The Literature of Journalism
Text and Context
"Various experts have attempted to describe the basis of the literature of journalism, but Berner's book goes these books a huge step better: It captures its evolving spirit. The examples, drawn from both the classic and the obscure, trace how journalism's best writing in the present grows from its best, and most heroic, efforts in the past. The accompanying analysis by the author, invariably incisive and intelligent, highlights the meaning of what's being read. This makes for a lively, provocative and (most important) immensely readable collection, both for the classroom and for the bedside stand. It will surely confirm Berner's place as one of our leading scholars on the literature of journalism."
The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.
Former journalism professor, University of Oregon
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
This unique critical anthology focuses on eighteen significant works that, collectively, represent the evolution of journalism in the twentieth century. From George Orwell's early works on poverty to Tracy Kidder's tale of designing a new computer, from Lillian Ross's controversial profiles and Truman Capote's controversial "nonfiction novel" to Gabriel García Márquez's subversive Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor and Tom Wolfe's "New Journalism," the works excerpted in this volume represent a wide range of voices and journalistic approaches.
More than an anthology, The Literature of Journalism: Text and Context shows these works in their historical, social, journalistic, and critical contexts. The commentary on each work describes the events and social conditions that inspired it, how the writer came to the subject, how the work was researched and written, how it has been received critically, and how the writer influenced and was influenced by other writers.
1: George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier
2: James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
3: John Hersey, Hiroshima
4: Lillian Ross, Reporting
5: Gabriel García Márquez, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
6: A. J. Liebling, The Earl of Louisiana
7: Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
8: Jean Stafford, A Mother in History
9: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
10: Hunter Thompson, Hell's Angels
11: Joan Didion, Slouching towards Bethlehem
12: Joseph Wambaugh, The Onion Field
13: Susan Sheehan, A Welfare Mother
14: C. D. B. Bryan, Friendly Fire
15: Michael Herr, Dispatches
16: Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff
17: Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine
18: Qian Gang, The Great China Earthquake
About the Author
copyright © 1999 by R. Thomas Berner
To read the preface, please click on this text line.
To read the introduction, please click on this text line.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
R. Thomas Berner is a professor of journalism and American studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He has written several textbooks on contemporary newspaper editing and writing, including an examination of how journalists use rhetorical devices in writing literary feature stories. Berner has worked on newspapers in Pennsylvania and has degrees in English and journalism. His essays on various contributors to the literature of journalism have appeared in A Sourcebook of American Literary Journalism, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and American Journalism.
Meet the author
E-mail the author