inside: to participate in the events at hand, sometimes undercover, and then to tell the tale from a distinct point of view rather than pretend to some ideal of objectivity. During the Bush years, Harper’s correspondents infiltrated the Republican machine, from its lowliest canvassing operation to its corporate and evangelical elite, and they posed as shady clients for sleazy blue-chip lobbying firms. They shot machine guns, lounged in ...

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Overview

“Submersion journalism” happens when a reporter dares to see a story from the inside: to participate in the events at hand, sometimes undercover, and then to tell the tale from a distinct point of view rather than pretend to some ideal of objectivity. During the Bush years, Harper’s correspondents infiltrated the Republican machine, from its lowliest canvassing operation to its corporate and evangelical elite, and they posed as shady clients for sleazy blue-chip lobbying firms. They shot machine guns, lounged in Vegas brothels, and peered into secret tunnels in Mexicali. They terrorized art museums and touched off worldwide fads.

Here are some of the best examples of participatory reporting published in the past decade, called “brilliant work” by the Los Angeles Times.

Contributors: Charles Bowden Adam Davidson Barbara Ehrenreich Steve Featherstone Kristoffer A. Garin Gary Greenberg Roger D. Hodge Jay Kirk Willem Marx Morgan Meis Jeff Sharlet Jake Silverstein Ken Silverstein Wells Tower William T. Vollmann Bill Wasik

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Proof of the indelible power of . . . detailed nonfiction storytelling." —Washington City Paper

"It’s always exciting to see collections like these come out, if only for the fact that they highlight some of the best, most entertaining journalism ever written." —The Millions

"Admirable. . . . The selections are tightly and sometimes masterfully written." —Austin Chronicle

"An often-witty and engaging collection, proof positive that there are still reporters who prod, dig and poke. Not content to be embedded or press-release-driven, these journalists exemplify what it means to be intrepid investigators and inquisitors of power, whether personal or political." —The Indypendent

"A great anthology, chock full of fantastic articles." —Good

"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." —Library Journal

"A terrific retrospective collection." —Booklist

"Although these are nonfiction contributions, they often read like literature." &mdashThe Brooklyn Rail

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595584793
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Wasik

Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Wired Magazine and was previously a senior editor at Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture; a co-author, with Monica Murphy, of Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus; and the editor of Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person from Harper’s Magazine (The New Press). He lives in Oakland, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Roger D. Hodge vii

Part 1 Politics

Bird-Dogging the Bush Vote: Undercover with Florida's Republican Shock Troops Wells Tower 3

Their Men in Washington: Undercover with D.C.'s Lobbyists for Hire Ken Silverstein 30

Jesus Plus Nothing: Undercover Among america' Secret Theocrats Jeff Sharlet 49

Part 2 Violence

Teachings of Don Fernando: A Life and Death in the Narcotics Trade Charles Howden 73

The Line is Hot: A History of the Machine Gun, Shot Steve Featherstone 92

Part 3 Illness

Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch Barbara Ehrenreich 109

Manufacturing Depression: Notes on the Economy of Melancholy Gary Greenberg 130

Part 4 Vice

A Foreign Affair: On the Great Ukrainian Bride Hunt Kristoffer A. Garin 153

My undertaker, My Pimp: Looking for Grace in a Desert Brothel Jay Kirk 170

They Came out Like Ants! Searching for the Chinese Tunnels of Mexicali William T Vollmann 187

Part 5 The Arts

what is Poetry?

And Does it Pay? Jake Silverstein 217

Devil's Work: Secret Doings at the queen Museum of Art Morgan Meis 241

My Crowd: Or, Phase 5: A Report from the inventor of the flash Mob Bill Wasik 257

Part 6 Confessions of War

Misinformation Intern: My Summer as a Military Propagandist in Iraq Willem Marx 285

Out of Iraq: The rise and Fall of One Man's Occupation Adam Davidson 304

Contributors 321

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