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on November 28, 2012
I enjoyed this sequel even more than the first volume. It is truly excellent! Essential reading to all, writer or non writer. Really makes you realize and appreciate the great writers of the past especially in light of the glut of "opinion" pieces flooding the internet nowadays. Here we see the column as art form as opposed to rant or ego piece. If only more online writers today grasped the difference. Such an important collection.
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VINE VOICEon February 8, 2013
It could be argued that opinion-writing is now in its heyday, given the fact that the Internet has ignited an explosion of websites and blogs overflowing with opinions of all kinds. But that would be an inaccurate argument. The truth of the matter is: much of what you read on the Internet is hurriedly written opinion that could get a staff newspaper reporter or columnist fired or demoted if they submitted it to their publication. While some of Internet opinion-writing is indeed solid, clever, thoughtful and good, a lot of it is dashed off. With the exception of some newspaper columns and a higher level of blog writing, much of the opinion writing on the Internet isn't anything you'd hand to a younger person who's starting and say: "Read it, study it and emulate it." In some cases you'd say the opposite.

o where can you find a "role model" book for those who want to read great opinion writing and column writing? There was an big gap for years until 2011, when John Avlon, Jesse Angelo and Errol Louis gave a treasure chest to those who love compelling newspaper columns, in the form of an anthology, "Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns." John Avlon, Jesse Angelo Errol Louis have now done it it again: their follow-up collection titled: " Deadline Artists-Scandals, Tragedies and Triumphs: More of America's Greatest Newspaper Columns" is as good and, arguably, in many ways better than their first collection of what truly is an art: deadline writing columns crammed with thought, detail, style -- writing that can be read again and again any time, any year, and still be engrossing and entertaining. It's timeless writing that needs to be read and (yes) emulated by those who want to write the "short form.

These are the days when newspapers continue to readjust to new economic and staffing realities, which include smaller revenues and a smaller news hole. As a result, many talented cartoonists are being laid off. Newspapers still run op-eds, but not as many as they did before. This also means reporters will see fewer openings go to columns and there will be fewer openings than before for columnists. Yes, papers do have web versions and there are some Internet mega-news websites and blogs that offer 21st century cyberspace incarnations of newspaper columns. But if you read web opinion writing, the emphasis is often on snark and lash out politics, a kind of literary regurgitation of right and left talk radio show riffs in pieces that would be unpublishable first drafts lacking the craftsmanship required to get a column published in a newspaper with editorial quality-control gatekeepers.

The Deadline Artists is a gem with distinguished contributors that include Jack London, H.L. Mencken, Dorothy Thompson, Richard Wright, Damon Runyon, Shirley Povich, Murray Kempton, Mike Ryoko, Ruben Salazar, Mary McGrory, Mike Barnicle, Molly Ivins, Pete Hamill, Carl Hiaasen, Nicholas Kristof, Leonard Pitts, Steve Lopez, Peggy Noonan, and Mitch Albom. And the title is indeed accurate: it focuses on the themes of scandals, tragedies and triumphs, so you get a good mix of sports, political, historical and personal columns. Do you want to read an A Plus column on the Chicago Fire, Watergate, the JFK assassination, 911 and more? It's all in the book.

I'd argue that there are two columns that are worth the price of the book -- and the price of also getting the book your kindle. #1: A column written at the time about what it was like in Ford's Theater the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. This more than any movie, or book literally puts you THERE IN THE THE THEATER and is written in language that is not old style English. It's like a vivid time machine. #2 A column written by Chicago's late king of columnists, Mike Royko where he recounts singer Frank Sinatra's angry reaction to a column he did about the singer. Royko runs in full Sinatra's letter (complete with a copyright noted that states if reproduced it must be run in full,) complete with a bet Sinatra makes where if Royko loses Sinatra gets to punch him in the nose. Royko turned this into one of the most artistic columns of any kind. It's a virtual symphony with its humor, beginning, middle and end -- ending in a tribute to Sinatra and to Royko's unmatchable talent as a writer.

Deadline Artists' second volume is REQUIRED READING for those who love reading short, exceptionally well written columns, history, politics, popular culture, tragedies -- and anyone in journalism and blogging. And, most of all, it's REQUIRED READING by those who write in newspapers and on blogs who want to lift the current "short form," so one day a NEW, thick volume of Deadline Artists could gather the best of current newspaper and Internet column writing. It's REQUIRED READING for those who seek to lift up an art that flourished in newspapers but has seen its standards fall in the Internet age.

We don't have to meet new standards; we just have to live up to the high, and highly entertaining and engrossing, old ones. "Deadline Artists: -Scandals, Tragedies and Triumphs: More of America's Greatest Newspaper Columns" gives us the tool.
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This book is the sequel to the much admired Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columnists published in 2011. The subject matter ranges from a night in 1923, when every one of the 76 inhabitants of a small Iowa village stayed up all through the night to stand at attention by the railroad tracks to watch President Harding's funeral train whiz by, to the morning 78 years later when all of America stopped in its tracks and witnessed the terrorism tragedy of 9/11.

From World War II comes Marguerite Higgins's eyewitness account of the liberation of Dachau...Ernie Pyle on "Liberating the City of Light" and William Laurence on the atomic bombing of Nagasake. Also in the mix: Lindbergh's landing in Paris...a night at a Klan "Klavern"...the Attica Prison riot...former White House intern Norah Ephron on "All the President's Girls"...Art Buchwald on "The Alabama Literacy Test"... Jack London on the San Francisco Earthquake...Harry Golden on the day Senator McCarthy overplayed his hand...the only contemporary newspaper account of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk...Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream"...the Cape Kennedy Moon Launch...Watergate...and from Dallas on November 23, 1963, Merriman Smith of UPI learns that sometimes there can be a limit to what even the most trained observer can comprehend.

Among sports stories, you'll find Shirley Povich on Don Larson's 1956 no-hit, no-run, no-man-reach-first game in a World Series. And Dick Young's obit for the Brooklyn Dodgers. And Michael Jordan telling Bob Greene of the Chicago Tribune about getting cut from his high school basketball team for not being good enough and why he now thinks "It's probably good that it happened." And much much more.
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on February 19, 2013
Bought for my sharp 85 yo mom who is a news hound,reading the WSJ and NYTimes everyday. She loved it,finished it over a weekend.
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on September 23, 2013
A fascinating verbal panorama of American history as told by some
of our country's most famous writers. From the events covering political
issues, disasters, America's wars, legal cases, sports(even the
Brooklyn Dodgers goodbye to Brooklyn, this book presents newspaper editorials and
articles from Lincoln's assassination to today's headlines. A truly "can't put
down" reading that attests to the skills of some of the most famous writers.
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on May 6, 2013
This book, like the first, is capital-L literature in flashes, history written on the run. Clearly it takes a special talent to write succinctly and memorably on deadline, and I'm loving every word. One caveat: in this, my Kindle version, too many of the writers' names are misspelled! C'mon -- Maureen Down? This is simply sloppy. Their editors would have been appalled.
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on November 3, 2013
Both books in this series provide a glimpse into our nation's history from a very intimate perspective - writers who were living at the time. They are an easy read that can be picked up anytime but hard to put down. I donated mine to the public library because they are too precious and important not to be in constant circulation.
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on October 28, 2013
It was not difficult to know why we remember the names of the great columnists. Their subjects are timeless as they transcend the event about which they write. The power of the process was never greater than when greater writers and thinkers were the contributors.
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on December 28, 2015
Well written but less uplifiting than the earlier volume. Especially some of the scandal stories I really could have done without! Too much information.
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on June 3, 2015
How can one not like the scoop on Artists? But the history is best and I loved it.
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