tetw asked: Hello, we were wondering whether you might like to put together a little collection of your all-time favourite magazine length journalism - maybe 5 articles - for us to feature on The Electric Typewriter? In return we would, of course, be happy to include a little description of the project along with all the relevant linkages. If you're interested, of there's anything we can do for you, hit us up via the ask page!

I’m crashing past your recommended five with the following:

What: David Foster Wallace: Consider the Lobster. Gourmet Magazine, 2004.
Why: I could pick any number of DFW articles as my favorite but am going with this one. See too his magnificent tennis reportage such as Federer as a Religious Experience from 2006  or The String Theory from 1996. 

What: Charles Bowden: While You Were Sleeping. Harper’s Magazine, 1996.
Why: Back in the mid-90s, Bowden published a harrowing account of life in Juarez, Mexico along the US border. At the time, a number of femicides where being committed. Very much a precursor to what’s happening in the drug wars today.

What: Lawrence Lessig, For the Love of Culture. The New Republic, 2010.
Why: This one’s less about storytelling and more about the legal, cultural and creative importance of open culture and the creative commons. A must primer for anyone interested in independent creativity and production in any field.  

What: Hunter S. Thompson, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved. Scanlan’s Monthly, 1970.
Why: Thompson meets Steadman meets the madness of the Kentucky derby. 

What: George Plimpton, The Curious Case of Sidd Finch. Sports Illustrated, 1985.
Why: For the April 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated, Plimpton “discovers” a pitching prospect who will change baseball history. To start, Sidd has a 168 mile per hour fastball that he developed through years spent in a Tibetan monastery perfecting mind-body balance. Even knowing it’s an elaborate April Fools doesn’t diminish the fun.

What: Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Harper’s Magazine, 1964. 
Why: Because the more things change the more things stay the same. Great articles are timeless, right?

What: Gay Talese, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold. Esquire, 1966. 
Why: A J-School classic on how to report a story on a subject that never appears.

What: Jim Hogshire: The Electric Cough-Syrup Acid Test. Harper’s 1993.
Why: Ever wonder what it feels like to be a reptile. Take two bottles of Robitussin DM and call us in the morning.

So, that’s what I got. What about you? — Michael

  1. futurejournalismproject posted this