Sunday, February 24, 2013


Over eighty years, Esquire has published nearly a thousand issues, packed with work from the greatest writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Ernest Hemingway, Tom Wolfe, Arthur Miller, Dave Eggers, Ralph Ellison, C. J. Chivers, Nora Ephron … the bench goes deep, and deep, and deep … Philip Roth, Tom Junod, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chris Jones …

In honor of its eightieth anniversary, Esquire has mined the archives to publish its eighty greatest stories of all time. The first volume, “Great Men”, features epic profiles of eight men who helped invent our world, by eight of the greatest magazine writers of our time.

There’s Gay Talese’s New Journalism masterpiece “The Silent Season of a Hero,” about Joe DiMaggio, next to Tom Junod’s unforgettable profile of Mister Rogers. Tom Wolfe examines the life and influence of Robert Noyce, inventor of the integrated circuit, while the legendary Garry Wills journeys to Martin Luther King’s funeral.

Then comes Scott Raab’s rousing, groundbreaking profile of an aging Paul Newman; Michael Paterniti’s exploration of the world of Ferran AdriĆ , who taught us how to eat; and Chris Jones’s piece on Roger Ebert, who, even after losing his trachea, speaks with a braver voice than most men will ever know. The volume concludes with two stories that bookend the career of Steve Jobs, by Joe Nocera and Tom Junod.
I picked up Great Men: The Eighty Greatest Esquire Stories of All Time, Volume 1 on Kindle for £2.65. A volume a month for the pretty much the rest of the year ought to keep me diverted during my lunch time recline bike sessions at Virgin.

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