By Marc Weingarten
. . . In chilly Blood, the electrical Kool-Aid Acid try out, worry and Loathing in Las Vegas, Slouching in the direction of Bethlehem, The Armies of the evening . . .
Starting in 1965 and spanning a ten-year interval, a gaggle of writers together with Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, homosexual Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion, John Sack, and Michael Herr emerged and joined some of their pioneering elders, together with Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, to remake American letters. the proper chroniclers of an age of frenzied cultural switch, they have been blessed with the perception that conventional instruments of reporting could turn out insufficient to inform the tale of a country manically hopscotching from desire to doom and again again—from conflict to rock, assassination to medicinal drugs, hippies to Yippies, Kennedy to the darkish lord Nixon. conventional just-the-facts reporting easily couldn’t offer a neat and symmetrical order to this chaos.
Marc Weingarten has interviewed a few of the significant gamers to supply a startling behind-the-scenes account of the increase and fall of the main progressive literary outpouring of the postwar period, set opposed to the backdrop of a few of the main turbulent—and significant—years in modern American lifestyles. those are the tales in the back of these tales, from Tom Wolfe’s white-suited adventures within the counterculture to Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-addled invention of gonzo to Michael Herr’s redefinition of struggle reporting within the hell of Vietnam. Weingarten additionally tells the deeper backstory, recounting the wealthy and spectacular background of the editors and the magazines who made the circulation attainable, significantly the 3 maximum editors of the era—Harold Hayes at Esquire, Clay Felker at New York, and Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone. and at last Weingarten takes us in the course of the death of the recent reporters, a tragedy of hubris, miscalculation, and company menacing.
This is the tale of probably the final nice sturdy time in American journalism, a time whilst writers didn’t simply hide tales yet immersed themselves in them, and whilst journalism didn’t simply file the US yet reshaped it.
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Extra resources for The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution
Even then, however, the anguished rhetoric expressed the fear about what might happen. ” Here the editorialist is referring to the governments of Romania, Latvia, and Belarus, which slammed their borders shut in the Jewish refugees’ faces. In this wretched state of affairs, the only remaining recourse is an appeal to the hearts of Jews in the free countries and to the conscience of the countries at war with the Nazis. They should be entreated to do whatever they could to save those who could be saved.
Rubashov, who evidently wrote most of the editorials, did not consult with him. And these writings presented the ghastly truth for all to see: It was impossible to save the masses and the rescue efforts were named only for the few. Furthermore, Tuvia Friling, in his painstaking study titled Arrow in the Dark, stresses that Katznelson took part in many discussions of the “troika” that administered the secret rescue activities. Relating to this “inside” participation in the rescue action, Friling says that the coopting of Berl Katznelson in the decisions should not be examined in quantitative terms only, that is, by counting the number of times that he was asked for his Berl Katznelson, “La-haradah ha-tziyonit” [About the Zionist Angst], Davar, Oct.
In this discussion, Ben-Gurion ruled in his characteristically blunt way, “The rescue of the Jews doesn’t depend on us”52 but rather, of course, on the democratic powers and, above all, on victory over the Nazis. Ben-Gurion voiced a similar approach in his letter to Arthur Lurie, Secretary of the Zionist Executive mission from Britain, which he wrote with the intention that Lurie should forward it to Felix Frankfurter, the American federal judge. 53 After the magnitude of the national disaster became known, the editorials in Davar spoke in a different tone of voice from Ben-Gurion’s belligerent one.
The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten