cover image The Best Business Writing 2012

The Best Business Writing 2012

Edited by Dean Starkman, Martha M. Hamilton, Ryan Chittum, and Felix Salmon. Columbia Univ., $18.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-231-16073-5

The current economic environment has been characterized by extreme financial turmoil, rapid change, and severe violations of public trust, all of which have created a heyday for the global press. In what will become an annual exercise to showcase the most insightful coverage from this fertile era, the editors of the Columbia Journalism Review have selected those pieces deemed the most compelling or rigorous business writings of the year. Drawing from newspapers as varied as the New York Times and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, magazines ranging from Fortune to Rolling Stone, and blogs such as the Huffington Post and Motley Fool, this compendium represents a riveting cross-section of hard-hitting investigative journalism, press criticism, and even a hilarious piece on phone hacking by English actor Hugh Grant. While many pieces focus on the financial meltdown—including Michael Hudson’s damning account of how Countrywide protected fraudsters—others present poignant examinations of the intersection of business failure and humanity, like Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett’s award-winning piece, “A Case of Shattered Trust,” which describes a child’s preventable death caused by bacteria-laden products from a firm under investigation by the FDA. The breadth, depth, and quality of writing are sure to engage a diversity of readers regardless of their affiliations with economics or finance. Agent: Deirdre Mullane, Mullane Literary. (July)