The Best Business Writing 2013

Edited by Dean Starkman, Martha M. Hamilton, Ryan Chittum and Felix Salmon. Columbia Univ., $18.95 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-0-231-16075-9
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)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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