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The Best American Magazine Writing 2007

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  18 reviews

This year's selection includes William Langewiesche's probing investigation in Vanity Fair of the slaughter of twenty-four Iraqis in Haditha; C. J. Chivers's chilling account in Esquire of the 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan, which killed 331 people, 186 of them children; Susan Casey's revelation in Best Life of a virtually unknown, Texas-sized garbage dump resting at the bo

Paperback, 502 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Columbia University Press (first published October 23rd 2007)
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Jul 20, 2010 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Make that 4.5 stars. I stumbled across this compilation on the library shelf, and I will be forever glad I did. Some of the articles I read here have quite literally changed me.

First, some background. Every year, a group of the nation's top magazine editors issues awards for the best articles of the year in various categories (profiles, public interest, reporting, features, commentary, etc.). As a magazine journalist, I can tell you this is a BIG deal in the industry. This book, and its compani
This is a collection of 17 articles (and one work of fiction) from magazines such as Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, and GQ.

My favorite articles are “The School” (by C.J. Chivers), “Prairie Fire” (by Eric Konigsberg), “Russell and Mary” (by Michael Donohue), “Inside Scientology” (by Janet Reitman), and “The Loved Ones” (by Tom Junod).

I didn’t much like the fiction piece (“The Strange Career of Doctor Raju Gopalarajan” by Rajesh Parameswaran). I will admit that at first I thought this pie
This was a great book to pick up! What I liked best about it was that you got a taste of so many different topics and writers in one place. I am not a fan of short story compilations, so i wasn't sure how much I would like this book from the outset. And it admittedly took a little time to ease myself into, but it turned out to be one of my favorite reading choices for the summer. Some of the topics/stores were not necessarily that interesting to me, but enough of it was that I will definitely lo ...more
I would actually give it 4.5 if I could, not the full five, because I didn't care for a couple of the essays. But not liking two out of more than twenty is pretty good.

I am biased toward essay writing in general. I admire an author who can make an impact in a few thousand words. The writing about things gone wrong-- Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the school hostage crisis in Belsan-- had more impact than the "portrait" writing, for me, but every essay was well-written. Pick it up, if only while in th
Dec 14, 2007 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with short attention spans/ magazine junkies
i had read the 2005 and 2006 editions, so i figured i couldn't go wrong with 2007. this is a perfect bus/subway read because the stories are short and it's easy to jump around within the compilation. the karl lagerfeld profile was by far my favorite-- so provacative and descriptive. everyone must read the story on ocean pollution. it truly changed my view on plastic and recycling- almost made me sick to my stomach. another favorite story of mine was the mcsweeny's fiction piece on the fake surge ...more
Jessica Soria
Jan 27, 2008 Jessica Soria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jessica by: Library
Like all books from the Best American list, this book is a collection of great works. I like this one in particular because sa much as I like magazines its hard to read them all and I love that I can read one or two great peices on the train on my way to work. It's full of interesting stories and news reporting just the way I like it. I get excited when it's time for these books to come out each year. Also read Best American Short Stories 2007, Best American Essays 2007.
I try to read these every year. It's a chance to read the best magazine stories of the year without buying all the magazines. "Prairie Fire," by Eric Konigsberg from The New Yorker, about a gifted student who commits suicide; "Inside Scientology," by Janet Reitman for Rolling Stone, about the religion of the same name; and "The Other Side of Hate," by Andrew Corsello for GQ and about Zimbabwe, were all fascinating reads.
This book just goes to show that good writing makes any topic worth reading about. Karl Lagerfeld, Scientology, and the takeover off a primary school by Chechen separatists are just a few of the topics covered in these essays. I plan to make this series a yearly "must-read."
Some remarkable essays in here, such as Chivers report on the Beslan school massacre and Janet Reitman's Rolling Stone article exposing Scientology. There's always good stuff within the collection every year, though the short story winner for this year is merely above average.
Keith Diehl
A very cool collection of 2007 magazine articles. A very diverse set of short pieces that take you from high fashion to Katrina to the Chechnyan takeover of a russian school.
decent subway reading, could be better. Vanessa Grigoriadis's piece about Gawker in NY Mag rocks so much harder than her Karl Lagerfield one, for eg.
Great collection of essays on a variety of topics from uncovering Scientology to a short fiction piece about a guy pretending to be a doctor. It's good.
According to the best magazine writers of 2007, it was a really crappy year. This is nowhere near the feel-good book of the decade.
Margaret Sankey
Again, because I can't humanly read every magazine in English, I have to let the pros scout for me.
The only anthology I look forward to all year. Only one article in so far, but two thumbs up.
Jun 28, 2008 Julie added it
Loved Ian Parker's profile of Christopher Hitchens.
an excellent sampling of the year
Megan Hoover
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The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is a non-profit professional organization for editors of print and online magazines which are edited, published and distributed in the U.S. Established in 1963, ASME currently has about 850 members nationwide. Among other things, ASME works to preserve editorial independence and speaks out on public policy issues, particularly those pertaining to the ...more
More about American Society of Magazine Editors...
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