A-# 1 progenitors with the New Social media movement

Tom Wolfe And The Legacy Of New Journalism

Tom Wolfe spent his early days as a Washington Post beat reporter, where his free-association, onomatopoetic style would later become the trademark of New Journalism. In books such as The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe delves into the inner workings of the mind, writing about the unconscious decisions people make in their lives. His attention to eccentricities of human behavior and language and to questions of social status are considered unparalleled in the American literary canon.

And swirling all about us—still swirling, although the motion has somewhat abated—has been the great sexual lather of the 1960s. It was in the sixties, wasn’t it, that we first had the miniskirt. I Am Curious, Yellow—and showing at a chic theater. Kaffeeklatsches about the clitoral orgasm.

Ironically, today the faculty members look more like children than the students, because many of the faculty members were children of the Sixties, and they still dress that way. The whole breakdown of formality between the old and the young – it changed universally, just like that . Yes, and when you talk about the Sixties, in most cases you’re talking about things that young people did or were responsible for, except for Vietnam. There’s a dark side of the Sixties and a happy side. Ninety-five percent of the young people in the United States in the Sixties didn’t give a damn about Vietnam. If you could make a survey, you’d find that the number of those who cared was very small.

In journalism, the hegemony of a New York Times-style, view-from-nowhere objectivity led to the exclusion of non-elite voice. In literary fiction, the dominance of bourgeois domestic realism, promulgated by influential writing programs at the University of Iowa and elsewhere, led to novels that excluded social concerns. Rigorously reported, psychologically astute, sociologically sophisticated, and politically aware, the New New Journalism may well be the most popular and influential development in the history of American literary nonfiction. This is an anthology and i didn’t actually read every piece BUT the pieces I did read and the introduction/appendix were really good. What drove me to read this was Joan Didion but what I got out of it was a newfound love and appreciation for a transformation in 60s journalism that I had no idea about.

There are other examples, although not, I suspect, all that many. That was Joe Liebling’s way of praising a fellow journalist, his highest praise. There are probably few careful writers around anymore. This doesn’t seem to be a very careful period we are living in. Relationships seem to break apart … carelessly. Harmful drugs are put on the market … carelessly.

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