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The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 Paperback – November 19, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0231147149 ISBN-10: 0231147147 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Best American Magazine Writing
  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised edition (November 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231147147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231147149
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,786,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If this anthology were a magazine, everybody would want to subscribe.

(Publishers Weekly)

Another exemplary collection of the finest magazine writing in the United States.... A brilliant compilation.

(Kirkus)

Diverse, brainy, and provocative.

(The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee)

As always, this collection offers readers the opportunity to catch up on the best magazine writing they may have missed.

(Booklist)

Balanced, comprehensive, thought-provoking, involving, and well-crafted.

(Library Journal)

This volume stands with the best... the compulsive readability of a good novel, but the immediacy and moral power of good journalism.

(Irish Times)

Consistent excellence distinguishes this annual series... Significance and relevance delivered by way of superlative prose and keen journalistic investigation.

(Kirkus Reviews)

A rich showcase.

(The Sydney Morning Herald)

One exceptional read after another... this collection redeems the honor of print and its conscientious attention to accountability, depth and excellence.

(Carl Sessions Stepp American Jorunalism Review)

Absolutely crammed with jaw-dropping features that will make you laugh, piss you off and push you to tears. A fantastic compilation.

(The Sun-Herald)

About the Author

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is a nonprofit professional organization for editors of print and online magazines edited, published, and distributed in the United States. Established in 1963, ASME currently has around 900 members nationwide and, in association with the Columbia School of Journalism, sponsors the National Magazine Awards.

Jacob Weisberg is editor in chief of the Slate Group. He has written for the New Republic, Newsweek, New York magazine, and Vanity Fair, and is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Bush Tragedy.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David M. Giltinan on December 4, 2008
This collection delivers everything that was missing from the 2008 essay anthology edited by Adam Gopnik. The writing is crisp and engaging throughout, with very few exceptions. What really sets it apart though is the importance of the topics discussed. The best pieces in the book -- Jane Meyer's "The Black Sites" (on CIA interrogations post 9/11); Joshua Kors on the denial of medical and disability benefits to Iraq veterans; George Packer's scathing account of the shameful betrayal by the U.S. government of the Iraqi interpreters who had provided invaluable help at great personal risk; Steve Oney's profile of one young marine who served and died in Iraq -- derive their power from the writers' outrage at the events being described. There is none of the "look at me, what a terrible life I've had" solipsism that contaminated so many of the essays in Gopnik's collection. Instead, the reader is led to understand, through detailed consideration of some very specific cases, just how devastating the consequences can be when a government and its military pursue an ill-considered strategic objective, with little or no attention to practical issues of implementation, and scant regard for the welfare of the very people trying to execute it.

The four pieces dealing with Iraq alone would make the book worthwhile. But they are joined by five equally fine pieces:

# Mike Kessler on the failure of the federal government to honor its promise to compensate cancer-stricken workers who assembled nuclear bombs at the Rocky Flats plant near Denver.
# Jeanne Marie Laskas writing about the lives of coalminers in south-eastern Ohio.
# Paige Williams's account of a teenage refugee from Burundi who has to rebuild her life from nothing in Atlanta.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grant C. Creeger on February 3, 2009
Truly a wonderful book. If I could subscribe to this I would cancel most of my magazines. I will definetly be ordering the 2009 edition..
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This book is worth looking for, if only to read the outstanding introduction by Jacob Weisberg. His appreciation of quality magazines is a keeper.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James M. Rawley on April 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
This is an easy book to overrate. It's full of current events, interesting current events. Big politicians who have sex in bathrooms and don't think they're gay. A speechwriter for Bush who had three collaborators and denied they existed. And on and on like that. BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, by comparison, selects articles that will be interesting for a little longer than these stop-the-presses pieces will be. Comparing the two selections is almost impossible, and certainly misleading. The articles in this collection are instantly fascinating, instantly forgettable. Must-read stories that will be out of date, maybe not tomorrow, but certainly next year. Readers should not be fooled by their own perfectly natural excitement: a child with no writing skill whatever could excite the reader with the gee-whiz facts in most of these pieces.
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