Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns

Edited by John Avlon, Jesse Angelo, and Errol Louis. Overlook, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-59020-429-0
"It is the great American art form, read by millions every day." When these eloquent, compassionate newspaper columns were first delivered, they were treated as individual works of art, almanacs to suit any disposition. Well-catalogued and categorized, this exultant retrospective of American journalism seems ideal for today's attention spans and travel schedules. In the most memorable modern excerpt from the section "Wars and Other Foreign Affairs," Pete Hamill stands in a "pale gray wilderness" following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and tells readers: "As I write, it remains present tense." In other sections, Hunter S. Thompson and O. Henry reveal a raw, emotional, and entertaining style of journalism; a formula that Jimmy Breslin's surreal "‘Are You John Lennon?'" piece surely encapsulates. Avlon, Angelo, and Louis's glorious compilation "is a chance to be there at moments when America changes, for better or for worse." Free-flowing to the very end, lasting drops of pure wisdom come in the form of Mary Schmich's infamous "sunscreen" composition, while Benjamin Franklin's 1757 sermon of advice literally offers words to live by. "Well done is better than well said," Franklin writes, but as far as this essential anthology goes, it's so well done, there's nothing left to say. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Paperback - 431 pages - 978-1-4683-0054-3
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