What We Are Reading Today: The New Journalism, by Tom Wolfe

Updated 17 May 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The New Journalism, by Tom Wolfe

  • Examining everything from the mind-bending effects of LSD to the optimism of the civil rights movement and the horrors of the Vietnam war, the book provides a unique snapshot of the period. 

On Monday, Tom Wolfe, the American novelist and journalist, died at the age of 88. 

Known for his flamboyant writing style and trademark white suits, Wolfe was one of the last survivors of a pioneering generation of reporters who transformed the landscape of US journalism in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Their work fused the literary techniques of fiction with the more traditional aspects of hard-edged reporting to provide vivid portraits of an era that promised to change the world. 

‘The New Journalism’, an anthology edited by Wolfe, features some of the finest examples of their writing. 

Examining everything from the mind-bending effects of LSD to the optimism of the civil rights movement and the horrors of the Vietnam war, the book provides a unique snapshot of the period. 

Writers included in ‘The New Journalism’ include Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, Gay Talese and Joan Didion, as well as Wolfe himself. 

Although their work is often mimicked today, very few contemporary reporters posses the talent and panache of this golden generation.


What We Are Reading Today: The Discrete Charm of the Machine by Ken Steiglitz

Updated 17 January 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Discrete Charm of the Machine by Ken Steiglitz

A few short decades ago, we were informed by the smooth signals of analog television and radio; we communicated using our analog telephones; and we even computed with analog computers.

Today our world is digital, built with zeros and ones.

Why did this revolution occur? The Discrete Charm of the Machine explains, in an engaging and accessible manner, the varied physical and logical reasons behind this radical transformation, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

The spark of individual genius shines through this story of innovation: The stored program of Jacquard’s loom; Charles Babbage’s logical branching; Alan Turing’s brilliant abstraction of the discrete machine; Harry Nyquist’s foundation for digital signal processing; Claude Shannon’s breakthrough insights into the meaning of information and bandwidth; and Richard Feynman’s prescient proposals for nanotechnology and quantum computing. Ken Steiglitz follows the progression of these ideas in the building of our digital world.