The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 is an essential guide to the year's most entertaining, politically charged, and sophisticated essays. With pieces first published in The Nation, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker, among other leading publications, this anthology illuminates the most compelling issues of the past year and points to the topics that will concern us in the next. Chosen from among the winners and finalists of the 2008 National Magazine Awards, these articles span an eclectic range, from a chilling account of the CIA's secret interrogation program to a humorous look at the absurdities of modern medicine, from a scathing critique of America's activities in Iraq to an acid takedown of snark culture.
The anthology also includes Matthew Scully's fascinating peek inside the making of the George W. Bush presidency; Walter Kirn's surprising report on the mental effects of multitasking; Steve Oney's investigation into the unforeseen casualties of the Iraq War; Christopher Hitchens's frank assessment of the relationship between illicit sex and politics; Matt Taibbi's award-winning profile of Barack Obama; Peter Hessler's tour of China's instant cities; Caitlin Flanagan's flirtation with the online escapades of minors; Kurt Andersen's meditation on American greed; and Evan Wright's absorbing account of Hollywood's oddest comeback. From one girl's escape from Burundi to an exposé of American coal mining, The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 showcases the unparalleled work of our greatest writers and critics.
If this anthology were a magazine, everybody would want to subscribe.
Another exemplary collection of the finest magazine writing in the United States.... A brilliant compilation.
Diverse, brainy, and provocative.
The Sacramento Bee
As always, this collection offers readers the opportunity to catch up on the best magazine writing they may have missed.
Balanced, comprehensive, thought-provoking, involving, and well-crafted.
This volume stands with the best... the compulsive readability of a good novel, but the immediacy and moral power of good journalism.
Consistent excellence distinguishes this annual series... Significance and relevance delivered by way of superlative prose and keen journalistic investigation.
A rich showcase.
One exceptional read after another... this collection redeems the honor of print and its conscientious attention to accountability, depth and excellence.
Carl Sessions Stepp
Absolutely crammed with jaw-dropping features that will make you laugh, piss you off and push you to tears. A fantastic compilation.
ContentsIntroduction Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief, SlateAcknowledgments Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief, Glamour and Immediate Past President of ASME1. Everybody SucksVanessa GrigoriadisNew YorkFinalist--Feature Writing2. China's Instant CitiesPeter HesslerNational GeographicWinner--Reporting3. Present at the CreationMatthew ScullyThe AtlanticFinalist--Profile Writing4. The Black SitesJane MayerThe New YorkerFinalist--Reporting5. Specialist Town Takes His Case to WashingtonJoshua KorsThe NationWinner--Public Interest6. City of FearWilliam LangewiescheVanity FairFinalist--Reporting7. "You Have Thousands of Angels Around You"Paige WilliamsAtlantaWinner--Feature Writing8. Obama's MomentMatt TaibbiRolling StoneWinner--Columns and Commentary9. Out in the ColdMike Kessler5280: Denver's Mile-High MagazineFinalist--Public Interest10. BrouhahahaHendrik HertzbergThe New YorkerFinalist--Columns and Commentary11. Pat Dollard's War on HollywoodEvan WrightVanity FairWinner--Profile Writing12. The Autumn of the MultitaskersWalter KirnThe AtlanticFinalist--Essays13. BetrayedGeorge PackerThe New YorkerFinalist--Public Interest14. Babes in the WoodsCaitlin FlanaganThe AtlanticWinner--Reviews and Criticism15. UnderworldJeanne Marie LaskasGQFinalist--Feature Writing16. I Am Joe's ProstateThomas E. KennedyNew LettersWinner--Essays17. American RouletteKurt AndersenNew YorkFinalist--Columns and Commentary18. Casualties of WarSteve OneyLos AngelesFinalist--Profile Writing19. So Many Men's Rooms, So Little TimeChristopher HitchensSlateFinalist--Columns and Commentary20. Don't Cry For Me, Iwo JimaTom CarsonGQFinalist--Reviews and Criticism2008 National Magazine Award FinalistsJudges, 2008National Magazine Award Winners, 1966-2008ASME Board of Directors, 2007-2008PermissionsList of Contributors