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The New Journalism

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  699 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Tom Wolfe introduces a wide range of journalistic reportage by writers including Truman Capote, Terry Southern, George Plimpton, Norman Mailer and Hunter S. Thompson.
Paperback, 394 pages
Published January 1st 1973 by HarperCollins Publishers
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May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
…don't just describe an emotion, arouse it, make them experience it, by manipulating the symbol of the emotion…
― Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The New Journalism is a 1973 book that explains the concept behind the “new” kind of journalism presented by Tom Wolfe – and I say “new” because even Wolfe says there’s no novelty. The book is also an anthology. It includes several articles to exemplify the principles of this style: scene‐by‐scene construction, dialogue, third‐person point of
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
For the most part, what you find in this book is probably not Literature but I would say that it's great selection of feature articles from its era and it's a great resource as a whole, as far as giving someone insight into the world that existed a decade before his (my) birth. So, even if it never materialized as the literary phenomenon Wolfe thought it was, this collection serves to provide insight into the attitudes of Americans in the late sixties and early seventies vis-a-vis a wide spectru ...more
Manik Sukoco
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great authors writing short stories from the 60's & 70's. This is a wide slice of the mid-century New Journalism epoch. It features charged work from every major player (including Terry Southern and others curiously ignored in Weingarten's overview). The predictions in Wolfe's manifesto haven't panned out as pervasively as he expected - if anything, today's writerly writers, by and large, are more gimmicky, narcissistic and insulated than ever - but that's capital-L Literature's loss, and the ni ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Highlights: pre Gonzo Hunter S. Thompson (on the Hells Angels), post-Gonzo Hunter S. Thompson (on the Kentucky Derby); Nicholas Tomalin and Michael Herr (both on the Vietnam war); Truman Capote (on murder in Kansas).

Middling pieces: Joan Didion (on the 60s), Terry Southern (on baton twirling), the normally impressive Gay Talese (on broadway).

Tedium: Tom Wolfe's two pieces.

Why on earth wasn't John McPhee's work included in this collection?
Nicole Scavino
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: journalism
First Year At University: This Beautiful Bullshit.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Wolfe introduces this anthology of writing with a discussion of the [ostensibly] universal ambition among writers to gain the respect of their colleagues and readers. He argues that, in his day, novelists still had the top position in the hierarchy of writers, journalists the lowest rung on the social ladder, and he sets out to challenge this [unsatisfactory] situation radically. "A writer needs at least enough ego to believe that what he is doing as a writer is as important as what anyone h ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If nothing else, a useful index into a range of skilled nonfiction authors from the '60s. Defining the exact limits of New Journalism is difficult, and I think probably archaic in a modern setting, but Wolfe does his best here to draw out the common threads from the exemplar work of some impressive journalists of the period. The core topics of the era (Vietnam, civil rights) appear a few times in the pieces, but the writers are not all 'big issue' commentators. More than anything, the defining c ...more
Jess Leslie
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will spend the rest of my life re-reading this book. (I know I said that I would take Truman Capote's ANSWERED PRAYERS with me to a desert island, but were I allotted two books, this would be the second...)

In TNJ, journalists hysterically, bizarrely, fearlessly write themselves into their own stories. It's a commonly used magazine article device now, but going back to the form's origins is where all the fun waits. (After all, if it's Hunter S. Thompson writing himself into a story, no one's sa
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kennedy by: Course Literature: Creative Nonfiction
Having just read The New Journalism by Tom Wolfe, I’m compelled to say something about it, but not inspired. Nonetheless, you’ve gotta love an anthology and that’s what this is; a slice out of time with Tom Wolfe as an excellent curator. He’s a straight shooter and firsthand participant, which makes him a somewhat convincing historian, however that’s the thing about his story, any history; it’s as true as our collective memory.
Not knowing much about Tom Wolfe, nor having read anything he’d writt
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing collection
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A snapshot of the birth of the genre in the 1960s and 1970s. 40+ years later, I can't help noticing how much whitemansplaining there is in this anthology -- Tom Wolfe on Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, Life magazine explaining in passing how the killing of one black kid makes it hard for white cops to do their job, Garry Wills on Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral and the significance of MLK. Joan Didion is the only contributor who isn't white and male. Weren't there any black or Hisp ...more
Investigative journalist Nick Davies has chosen to discuss Tom Wolfe's The New Journalism , on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject - Investigative Journalism, saying that:

“When this was first published, news writing was written in a very strict, often quite staid style. New Journalism used a range of literary techniques commonplace in fiction, for example the use of dialogue or first-hand narrative. At that time they were virtually unheard of in news writing. Tom Wolfe wrote an es
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an almost uniformly strong collection of pieces, and as good a primer as one could reasonably ask for. It's pretty light on female writers - only Joan Didion and Barbara L. Goldsmith, and at the very least Didion warrants a second entry - but much of the early nonfiction canon is here: Hunter S. Thompson (twice), editor Wolfe (twice), Capote, Plimpton, Talese, Michael Herr, etc. And the pieces from which I didn't expect much still managed to deliver something even if they didn't blow me ...more
This has not aged well. This is less a useful anthology of the origins of creative nonfiction and more of a relic of the hyper-masculine world of reporting in the days before women and minorities were allowed into the newsroom. But more than this, even the excerpts from works that have lasted (such as Capote's In Cold Blood) are weak selections (the one exception to this is Didion's "Slouching Toward Bethlehem"). Many of the articles are full of juvenile writing devices like onomatopoeia that ma ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Perhaps exciting at the time, the picks for New Journalism mostly come off as a very dated writing style. Tom Wolfe comes off like he is absolutely in love with himself and his perspective, mostly by including 5 sections he wrote for the book and 3 selections of his writing. Also dated–All the picks are white and all but Barbara Goldsmith and Didion are men. There are certainly a few stand outs, like The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, Paper Lions and Martin Luther King is Still on the ...more
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"In April of 1965, in the New York Herald Tribune's Sunday magazine, New York, I had made what I fancied was some lighthearted fun of the New Yorker magazine with a two-part article entitled "Tiny Mummies! The True Story of the Ruler of 43rd Street's Land of the Walking Dead!" A very droll sportif performance, you understand. Without going into the whole beanball contest I can tell you that there were many good souls who did not consider this article either lighthearted or sportif."
Rob Bailey
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An essential compilation of a radical journalism which left a lasting legacy on the industry. The focus on telling facts through the techniques of fiction mean that these stories, written about events 50 years ago, remain fresh. Among the familiar names (Wolfe, Thompson, Capote) some less well known writers stand out. Joe Ezsterhas' report on shootings in a rural town is a remarkable piece of work... And stands in strange contrast to his later career.
Kelsey Andrews
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Wolfe's Preface gives one of the best explanation of "New Journalism". I don't think I could have written my paper without it. The term New Journalism is very confusing and even those within the field at times don't seem to know what it means. Wolfe's provides a simple explanation and supplements it with examples (occasionally followed by his analysis). Simply put: he lists the principles that makes New Journalism and shows the best of it at work.
Bill Daniels
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The late sixties and the early seventies were wonderful times for a functionally literate reader. So many great writers were pushing the boundaries on style and subject matter.

Michael Herr and John Sack covered Vietnam and brought a whole new perspective to covering war.

This book was published in 1973 and compiles many pieces I had read as they were published.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
My copy is from 1973 and this truly felt like an artifact. I did learn a few things: Tom Wolfe is frequently self-referential. He really enjoys the work of Hunter S. Thompson. New journalism= very long pieces. I want to read more Didion and there are a couple of articles in this anthology that stand the test of time (In Cold Blood excerpt, Red Dirt...).
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The foundation of present day journalism and documentary film-making--every current investigation conducted by a reporter driven to "experience" the condition/situation at hand owes a debt of gratitude to Wolfe and his contemporaries
Andy Theyers
I can't recommend this highly enough. A collection of journalism pieces from Wolfe, Capote, Thompson and many many others that not only writes about a radically changing America, but is itself a radical change to the way news was presented.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only does it contain Tom Wolfe's essay (which should really be required reading for anyone considering journalism as a career) but you also get a superb collection of long form journalism from the mid '50s to the early '70s.
Michael Hussey
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seems dated now. But there is some really great writing in the book. It is interesting readi ng about an era when young journalists were trying to reinvent storytelling. Now we live in the era of Fox News, blogs and tabloids. How media has fallen.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The New Journalism is to writing what Rock n' Roll is to music. You'd get grabbed by the collar and dragged through a story, at various speeds, altitudes and point of views. The genre contains the ability to both puch you in the chest and lull you into harmonies, like a beautiful ballad.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating collection of journalism, spanning over many topics and many styles, but all of them bold, strong, and crisp like reality itself. The wide range of styles make it a great read for anyone interested studying non-fiction writing.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is an outstanding collection of essays from the New Journalism movement. It introduced me to Joan Didion, Hunter Thomoson and Tom Wolfe.
Derrick Goold
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that I pulled off a shelf in Oxford, England, in 1995 and it forever changed my view of Journalism. I read it at least four times that summer over pints and again on my flight home.
Hank Stuever
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Formative, to say the least. With that great quote in Wolfe's opening essay about feature writers, "all competing for the tiniest crown in the world: Best Feature Writer in town."
Juan Carlos
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
It is a great essay about journalism and could be great for those jornalism student who like to discover new forms of combine literature and no-fiction.
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Wolfe was educated at Washington and Lee Universities and also at Yale, where he received a PhD in American studies.

Tom Wolfe spent his early days as a Washington Post beat reporter, where his free-association, onomatopoetic style would later become the trademark of New Journalism. In books such as The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe delves into

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