Good Examples of Collected Journalism
March 30, 2014 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Can people recommend good examples of the collected works of an individual journalist, collected and published as a book? I want to see how great journalists arrange and contextualize distinct pieces that also contain larger narrative arcs. Thanks.
posted by history is a weapon to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The White Album by Joan Didion. Also Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion. Both are outstanding.
posted by gt2 at 12:29 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anything by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Dispatches by Michael Herr

If you read The White Album, Dispatches, and Shah of Shahs, you've read three of the best journalists-writing-full length-works-based-on-reportage of the 2nd half of the 20th century.

For something more recent, you could try The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer. Several of Packer's New Yorker pieces are part of the larger work.
posted by gwint at 1:08 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is an amazing history of Al Queada up to 9/11. While not a collection, it is based on work that he did over the years.
posted by brookeb at 1:18 PM on March 30, 2014

Janet Flanner, notably Paris was Yesterday 1925-1939, and her collected dispatches from Paris in the post-war years. She knew everyone.
posted by rtha at 1:53 PM on March 30, 2014

Strange Stones is mostly (if not entirely?) comprised of Peter Hessler's New Yorker articles. Also it's great.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2014

The work of the "New Yorker" writer John McPhee.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 3:18 PM on March 30, 2014

McPhee's essay on Structure may be relevant to your interests.
posted by nixt at 8:10 PM on March 30, 2014

Bruce Chatwin.

The non fiction collections are meta travel writing.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:47 PM on March 30, 2014

I really enjoyed The Devil And Sherlock Holmes a collection of writing by David Grann, mostly for the New Yorker. It includes stories about about the water system under New York City, a career escape artist, the origins of a racist prison gang, the search for the giant squid, how arson investigations work and the mystery surrounding the death of a prominent Sherlock Holmes fan.

I would, however, suggest buying it with the classy British cover instead of this nonsense.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:25 AM on March 31, 2014

Forty-One False Starts, Janet Malcolm
Lost At Sea, Jon Ronson
Aloft, William Langewiesche (I'm not sure how many were previously published vs written for this volume)
posted by oliverburkeman at 4:49 AM on March 31, 2014

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. Collected stories from the New Yorker about the author and his young family moving from NY to live in Paris.
posted by CathyG at 5:48 AM on March 31, 2014

Anything by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Worth mentioning that Kapuscinski was often criticized for making up events and blurring the line between actual reporting and "poetic truth" in ways many found unpalatable.

The Lies of Ryszard Kapuściński

This review in Dissent of a 2012 biography has more:

And what does Domosławski find? That in many cases Kapuściński stretched the facts, let literary aims shape accounts of people and situations when reality was less poetic, and aggrandized his own role in order to heighten his authority and build his mystique. He didn’t know Che or Lumumba, as he allowed publishers to claim on dust jackets and reviewers to gush in reviews. His accounts of being close to execution appear, on close examination, to be something else. He twisted the stories of some interlocutors in order to make them fit a narrative, or just more entertaining...

I'm not sure that's the kind of "contextualizing distinct pieces that also contain larger narrative arcs" you want to be aiming for, but he is vivid and interesting to read, taken with a few very large grains of salt.
posted by mediareport at 7:00 AM on March 31, 2014

David Remnick has a couple collections like this.

The Devil Problem

Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker
posted by holmesian at 3:08 PM on March 31, 2014

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