Culture

Review: ‘Thank You For My Service’

From Balad to Black Rifle

Beneath layers of playful, irreverent humor, Mat Best’s memoir Thank You For My Service is a serious book about a former U.S. Army Ranger navigating his way back into civilian life, overcoming an addiction to war, and trying to support his fellow veterans.

The Case of the Disappearing Editors

We few, we happy few…

editor writerA few years after I joined the Weekly Standard, then-literary editor Joseph Bottum asked if I was more interested in writing or editing. I said the latter. I never wrote for a school paper and only had a few clips at the magazine. Over time, I hoped to gain the confidence to make writing a full-time occupation. But until then, editing would be my safety net, allowing me to hide behind other people's bylines, looking for typos, grammatical errors, and eventually matters of style. Bottum gave me all sorts of advice, sharing various tricks of the trade, and went on to explain how he stole the hands off Healy's clock tower in Georgetown. Did I mention this was at a bar?

Continetti in Claremont Review of Books: Jill Abramson’s ‘Merchants of Truth’

A gossipy, pointed look at digital media's impact on the news industry

media newspapersI have a review of former New York Times editor Jill Abramson's Merchants of Truth in the summer 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books. I was somewhat surprised to find I enjoyed her gossipy, pointed look at digital media's impact on the news industry. On the other hand, I wasn't surprised when Abramson became embroiled in controversy over plagiarism and editorial sloppiness. That's the media for you. Below is the first third of the review. You can read the rest here.

Review: Ruth Reichl’s ‘Save Me the Plums’

She ate, she wrote, she conquered

Ruth Reichl /For Ruth Reichl, one memoir is not enough. Her early years were covered in Tender at the Bone. Then came her career as an L.A. Times food critic in Comfort Me with Apples (where she also confesses to infidelity). In Garlic and Sapphires she chronicles her stint as the New York Times's often incognito restaurant reviewer. For You Mom, Finally grapples with Reichl's relationship with her mentally unstable mother. And now there's Save Me the Plums, which covers Reichl's tenure at Gourmet—right up to its untimely demise.

Review: Roger L. Simon’s ‘The GOAT’

A tennis pro pays a steep price to be the Greatest of All Time

It was three or four years ago that the word GOAT finally gnawed through the fence of minor sports blogs and started gamboling in the greener fields of television and newspaper commentary—GOAT, that is, as an acronym for "Greatest of All Time."

Doc Reviews: David Crosby and Pavarotti

How legends are made

Documentaries released in actual movie theaters (as opposed to public television or HBO or the streaming services) come in two kinds. First, there’s the hysterical, portentous world-is-coming-to-an-end-and-its-all-the-fault-of-the-Koch-brothers-aaaaah-help-call-a-cop kind. Then there’s the elegiac-rueful-showbiz-tribute documentary about a once-singular sensation.

Johns Hopkins University Fires Professor Who Defied Campus Protesters

Povey used bolt cutters to enter building in order to protect research servers

Johns Hopkins University has fired Daniel Povey, an associate professor of speech and language processing, who used bolt cutters to gain entry to an administration building on campus that was taken over by student protesters who had chained the doors shut.

Internet Heavyweights Battle Over Blogger Unions

Barstool founder to AOC: Welcome to thunder dome. Debate me

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., NY) is going after one of the internet's most popular sports websites. The insurgent socialist Democrat came to the aid of workers at Barstool Sports, lending solidarity to a newsroom known for its humor and Connor McGregor trutherism.