The New Journalism
|Author||Tom Wolfe & E. W. Johnson|
|Publisher||Harper & Row|
|Pages||394 (first edition)|
The New Journalism is a 1973 anthology of journalism edited by Tom Wolfe and E. W. Johnson. The book is both a manifesto for a new type of journalism by Wolfe, and a collection of examples of New Journalism by American writers, covering a variety of subjects from the frivolous (baton twirling competitions) to the deadly serious (the Vietnam War). The pieces are notable because they do not conform to the standard dispassionate and even-handed model of journalism. Rather they incorporate literary devices usually only found in fictional works.
The first section of the book consists of four previously published texts by Wolfe: The Feature Game and Like a Novel (published as The Birth of “The New Journalism”: An Eyewitness Report and The New Journalism: A la Recherche des Whichy Thickets, in the New York Magazine, on February 14 and February 21, 1972); Seizing the Power and Appendix (published as Why They Aren't Writing the Great American Novel Anymore, in Esquire, December 1972).
The text is a diatribe against the American novel which Wolfe sees as having hit a dead end by moving away from realism, and his opinion that journalism is much more relevant. In effect, his manifesto is for mixing journalism with literary techniques to document in a more effective way than the novel. These techniques were most likely inspired by writers of social realism, such as Émile Zola and Charles Dickens. His manifesto for New Journalism (although he had no great affection for the term) has four main points.
- Scene by scene construction. Rather than rely on second-hand accounts and background information, Wolfe considers it necessary for the journalist to witness events first hand, and to recreate them for the reader.
- Dialogue. By recording dialogue as fully as possible, the journalist is not only reporting words, but defining and establishing character, as well as involving the reader.
- The third person. Instead of simply reporting the facts, the journalist has to give the reader a real feeling of the events and people involved. One technique for achieving this is to treat the protagonists like characters in a novel. What is their motivation? What are they thinking?
- Status details. Just as important as the characters and the events, are the surroundings, specifically what people surround themselves with. Wolfe describes these items as the tools for a "social autopsy", so we can see people as they see themselves.
Part two, which makes of the major part of The New Journalism, consists of twenty-four texts, collected by Wolfe and Johnson. Every text features a short introduction, written by Wolfe.
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
The excerpt from In Cold Blood, is the fifth text in the anthology. The excerpt is taken from the third chapter titled Answers. In Cold Blood was initially, published as a four-part serial in The New Yorker, beginning with the September 25, 1965 issue. Answers, which was the third part, was published in the October 25 issue. The book details the brutal 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a wealthy farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, and his wife and two of their children. When Capote learned of the quadruple murder before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. Bringing his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee along, together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, were arrested not long after the murders, and Capote ultimately spent six years working on the book. It is considered the originator of the non-fiction novel and the forerunner of the New Journalism movement, although other writers, like Rodolfo Walsh, had already explored the genre in books like Operación Masacre.
In the introduction Wolfe writes “For all his attention to novelistic technique, however, Capote does not use point of view in as sophisticated way as he does in fiction. One seldom feels that he is really inside of the minds of the characters. One gets a curious blend of third-person point of view and omniscient narration. Capote probably had sufficient information to use point of view in a more complex fashion but was not yet ready to let himself go in nonfiction.”
Robert Christgau, Beth Ann and Macrobioticism
Beth Ann and Macrobioticism, by Robert Christgau, is the 20th text in the anthology. It was Christgau's first magazine article In 1965 Christgau was a reporter for the Dorf Feature Service in Newark, NJ.
|Title||Author||First Published||Magazine/Newspaper First Published in||Book Published in|
|Excerpt from In Cold Blood||Truman Capote||September 25, 1965||The New Yorker||In Cold Blood|
|Beth Ann and Macrobioticism||Robert Christgau||1965||New York Herald Tribune||-|
|Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream||Joan Didion||May 7, 1966||The Saturday Evening Post||Slouching Towards Bethlehem|
|‘That's What We Come to Minneapolis For,’ Stan Hough said||John Gregory Dunne||1969||-||The Studio|
|Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse||Joe Eszterhas||July 6, 1972||Rolling Stone||-|
|La Dolce Viva||Barbara Goldsmith||April 29, 1968||New York Magazine||-|
|Gear||Richard Goldstein||1969||The Village Voice||-|
|Khesanh||Michael Herr||September 1965||Esquire||-|
|Excerpt from The Armies of the Night||Norman Mailer||1968||-||The Armies of the Night|
|Excerpt from The Selling of the President 1968||Joe McGinniss||1969||-||The Selling of the President 1968|
|The Detective||James Mills||December 3, 1965||LIFE||-|
|Excerpt from Paper Lion||George Plimpton||1966||-||Paper Lion|
|Ava: Life in the Afternoon||Rex Reed||May 1967||Esquire'||Do You Sleep in the Nude?|
|Timing and a Diversion: The Cocoa Game||"Adam Smith" (pen name for George Goodman)||New York World Journal Tribune||The Money Game|
|Excerpt from M||John Sack||October 1966||Esquire||M|
|Twirling at Ole Miss||Terry Southern||February 1963||Esquire||Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes|
|The Soft Psyche of Joshua Logan||Gay Talese||April 1963||Esquire||-|
|Excerpt from Hell's Angels||Hunter S. Thompson||1966||-||Hell's Angels|
|The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved||Hunter S. Thompson||June 1970||Scanlan's Monthly||-|
|The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong||Nicholas Tomalin||June 5, 1966||The Sunday Times||-|
|Martin Luther King is Still on the Case||Garry Wills||August 1968||Esquire||-|
|The Fugitive||Tom Wolfe||1968||-||The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test|
|Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers||Tom Wolfe||June 8, 1970||New York Magazine||-|
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- Wolfe & Johnson, 1973, p. 363.
- Wolfe & Johnson, 1973, Acknowledgments.
- Schuster 1974, p. 265.
- Esquire Magazine. November 30, 2009.
- McQuade 1974, p. 290.
- Weingarten 2006, p. 298.
- Murphy, James E. (May 1974). Westley, Bruce H. (ed.). The New Journalism: A Critical Perspective. Journalism Monographs. 34. The Association for Education in Journalism.
- Weingarten, Marc (2006). The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism Revolution. Crown Publishers. ISBN 1-4000-4914-8.
- Wolfe, Tom; Johnson, E. W. (1973). The New Journalism. Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-014707-5.
The New Journalism
- Arlen, Michael J. (May 1972). "Notes on the New Journalism". The Atlantic Monthly. The Atlantic Monthly Group.
- Wood, Michael (June 22, 1973). "The New Journalism". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
Texts in the anthology
- Capote, Truman (1966). In Cold Blood. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-74558-0.
- Truman, Capote (October 9, 1965). "Annals of Crime: In Cold Blood: III Answers". The New Yorker. pp. 58–183.
- Cartwright, Garth (May 12, 2001). "Master of the Rock Review". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group.
- Didion, Joan (May 7, 1966). "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream". The Saturday Evening Post.
- Dunne, John Gregory (1969). The Studio. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-27112-7.
- McQuade, Donald, ed. (1974). Popular Writing in America: The Interaction of Style and Audience. Oxford University Press.
- Plimpton, George (September 7, 1964). "Zero of the Lions". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner.
- Russello, Gerald J. (November 21, 2005). "How New Journalism Became Old News". The New York Sun. ONE SL LLC.
- Sack, John (October 1966). "M". Esquire. Hearst Corporation.
- Schuster, Mel, ed. (1971). Motion Picture Performers: A Bibliography of Magazine and Periodical Articles, 1900-1969. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-0407-7.
- Tate, Ryan (December 9, 2008). "The Nude Photos That Nearly Destroyed New York". Gawker.com. Gawker Media.
- Thompson, Hunter S. (May 17, 1965). "The Motorcycle Gangs, Losers and Outsiders". The Nation. Katrina vanden Heuvel.
- Tomalin, Nicholas (June 5, 1966). "The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong". The Times. News Corporation.
- Wolfe, Tom (July 14, 2008). "A City Built of Clay". New York Magazine. New York Media LLC.
- Wolfe, Tom (February 14, 1972). "The Birth of 'The New Journalism'; Eyewitness Report by Tom Wolfe". New York Magazine. New York Media LLC. p. 44.
- Wolfe, Tom (February 21, 1972). "The New Journalism: A la Recherche des Whichy Thickets". New York Magazine. New York Media LLC. p. 152.
- Wolfe, Tom (December 1972). "Why They Aren't Writing the Great American Novel Anymore". Esquire. Hearst Corporation.
- "The 7 Greatest Stories in the History of Esquire Magazine". Esquire. Hearst Corporation. November 30, 2009. Retrieved December 31, 2009.