It's been a while since I recommended a book, so here's one that I think is pretty awesome: Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person From Harper's Magazine
You get Jeff Sharlet on secret theocrats
, Charles Bowden writing on a longtime DEA informant's funeral, Ken Silverstein on lobbyists for third-world regimes, William Vollmann on tunnels under the Mexican border, Barbara Ehrenreich on breast-cancer kitsch
(her word, not mine), Jake Silverstein on poetry-contest scams and quite a few other excellent pieces. I caught some of this stuff the first time around, and anthologies are by their nature hit-or-miss, but this one mostly hits.
Ooh, and here's an .mp3. From the 10th-anniversary Oxford American
music issue (it also appears on the Complete Stax-Volt Singles
box, and probably on a few breaks compilations), Wendy Rene's 'After Laughter
.' Among other things, you might recognize it from the sample on the Wu-Tang Clan's 'Tearz
.' A few years ago, I was at a hip-hop show at Vino's
, and Red Eye Jedi
) dropped this, and the crowd pretty much shit its collective pants.