Synopses & Reviews
“Submersion journalism” happens when a reporter dares to see a story from the inside: to participate in the events at hand, sometimes undercover, and then to tell the tale from a distinct point of view rather than pretend to some ideal of objectivity. During the Bush years, Harper’s correspondents infiltrated the Republican machine, from its lowliest canvassing operation to its corporate and evangelical elite, and they posed as shady clients for sleazy blue-chip lobbying firms. They shot machine guns, lounged in Vegas brothels, and peered into secret tunnels in Mexicali. They terrorized art museums and touched off worldwide fads.
Here are some of the best examples of participatory reporting published in the past decade, called “brilliant work” by the Los Angeles Times.
Contributors: Charles Bowden Adam Davidson Barbara Ehrenreich Steve Featherstone Kristoffer A. Garin Gary Greenberg Roger D. Hodge Jay Kirk Willem Marx Morgan Meis Jeff Sharlet Jake Silverstein Ken Silverstein Wells Tower William T. Vollmann Bill Wasik
[...] I was particularly intrigued by Submersion Journalismwhich includes work by Wells Tower, an excellent but not terribly well-known journalist who contributes to Harper's, The Believer, Washington Post Magazineand others.
The New Press recently published Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person. It is a great anthology, chock full of fantastic articles originally published in Harper"smagazine."
Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person From Harper"s Magazinecame out that day and includes a piece by Monthly staffer [J]ake Silverstein [']
Daily Book Pick, October 24, 2008.
"Proof of the indelible power of . . . detailed nonfiction storytelling." —Washington City Paper
"It’s always exciting to see collections like these come out, if only for the fact that they highlight some of the best, most entertaining journalism ever written." —The Millions
"Admirable. . . . The selections are tightly and sometimes masterfully written." —Austin Chronicle
"An often-witty and engaging collection, proof positive that there are still reporters who prod, dig and poke. Not content to be embedded or press-release-driven, these journalists exemplify what it means to be intrepid investigators and inquisitors of power, whether personal or political." —The Indypendent
"A great anthology, chock full of fantastic articles." —Good
"This collection should be read by any student who aspires to the true art of journalism, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about what really goes on in American politics—and society—today." —Library Journal
"A terrific retrospective collection." —Booklist
"Although these are nonfiction contributions, they often read like literature." —The Brooklyn Rail
Fifteen sparkling works of inside-out reportage'"Harper's own house brand of "Submersion Journalism"'"an unapologetically aggressive approach to reporting in an age of lies.
About the Author
Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Wired Magazine
and was previously a senior editor at Harper’s Magazine
. He is the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture
; a co-author, with Monica Murphy, of Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
; and the editor of Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person from
Harper’s Magazine (The New Press). He lives in Oakland, California.