The Last Days of the New Yorker

Gigi Mahon, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $0 (358p) ISBN 978-0-07-039635-7
to know it still exist after its purchase by S. I. Newhouse in 1985 and last year's dismissal of long-time editor William Shawn and his replacement by Robert Gottlieb? New York magazine writer Mahon doesn't answer baldly, nor does she explore conditions under Gottlieb, but her tone makes clear her sentiment that changes that have occurred were overdue. Since few editorial staff members agreed to be interviewed by Mahon, while the business folk were forthcoming, we're shown a troubled New Yorker from the perspective of the finance, advertising and circulation departments, a not uninteresting focus. But before tracking events leading to Shawn's firing, the author bogs down her otherwise tense tale by recapping at length the magazine's familiar history. Then, in covering more recent days, she doesn't entirely trust readers to catch crucial points, so she parenthetically calls attention to preceding significant sentences, or relates the same gossip more than onceas, for example, scuttlebut about intimacy between Shawn and writer Lillian Ross. With more journalistic discipline, Mahon could have produced a less discursive and no less readable or controversial expose. ( Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 358 pages - 978-0-452-26322-2
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