What is really going on here? For decades Renata Adler has been asking and answering this question with unmatched urgency. In her essays and long-form journalism, she has captured the cultural zeitgeist, distrusted the accepted wisdom, and written stories that would otherwise go untold. As a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1963 to 2001, Adler reported on civil rights from Selma, Alabama; on the war in Biafra, the Six-Day War, and the Vietnam War; on the Nixon impeachment inquiry and Congress; on cultural life in Cuba. She has also written about cultural matters in the United States, films (as chief film critic for The New York Times), books, politics, television, and pop music. Like many journalists, she has put herself in harm’s way in order to give us the news, not the “news” we have become accustomed to—celebrity journalism, conventional wisdom, received ideas—but the actual story, an account unfettered by ideology or consensus. She has been unafraid to speak up when too many other writers have joined the pack. In this sense, Adler is one of the few independent journalists writing in America today.
This collection of Adler’s nonfiction draws on Toward a Radical Middle (a selection of her earliest New Yorker pieces), A Year in the Dark (her film reviews), and Canaries in the Mineshaft (a selection of essays on politics and media), and also includes uncollected work from the past two decades. The more recent pieces are concerned with, in her words, “misrepresentation, coercion, and abuse of public process, and, to a degree, the journalist’s role in it.” With a brilliant literary and legal mind, Adler parses power by analyzing language: the language of courts, of journalists, of political figures, of the man on the street. In doing so, she unravels the tangled narratives that pass for the resolution of scandal and finds the threads that others miss, the ones that explain what really is going on here—from the Watergate scandal, to the “preposterous” Kenneth Starr report submitted to the House during the Clinton impeachment inquiry, to the plagiarism and fabrication scandal of the former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair. And she writes extensively about the Supreme Court and the power of its rulings, including its fateful decision in Bush v. Gore.
|Publisher:||New York Review Books|
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About the Author
Renata Adler was born in Milan and raised in Connecticut. She received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr, an M.A. from Harvard, a D.d’E.S. from the Sorbonne, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an honorary LL.D. from Georgetown. Adler became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1963 and, except for a year as the chief film critic of The New York Times, remained at The New Yorker for the next four decades. Her books include A Year in the Dark (1969); Toward a Radical Middle (1970); Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS et al., Sharon v. Time (1986); Canaries in the Mineshaft (2001); Gone: The Last Days of The New Yorker (1999); Irreparable Harm: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Decision That Made George W. Bush President (2004); and the novels Speedboat (1976, Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel) and Pitch Dark (1983), both available as NYRB Classics.
Michael Wolff, currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a columnist for The Guardian, USA Today, and British GQ, is one of the most prominent journalists and pundits in the nation. He has written numerous best-selling books, including The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, Burn Rate, and Autumn of the Moguls. He appears often on the lecture circuit and is a frequent guest on network and cable news shows.
Table of Contents
After the Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction
by Renata Adler
Contents (Not Final)
Preface by Michael Wolff vii
Author’s Introduction viii
Toward a Radical Middle, Introduction 3
The March for Non-Violence from Selma 15
Fly Trans-Love Airways 44
Letter from the Six-Day War 66
The Black Power March in Mississippi 81
Radicalism in Debacle: The Palmer House 94
G. Gordon Liddy in America 116
But Ohio. Well, I Guess That’s One State Where They Elect to Lock and Load: The National Guard 172
Letter from Biafra 205
A Year in the Dark, Introduction 246
On Violence: Film Always Argues Yes 260
House Critic 263
The Justices and the Journalists 289
The Extreme Nominee 301
Canaries in the Mineshaft, Introduction 313
Searching for the Real Nixon Scandal 350
Decoding the Starr Report 392
A Court of No Appeal 427
Irreparable Harm 465
The Porch Overlooks No Such Thing 484