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From one of the most gifted and widely read journalists at work today, a volume that collects the best of his pieces from The New Yorker over the last fifteen years. David Remnick is fascinated by the men and women obsessed with creating the history of our era as well as those intent on chronicling it. Public figures rarely step away from their public selves. But Remnick has the ability to see the private self beneath the public façade and give readers startling glimpses of familiar figures: Al Gore attacking George Bush as he tries to make sense of his incomprehensible loss in the 2000 election, Tony Blair struggling for votes in the midst of the Iraq crisis.
In Reporting, Remnick returns to two countries he knows well, Russia and Israel. His account of Vladimir Putin contending with Gorbachev’s legacy affords a fresh view of postcommunist Russia; his appraisals of Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, and Sari Nusseibeh of the P.L.O. shed unexpected light on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Often, Remnick’s intent is to see someone up close, if only for a moment in time: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as he packs his bags to return to Russia, Václav Havel as he prepares to end his career as President of the Czech Republic.
Whether David Remnick is writing about Katharine Graham and the state of American newspapers, the literary visions of Philip Roth and Don DeLillo, or the decline and fall of Mike Tyson and the sport of boxing, his powers of observation, analysis, compassion, and wit are always present. Reporting is confirmation of Remnick’s skill at writing insightful and influential political and cultural narratives, and of his unique gift for bringing his subjects to life on the page with extraordinary clarity and depth.