Synopses & Reviews
resurrects remarkable articles that publications like Harper's, Vanity Fair
and The New Yorker
assigned to renowned writers, then discarded not for reasons of quality but because of their potential for unwanted controversy. Skittish editors feared that publishing these provocative pieces about politics, sex, corruption and culture might upset their pals, enrage readers or offend advertisers. This groundbreaking collection includes contributions by George Orwell, Betty Friedan, Terry Southern, P.J. O'Rourke, Mike Sager, Ann Louise Bardach, Jon Entine, Ted Rall, Douglas Rushkoff, Robert Fisk and Carlo Wolff.
Killed pries open the inner sanctum of the editor's office to give readers a rare glimpse at the sometimes sordid business that goes on within. Here, for the first time, you can read Betty Friedan's powerful essay imploring young women to take college seriously; in 1958 this article so unnerved the man who ran McCall's that he refused to run the revolutionary work, inspiring Friedan to later write The Feminine Mystique. Among the other important stories finally brought to light in these pages: Larry Doyle's scathing satire of control-freak Hollywood publicists that struck too close to home for editors at US; Mike Sager's gripping account of life in a squalid Palestinian refugee camp that the Washington Post Magazine inexplicably spiked; Jon Entine's devastating investigation of the Body Shop's deceptive marketing practices that Vanity Fair kept you from reading until now.
Killed uncovers evidence of pandemic self-censorship in the magazine and newspaper industries at a time when the breakneck pace of media consolidation has gobbled up countless independent publishers, raising the stakes for contrarian writers and independent-minded readers alike.
"Editor Wallis calls this anthology 'a kind of literary orphanage... that rescues remarkable stories that editors commissioned, then abandoned.' Magazines drop articles for various reasons, but these selections were killed either because they might have attracted expensive lawsuits, or they offended a magazine's advertisers or editors. Since revealing such censorship is this collection's goal, a brief history and cause of death precedes each article. The collection begins with a 1942 book review by George Orwell (killed by the Observer), an early feminist piece (1958) by Betty Friedan killed by McCall's and a 1963 discourse by Terry Southern (killed by Esquire) on Doctor Strangelove. Then, the compilation moves forward into the past two decades. There are articles about health problems from smoking, bias in the coverage of Palestinian struggles and violations of child labor law all reminders of the many articles on these subjects that haven't seen print. Most memorable, however, are the in-depth exposés, like Ann Louise Bardach's piece on Reverend Moon or Jon Entine's on Anita Roddick and the Body Shop. These articles not only provide solid, usable research on their subjects, but stand as models of investigative journalism. The volume as a whole reminds readers that even apparently 'nonpolitical' magazines like GQ and Vanity Fair often censor writers to protect their bottom line. This is a provocative compilation for journalism students and fun reading for leftist intellectuals. Agent, Lisa Hyman. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The suffocated stories in Killed along with the obituary notes explaining each story's untimely demise constitute a hidden history of modern American magazine journalism. Their resurrection is a public service and a work of art." Joe Conason, author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth
"This book is fun to read, but it's also a wakeup call: we need tougher writers and less arrogant bosses." Andrei Condrescu, author of Wakefield
Killed resurrects remarkable articles that prestigious publications such as The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and Rolling Stone assigned to accomplished writers for sizeable fees, then discarded for reasons having nothing to do with their quality and everything to do with their potential for unwanted controversy, political incorrectness, or undue pressure from an advertiser. Read for the first time Mike Sager's profile of Palestinian militants involved in the intifada of 1987 that was killed by the Washington Post Magazine because his story did not side with Israel, and Ted Rall's essay on his deadbeat dad that was deemed too dark by the New York Times Magazine for its Father's Day issue. While the notion of a killed article is nothing new, the breakneck pace of media consolidation has raised the stakes for contrarian writers and readers as independent publishers dwindle. Killed arises out of this moment, bringing these outstanding pieces of censored journalism into the public arena for the first time.
An outstanding anthology of "spiked" journalism by leading American writers.
Wallis resurrects remarkable articles that prestigious publications such as The New Yorker and Rolling Stone assigned to accomplished writers, then discarded due to unwanted controversy, political incorrectness, or undue pressure from an advertiser.
About the Author
David Wallis is a journalist and founder of Featurewell.com, a syndicate that markets articles by more than 1,000 top journalists. He has written for the New Yorker, Wired, The Observer (London), the Washington Post and the New York Times Magazine among others. David Wallis lives in New York City.