There goes my next 24 hours or so…

30 07 2010

Via Boing Boing, Cool Tools is listing and (this is what’s really amazing) linking to the best magazine articles ever written.

Some thoughts on how the list stands at the moment that I’m writing this:

– It’s fairly skewed towards the last twenty years or so, but there are still a few here that you’d have to consider historically significant like John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” and Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic.”

– In a strange nod to historians, I had no idea that Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” first came out in Harper’s.

– The link I just sent them is to Michael Pollan’s “Power Steer,” which was the very first step in turning me into a vegetarian.

– There’s got to be more stuff that belongs on this list that came out before 1960. Oh yeah, most of Joseph Mitchell’s work! Since I just read Up In the Old Hotel again, I’d say that I’d definitely pick “The Bottom of the Harbor” from 1951. My second choice would be “Mr. Hunter’s Grave” from 1956.

– The list skews heavily towards pieces from The New Yorker, Harper’s and the NYT Magazine. I have subscriptions to the first two so I can read most of it. You’ll be blocked by firewalls in more than a few places if you don’t. Nevertheless, I still think there’s a lot of good stuff here. It looks like the five best Esquire magazine articles of all time are open to everybody and I’ve seen all of New York Magazine on Google Books.

– A lot of people really seem to like David Foster Wallace. I know he’s dead, but I still always thought he was pretentious for writing a gigantic book that nobody ever seemed to get all the way through. Perhaps I was wrong. Either way, it looks like I have some reading to do.

Happy reading, yourself.



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