The Best Business Writing

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An anthology Malcolm Gladwell has called "riveting and indispensable," The Best Business Writing is a far-ranging survey of business's dynamic relationship with politics, culture, and life. This year's selections include John Markoff (New York Times) on innovations in robot technology and the decline of the factory worker; Evgeny Morozov (New Republic) on the questionable value of the popular TED conference series and the idea industry behind it; Paul Kiel (ProPublica) on the ripple effects of the ongoing ...

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The Best Business Writing 2013

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An anthology Malcolm Gladwell has called "riveting and indispensable," The Best Business Writing is a far-ranging survey of business's dynamic relationship with politics, culture, and life. This year's selections include John Markoff (New York Times) on innovations in robot technology and the decline of the factory worker; Evgeny Morozov (New Republic) on the questionable value of the popular TED conference series and the idea industry behind it; Paul Kiel (ProPublica) on the ripple effects of the ongoing foreclosure crisis; and the infamous op-ed by Greg Smith, published in the New York Times, announcing his break with Goldman Sachs over its trading practices and corrupt corporate ethos.

Jessica Pressler (New York) delves into the personal and professional rivalry between Tory and Christopher Burch, former spouses now competing to dominate the fashion world. Peter Whoriskey (Washington Post) exposes the human cost of promoting pharmaceuticals off-label. Charles Duhigg and David Barboza (New York Times) investigate Apple's unethical labor practices in China. Max Abelson (Bloomberg) reports on Wall Street's amusing reaction to the diminishing annual bonus. Mina Kimes (Fortune) recounts the grisly story of a company's illegal testing—and misuse—of a medical device for profit, and Jeff Tietz (Rolling Stone) composes one of the most poignant and comprehensive portraits of the financial crisis's dissolution of the American middle class.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Last year, the Columbia Journalism Review, long recognized for tracking business journalism, released the first in an annual series of the most engaging or rigorous business writing. Like last year’s, this edition showcases content from diverse sources, including newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Interestingly, fewer pieces this year focus directly on the financial meltdown, though several compelling articles do scrutinize the recent economic downturn, including Rolling Stone’s Jeff Tietz’s look at how homelessness has extended to the formerly middle class and ProPublica writer Paul Kiel’s illuminating look at how one elderly victim of subprime fraud lost her home. The editors include meticulous investigations of the medical world, such as Fortune’s Mila Kime’s hard-hitting look at the medical industry’s culpability in prescription drug abuse and Washington Post reporter Paul Whoriskey’s exhaustive examination of fraudulent activity within a medical device company. While the majority of selections investigate the seamy or even criminal side of business, a few pieces captivate in a more positive way, such as a delightful feature from Drake Bennett’s BusinessWeek article about airline mergers. Taken as a whole, the extensiveness and quality of coverage and writing make this an annual must-read for anyone interested in understanding the good, the bad, the ugly, and the future of today’s business world. Agent: Deirde Mullane, Mullane Literary. (June)
Malcolm Gladwell
Riveting and indispensable.
excellent collection
Library Journal
This first annual collection from Columbia University Press presents 31 of the best English-language writings on business, finance, and economics from magazines, newspapers, blogs, tape recordings, filmed interviews, radio shows, and even a movie. The editors, including Starkman (editor, Columbia Journalism Review), believe that "ignorance about matters business and financial is no longer an option." They include a brief history of business writing, touching on Business Week in 1929, Fortune in 1930, and the Wall Street Journal in 1941, and organize the articles in sections called "Bad Business," "Financial Systems and Discontents," "Over There" (e.g., foreign countries), "Politics and Money," "The Big Picture" (e.g., food, patents, law schools), and "Corporate Stories." These exposés and critiques cover companies like Pfizer, Ikea, Countrywide Financial, and coal company Massey Energy; CEOs such as Bill Ford Jr., Warren Buffett, and Steve Jobs; institutions including the SEC, FBI, and U.S. Department of the Treasury; and issues such as taxes, lobbying, etc. VERDICT For business-interested readers, this book presents revealing, and sometimes shocking, investigations. The lack of an index is a flaw.—Joanne B. Conrad, Geneseo, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231160759
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Series: Columbia Journalism Review Books Series
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 1,497,191
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Starkman is editor of the Columbia Journalism Review's business section, The Audit, which tracks financial journalism in print and on the web, and is the magazine's Kingsford Capital Fellow. A reporter for two decades, he worked eight years as a Wall Street Journal staff writer and was chief of the Providence Journal's investigative unit. He has won numerous national and regional journalism awards and helped lead the Providence Journal to the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Investigations.

Martha M. Hamilton is a writer and deputy editor with, which, in 2009, became the first non-print winner of the Pulitzer Prize. She also investigates complaints about financial journalism for CJR's The Audit. She was a writer, Wall Street and corporate crime editor, and personal finance columnist for The Washington Post until 2008. Hamilton is also the author, along with former Post colleague Warren Brown, of Black and White and Red All Over.

Ryan Chittum is deputy editor of CJR's The Audit. He's a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and has written for numerous other publications, including the New York Times. He is also a contributor to Bad News: How America's Business Press Missed the Story of the Century. His recent work can be seen at

Felix Salmon is the finance blogger for Reuters. He arrived in the United States in 1997 from England, where he worked at Euromoney magazine. He also wrote daily commentary on Latin American markets for the former news service, Bridge News, and created the Economonitor blog for Roubini Global Economics.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

IntroductionAcknowledgmentsPart I. On the Ground1. The Sharp Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class, by Jeff Tietz, Rolling Stone2. The Great American Foreclosure Story: The Struggle for Justice and a Place to Call Home, by Paul Kiel, ProPublicaPart II. Bad Medicine3. Bad to the Bone: A Medical Horror Story, by Mina Kimes, Fortune4. Prescription for Addiction, by Thomas Catan, Devlin Barrett, and Timothy W. Martin, Wall Street Journal5. Anemia Drugs Made Billions, but at What Cost? Peter Whoriskey, Washington PostPart III. Big Business6. Making the World's Largest Airline Fly, by Drake Bennett, BusinessWeek7. Gusher, by Steve Coll, The New YorkerPart IV. Bad Business8. Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle, by David Barstow, New York Times9. Chesapeake and Rival Plotted to Suppress Land Prices Brian Grow, by Joshua Schneyer, Reuters10. Fear Fans Flames for Chemical Makers, by Patricia CallahanandSam Roe, Chicago TribunePart V. Media and Marketing11. His. Hers., by Jessica Pressler, New York12. Top Five Ways Bleacher Report Rules the World!, by Joe Eskenazi, San Francisco Weekly13. Why India's Newspaper Industry Is Thriving, by Ken Auletta, The New Yorker14. The Frequent Fliers Who Flew Too Much, by Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles TimesPart VI. Big Think15. Trade-offs Between Inequality, Productivity, and Employment, by Steve Randy Waldman, Interfluidity16. The Naked and the TED, by Evgeny Morozov, The New RepublicPart VII. Adventures in Finance17. Wall Street Bonus Withdrawal Means Trading Aspen for Coupons, by Max Abelson, Bloomberg18. The Tale of a Whale of a Fail, by Matt Levine, Dealbreaker19. Case Against Bear and JPMorgan Provides Little Cheer, by Bethany McLean, Reuters20. How ECB Chief Outflanked German Foe in Fight for Euro, by Brian Blackstone and Marcus Walker, Wall Street Journal21. From The Trouble is the Banks, Edited by Mark Greif, Dayna Tortorici, Kathleen French, Emma Janaskie, and Nick Werle, n+122. Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs, by Greg Smith, New York Times23. Death Takes a Policy: How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges, by Jake Bernstein, ProPublicaPart VIII. Brave New World24. How Companies Learn Your Secrets, by Charles Duhigg, New York Times Magazine25. Glass Works: How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future, by Bryan Gardiner, Wired26. Skilled Work, by Without the Worker, by John Markoff, New York Times27. I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave, by Mac McClelland, Mother Jones28. In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad, by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza, New York Times29. How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking, by Mat Honan, WiredPermissionsList of Contributors

Columbia University Press

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