Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the two New York Times reporters who (along with Ronan Farrow, writing separately in The New Yorker) revealed to the world two years ago the extensive sexual abuse committed by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Their book, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement (Penguin Press, $28) is a riveting, revealing account of how Kantor and Twohey developed that blockbuster, Pulitzer Prize-winning story and its consequences in spurring the #MeToo movement. Their success in documenting Weinstein’s predator behavior, nailing a high-impact story that others before them had tried but failed to confirm, provides a great case study of the kind of tough, exacting effort that goes into first-rate investigative journalism. It also stands as a powerful counterargument to the skepticism about and denigration of news media today.
Geoff Dyer applied to be a writer in residence on board an American aircraft carrier in 2011, his carrier of destination the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush stationed off the coast of Bahrain. In two weeks on the carrier, Dyer interviews the occupants, observes daily life on board and muses on the unique qualities of the American military and indeed the American way of life, which Dyer reflects on with delight and a kind of humorous appreciation, (see: "there was something very American about this ability to dwell constantly in the realm of the improvable superlative"). This is a witty, insightful and sometimes quite beautifully observed journey to a strange, industrial, military landscape.
Readers and political junkies of a certain age undoubtedly remember the lurid details of the sex scandal that ended presidential candidate Gary Hart’s political career almost thirty years ago. So what’s left to know? That was my reaction until I read All the Truth is Out (Knopf, $26.95), the fascinating new book by Matt Bai, the national political columnist for Yahoo News and formerly of The New York Times Magazine. Bai conducted lengthy interviews with all of the major characters involved in the scandal (including the leading journalists) and his book raises important questions about when and whether indiscretions by politicians constitute newsworthy character lapses that disqualify them from political office. Told in a breezy narrative, Bai’s story also corrects some widely held misconceptions about the events that led to Hart’s political collapse. This is a smart, compassionate, and eloquent book about our evolving political and journalistic culture.