© 2022 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Journalists Who Wouldn't Write Straight

Not long ago, "new journalism" referred not to technological advances but to changes in approach and style. Those changes, ushered in by gonzo writers like Hunter S. Thompson as well as more serious chroniclers like Joan Didion, are the subject of Marc Weingarten's The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight.

The book follows the evolution of a new style of storytelling, in which writers immersed themselves in the experiences they described in the pages of magazines like Esquire and New York. While based on fact, stories by early practitioners Norman Mailer and Truman Capote were also full of personal impressions.

As the style developed, it expanded in new ways: Rolling Stone magazine touted the writing of Hunter S. Thompson, while events in Vietnam were brought to life by Michael Herr and John Sack in Esquire.

Weingarten follows that evolution — and the way it changed the business of journalism — by following the careers of writers and editors who were at the center of it all.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Terry Gross
Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.