Forty years after Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and Gay Talese launched the New Journalism movement, Robert S. Boynton sits down with nineteen practitioners of what he calls the New New Journalism to discuss their methods, writings and careers.
The New New Journalists are first and foremost brilliant reporters who immerse themselves completely in their subjects. Jon Krakauer accompanies a mountaineering expedition to Everest. Ted Conover works for nearly a year as a prison guard. Susan Orlean follows orchid fanciers to reveal an obsessive subculture few knew existed. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spends nearly a decade reporting on a family in the South Bronx. And like their muckraking early twentieth-century precursors, they are drawn to the most pressing issues of the day: Alex Kotlowitz, Leon Dash, and William Finnegan to race and class; Ron Rosenbaum to the problem of evil; Michael Lewis to boom-and-bust economies; Richard Ben Cramer to the nitty gritty of politics. How do they do it? In these interviews, they reveal the techniques and inspirations behind their acclaimed works, from their felt-tip pens, tape recorders, long car rides, and assumed identities; to their intimate understanding of the way a truly great story unfolds.
Richard Ben Cramer
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
“I remember hunkering down ages ago with the Paris Review collection of interviews with authors from—gulp!—a bygone era, and it was a delight to see how or why the authorial mind works its creative magic, making it eventually onto the printed page. Now we have a worthy successor in Robert Boynton's new collection of interviews with nearly two-dozen of America's top-drawer magazine journalists. The names are familiar to those who care about writing. No, make that who really care! Reading the interviews was like eavesdropping on a literary dinner party held in honor of these accomplished non-fiction writers. Boynton, as host, certainly asked the right questions. And each "guest" performed as expected—their answers were as fully-formed, interesting, and intriguing as their writing. They report. They decide. And we are grateful as readers.” —Bill Katovsky, co-author of Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq
“Robert S. Boynton has given us two essential books on literary journalism, entwined. In one, a group of the art's working masters explicate the methods that give their writing its power. In the other, the interviews that provide that explication serve as models of interrogatory technique. While his subjects tell us how they do it, Boynton shows us how it's done.” —David Hajdu, columnist for The New Republic and author of Lush Life and Positively 4th Street
“An important contribution on contemporary writers for which I can think of no other similar book. The introductory overviews on each writer are lucid, probing and nuanced. Students of literary journalism will benefit immensely from it...When the literary history is written on the post-new journalism, I think The New New Journalism will be central to that effort. I have no doubt that it will become a standard in the field.” —John Harstock, author of the award-winning A History of Literary Journalism: The Emergence of a Modern Narrative Form
“In these enthralling interviews, a group of gifted reporters tell how they dream into life, and turn facts into art. Robert Boynton has given a name to this practice, and thus has created a valuable new field of study as well as a first rate book.” —Roger Rosenblatt
WINNER - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
Robert S. Boynton directs New York University’s graduate magazine journalism program. He has been a senior editor at Harper's and a contributing writer for The New Yorker. His work appears in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Rolling Stone and many other publications.