As a young reporter for The New York Times, in 1961 Gay Talese published his first book, New York-A Serendipiter's Journey, a series of vignettes and essays that began, "New York is a city of things unnoticed. It is a city with cats sleeping under parked cars, two stone armadillos crawling up St. Patrick's Cathedral, and thousands of ants creeping on top of the Empire State Building." Attention to detail and observation of the unnoticed is the hallmark of Gay Talese's writing, and The Gay Talese Reader brings together the best of his essays and classic profiles. This collection opens with "New York Is a City of Things Unnoticed," and includes "Silent Season of a Hero" (about Joe DiMaggio), "Ali in Havana," and "Looking for Hemingway" as well as several other favorite pieces. It also features a previously unpublished article on the infamous case of Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt, and concludes with the autobiographical pieces that are among Talese's finest writings. These works give insight into the progression of a writer at the pinnacle of his craft. Whether he is detailing the unseen and sometimes quirky world of New York City or profiling Ol' Blue Eyes in "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," Talese captures his subjects-be they famous, infamous, or merely unusual-in his own inimitable, elegant fashion. The essays and profiles collected in The Gay Talese Reader are works of art, each carefully crafted to create a portrait of an unforgettable individual, place or moment.
Toward the end of 1964, the Verrazano (or, more properly, Verrazzano) Narrows Bridge-linking the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island-was completed. Fifty years later, it remains an engineering marvel. At 13,700 feet (more than two and a half miles), it is still the longest suspension bridge in the United States and the sixth longest in the world. Gay Talese, then early in his career at the New York Times, closely followed the construction, and soon after the opening of this marvel of human ingenuity and engineering, he chronicled the human drama of its completion-from the construction workers high on the beams to the backroom dealing that displaced whole neighborhoods to make way for the bridge. Now in a new, beautifully packaged edition featuring dozens of breathtaking photos and architectural drawings, The Bridge remains both a riveting narrative of politics and courage and a demonstration of Talese's consummate reporting and storytelling that will captivate new generations of readers.
One of America's most acclaimed writers and journalists, Gay Talese has been fascinated by sports throughout his life. At age fifteen he became a sports reporter for his Ocean City High School newspaper; four years later, as sports editor of the University of Alabama's Crimson-White, he began to employ devices more common in fiction, such as establishing a "scene" with minute details-a technique that would later make him famous. Later, as a sports reporter for the New York Times, Talese was drawn to individuals at poignant and vulnerable moments rather than to the spectacle of sports. Boxing held special appeal, and his Esquire pieces on Joe Louis and Floyd Patterson in decline won praise, as would his later essay "Ali in Havana," chronicling Muhammad Ali's visit to Fidel Castro. His profile of Joe DiMaggio, "The Silent Season of a Hero," perfectly captured the great player in his remote retirement, and displayed Talese's journalistic brilliance, for it grew out of his on-the-ground observation of the Yankee Clipper rather than from any interview. More recently, Talese traveled to China to track down and chronicle the female soccer player who missed a penalty kick that would have won China the World Cup. Chronicling Talese's writing over more than six decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult journalism- and including several never-before-published pieces (such as one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and notes on the background of each piece-The Silent Season of a Hero is a unique and indispensable collection for sports fans and those who enjoy the heights of journalism.
A superb new collection from the illustrious career of Gay Talese, "the most important nonfiction writer of his generation" (David Halberstam). Admired by generations of reporters, Gay Talese has for more than six decades enriched American journalism with an unmatched ability to inhabit the worlds of his subjects. From the long-form Esquire articles that germinated into his masterful books--including Honor Thy Father and Thy Neighbor's Wife--to indelible portraits like the canonical "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" and the recent, revealing account of avant-pop star Lady Gaga's studio session with the old-school crooner Tony Bennett, the pieces collected in High Notes are classics of the journalistic style Talese pioneered--"the art of hanging out," as he called it--and a bold testament to his enduring talent for unparalleled cultural observation and impeccable literary craftsmanship.
Vox Populi is the long-awaited fourth collection of interviews, editorials, essays, observations and keen insight from legendary New York broadcaster William O'Shaughnessy. With this inspiring new anthology, Bill is back in a big way, offering compelling dialogue and opinion on timely issues and current events in politics, media, the arts and popular culture.A masterful interviewer, O'Shaughnessy goes one-on- one with Barbara Taylor Bradford, Steve Forbes,Joe Califano and a colorful band of townie characters from Westchester - the Golden Apple. Broadcastingfor five decades from what the Wall Street Journal hailed as the quintessential community station inAmerica,his thoughtful and muscular commentaries have been widely praised in all the important journalsin the land.A self-styled First Amendment voluptuary,O'Shaughnessy is a stellar defender of Free Speech,having devoted the good part of fifty years to fighting censorship and government intrusion from his influentialperch in the heart of the Eastern Establishment.He's the one they roll out when the likes of Howard Stern, Bob Grant and Imus get in a jam. Colorful national figures and beguiling towniesabound in Vox Populi which is also laden with exquisitely beautiful eulogies and tributes to his departed friends Tim Russert, Wellington Mara, Robert Merrill and Ossie Davis.And, as in every Bill O'Shaughnessy book, there is stunning and powerful wisdom and brilliant observationsfrom Governor Mario Cuomo whom he so admires.The great American historian David McCullough observed: I always look forward to reading the historyof our times Bill O'Shaughnessy has written.O'Shaughnessy is an authentic American voice.
Gay Talese is the father of American New Journalism, who transformed traditional reportage with his vivid scene-setting, sharp observation and rich storytelling. His 1966 piece for Esquire, one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published, describes a morose Frank Sinatra silently nursing a glass of bourbon, struck down with a cold and unable to sing, like 'Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel - only worse'. The other writings in this selection include a description of a meeting between two legends, Fidel Castro and Muhammad Ali; a brilliantly witty dissection of the offices of Vogue magazine; an account of travelling to Ireland with hellraiser Peter O'Toole; and a profile of fading baseball star Joe DiMaggio, which turns into a moving, immaculately-crafted meditation on celebrity.
In 1956, at age 21, Floyd Patterson became the youngest boxer to win the title of world heavyweight champion and then, later, the first ever to lose and regain it. Here, acclaimed author W.K. Stratton chronicles the life of 'The Gentle Gladiator' - an athlete overshadowed by Ali's theatrics and Liston's fearsome reputation, and a civil-rights activist overlooked in the who's who of race politics. From the Gramercy Gym and wild-card manager Cus D'Amato to a final rematch against Ali in 1972, Patterson's career spanned boxing's Golden Age and included an Olympic gold medal. This powerful tribute to an invisible champion who fought his way to the top of a knockdown world, carrying many of the hopes and fears of the battle for civil rights, draws upon interviews with the fighter's friends and boxing contemporaries to provide the definitive account of his remarkable life and career.
A comprehensive, five-volume set, Concise Major 21st-Century Writers profiles today's most outstanding and widely known writers. Clearly written in an easy-to-use format, it collects detailed biographical and bibliographical information on approximately 700 authors who are most often studied in college and high school.
A classic masterwork newly updated The electrifying true story of the rise and fall of New York's notorious Bonanno crime family On New York's Park Avenue on a rainy Tuesday night in October 1964, the famous Mafia chieftain Joseph Bonanno was kidnapped by two mobsters and reported by the police as dead on the following morning. More than a year later, Bonanno mysteriously reappeared, setting off a bloody mob feud that came to be known as the “Banana War.” In this monumental work—packed with intimate details and brilliant reporting—bestselling author Gay Talese first brought to the American consciousness a world and a life previously known to only a few. No other book has done more to acquaint readers with the secrets, structure, wars, power plays, family lives, and fascinating, frightening personalities of the Mafia.
On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark bestseller Thy Neighbor’s Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. “Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America,” the letter began, “I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.” The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret, that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires. He had built an attic “observation platform,” fitted with vents, through which he could peer down on his unwitting guests. Unsure what to make of this confession, Talese traveled to Colorado where he met the man—Gerald Foos—verified his story in person, and read some of his extensive journals, a secret record of America’s changing social and sexual mores. But because Foos insisted on remaining anonymous, Talese filed his reporting away, assuming the story would remain untold. Now, after thirty-five years, he’s ready to go public and Talese can finally tell his story. The Voyeur’s Motel is an extraordinary work of narrative journalism, at once a portrait of one complicated man, and an examination of secret lives and shifting mores in a culturally-evolving country.