Posted inBooks, First Chapters, Member Pick, Nonfiction, Story

‘Like Being in Prison with a Salary’: The Secret World of the Shipping Industry

Rose George | Metropolitan Books | August 2013 | 17 minutes (4,213 words) The following is the opening chapter of Rose George’s new book, Ninety Percent of Everything. Our thanks to the author for sharing it with the Longreads community. * * * Friday. No sensible sailor goes to sea on the day of the Crucifixion or the […]

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Revisiting—and correcting—the stories of Frances Farmer. The star of 1930s and ’40s Hollywood was once thought to have been lobotomized after being involuntary committed to an institution: Let’s make something perfectly clear: Frances was not lobotomized. Granted, Dr. Walter Freeman did visit Steilacoom and perform lobotomies while Frances was incarcerated there—but correlation isn’t commission, obviously, […]

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Unauthorized, but Not Untrue: The real story of a biographer in a celebrity culture of public denials, media timidity, and legal threats

Unauthorized, but Not Untrue: The real story of a biographer in a celebrity culture of public denials, media timidity, and legal threats Presidential wrath has its niggling little consequences. After almost 30 years as a contributing editor for Washingtonian magazine, I was suddenly removed from the masthead. The editor said he disapproved of my Bush […]