Search Results for: Michael Kruse

A Longreads Guest Pick: Andrew Pantazi on Michael Kruse's 'The Last Voyage of the Bounty'

Andrew Pantazi writes for his hometown newspaper, The Florida Times-Union.

From the gripping first paragraph in the first chapter of the first part of this longread, ‘In the dark, in the wet, whirling roar of Hurricane Sandy, on a ship tipping so badly the deck felt like a steep, slick roof …,’ Michael Kruse drew me into a tale of desperation and desire.

And that’s just Part 1. I didn’t want to feature a story that wasn’t fully published, but The Tampa Bay Times’ The Last Voyage of the Bounty was too good to pass up. The web design is beautiful and fairly non-distracting. Kruse churns out telling details. He slows the story when the crew has to make a decision, and then he moves the story along faster and faster and faster, as the storm gets closer and closer. Also check out the reporter’s notes where he annotates how he got all the details.

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Longreads Best of 2012: Michael Kruse

Longreads Pick

Michael Kruse, an award-winning staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times who also contributes to ESPN’s Grantland, this year gave a  TEDx talk and had a story make the anthology Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.

Read more guest picks from Longreads Best of 2012.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 2, 2013

Longreads Best of 2012: Michael Kruse

Michael Kruse, an award-winning staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times who also contributes to ESPN’s Grantland, this year gave a TEDx talk and had a story make the anthology Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.  

1. Chris Jones on the animals in Ohio. What a way to start: The horses knew first. And want to know how to make people keep reading? End paragraphs and sections with sentences like this: He saw what was unmistakably a bear, giving chase. And: Then Kopchak saw the lion. And: Next she called 911. And: … and they knew that they didn’t have enough time or tranquilizers to stop what was coming.

2. Michael Mooney’s Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever. Because of the question. Will he or won’t he? I had to know. But also because Mooney made me care about Bill Fong. He could’ve taken me anywhere. I would’ve read forever. And because come on—who doesn’t love a well-told tale with a twist at the end?

3. Kelley Benham’s Never Let Go. Granted, Kelley’s cubicle’s not too far from my cubicle, so maybe I’m not too impartial, but I feel like this is a fact: This story is one of the best things that ran in a newspaper in America in the last 12 months. Three parts. One miracle. Life.

4. Caballo Blanco’s Last Run by Barry Bearak. Classic quest story. Looking for True. Also, in print, it was beautifully designed. Which matters.

5. Patrick Radden Keefe’s Cocaine Incorporated. Details. Details like the ghostwriter composing letters to the mistress. Like the dope-stuffed submersibles floating down the Amazon. The Sinaloa pot farm … on U.S. National Forest land … in the remote North Woods of Wisconsin … surrounded by Mexican farmers with AK-47’s. The catapult! The chili-pepper business! The air-conditioned tunnels with trolley lines! Surprises are such intoxicants. Oh, and this sentence: In the trippy semiotics of the drug war, the cops dress like bandits, and the bandits dress like cops.

Read more guest picks from Longreads Best of 2012.

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Photo by bass_nroll via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Eliza Brooke, Aaron Cantú, Michael Kruse, Lucinda Chambers, and Lucas Reilly.

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Longreads Best of 2017: Political Writing

We asked writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in various categories. Here is the best in political writing.

Gabriel Sherman

Special correspondent for Vanity Fair and author of the New York Times best-selling biography of Roger Ailes.

The French Origins of ‘You Will Not Replace Us’ (Thomas Chatterton Williams, The New Yorker)

Anyone wanting to understand the forces that propelled Donald Trump to power needs to read Thomas Chatterton Williams’s fascinating profile of the French racial theorist Renaud Camus. Camus — no relation to Albert — popularized the alt-right theory that Muslim immigrants are reverse colonizing “white” Western Europe through mass migration. He is an unlikely progenitor of a political movement built around closing borders and preserving traditional culture. Camus works out of a 14th-century chateau and once wrote a travel book that describes itself as “a sexual odyssey — man-to-man.” Allan Ginsberg once said, “Camus’s world is completely that of a new urban homosexual; at ease in half a dozen countries.” While Williams doesn’t shy away from shining a light on the ugly racism that underpins Camus’s writings, he challenges liberals to reckon with the social and cultural effects of immigration in an increasingly globalized world. Read more…

The Town Where Trump Can Do No Wrong

Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Johnstown, Pa. in October 2016. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

It’s been one year since Donald Trump was elected president and he hasn’t fulfilled many of his campaign promises, like building a wall or repealing Obamacare. For Politico, Michael Kruse visited a town in western Pennsylvania where voters helped win Trump the presidency and learned that many of them don’t care about what he has or hasn’t been able to achieve in office — they will support him no matter what. Here’s Kruse talking with Maggie Frear, a retired nurse:

He said he was going to bring back the steel mills.

“You’re never going to get those steel mills back,” she said.

“But he said he was going to,” I said.

“Yeah, but how’s he going to bring them back?”

“I don’t know,” I said, “but it’s what he said, last year, and people voted for him because of it.”

“They always say they want to bring the steel mills back,” Frear said, “but they’re going to have to do a lot of work to bring the steel mills back.”

He hasn’t built the wall yet, either. “I don’t care about his wall,” said Frear, 76. “I mean, if he gets his wall—I don’t give a shit, you know? But he has a good idea: Keep ’em out.”

He also hasn’t repealed Obamacare. “That’s Congress,” she said.

And the drug scourge here continues unabated. “And it’s not going to improve for a long time,” she said, “until people learn, which they won’t.”

“But I like him,” Frear reiterated. “Because he does what he says.”

What might account for this kind of devotion? As Kruse puts it, “his supporters here, it turns out, are energized by his bombast and his animus more than any actual accomplishments.” They feel angry, and identify themselves in Trump’s anger.

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New York in the 1970s Gave Us Hip Hop, Madonna, and the Chip on Trump’s Shoulder

Image by Bin im Garten (CC BY-SA 3.0)

New York’s chaotic 1970s — when the city was on the brink of bankruptcy and crime rates reached record highs — have been mythologized as the last great period of unfettered, gritty creativity before yuppies, and later hipsters, ruined everything. It’s a complicated narrative, and the election of Donald Trump, a city-hating city-dweller, makes it even more so. Here’s a man who’s unquestionably among the most provincial New Yorkers of all time, yet he’s just as unquestionably an iconic one. And his rise to prominence came about right at that moment when New York was (supposedly) at its worst and at its best. Michael Kruse, writing at Politico, dives into what we might call Trump’s Studio 54 period, the years when desperate politicians allowed Trump to build an impressive real estate portfolio underwritten by huge tax breaks, and when public (specifically, Manhattan elite) derision shaped his politics of resentment for decades to come.

If he had expected New York to grant respect the way it had handed out tax breaks and opportunities for sheer publicity, he was mistaken. Critics in the pages of the Times called him “overrated” and “totally obnoxious.” It bothered him that he could put up such a glossy building and still be so readily dismissed as an arriviste. “If I were Gerry Hines in Houston,” he told Marie Brenner for a profile in New York magazine in 1980, referring to the billionaire real estate entrepreneur in Texas, “I would be the most important man in the city—but here, you bang your head against the wall to try to get some nice buildings up, and what happens? Everybody comes after you.”

But Trump attacked New York, too. He had, for instance, valuable art deco friezes jackhammered off the face of the Bonwit Teller building during its demolition—even after he had promised to donate them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a literal and visceral assault against the exact sort of New Yorker who found him so distasteful.

They were “nothing,” Trump said. They were “junk.”

They were not, said a man from the Met. “They were irreplaceable architectural documents.”

“Obviously,” huffed an editorial in the Times, “big buildings do not make big human beings.”

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Behind the Scenes of Longform Storytelling: A Reading List

That’s me in the photo. June, 2011: my first time interning at a daily newspaper and the first time I read Joan Didion. She blew my mind, of course. Eventually, I started sharing my favorite longform pieces on my personal blog, which led to a variety of opportunities, including my gig here at Longreads. If you’re new around these parts, like I was just a few years ago, the stories below will give you an idea of the strength and skill that goes into creating engaging literary journalism.

Each of the four stories below has been featured on Longreads before, minus the annotations, of course. The interviews with the authors are just as fascinating as the essays they’ve written. Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Adrian Chen, and Brian Kevin discuss their research methods, their writing style, and how they choose which details to include and which to let go. There are literally dozens of other Annotation Tuesday stories I could’ve featured — it was hard to pick just three! — so be sure to take a look for yourself on the Nieman Storyboard website.

1. “Annotation Tuesday! Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah and ‘If He Hollers Let Him Go.’” (Elon Green, October 2014)

Part of successful longform storytelling is a seamless blend of the macro and micro. In recounting her journey to Yellow Springs, Ohio — where comic Dave Chappelle lives, where he grew up, in part — Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah does just that. She never interviews Chappelle himself; she interviews several of the people surrounding him, including his mother, scholar Yvonne Seon, and Neal Brannan, co-creator of “Chappelle’s Show.” Ghansah and Elon Green share a fascinating back-and-forth about the impossibility of objectivity, the n-word, and comedy as a weapon.

2. “Annotation Tuesday! Adrian Chen and ‘Unfollow.’” (Katia Savchuk, January 2017)

Tech reporter Adrian Chen — formerly of Gawker, now The New Yorker — wrote a marvelous profile of Megan Phelps-Roper, who was once a devoted member of the Westboro Baptist Church. When Phelps-Roper took over the church’s social media accounts, her life changed. In between hate speech and emojis, she engaged with people of different backgrounds and worldviews. Chen explains that it took a long time for Megan to feel comfortable opening up to him and sharing her story publicly. But when she did open up to Chen, she gave him access to her emails, her journals, even her private messages on the Words With Friends app. They spoke for hours, and the result is a nuanced portrait that demonstrates the nonlinear nature of healing.

3. “Michael Kruse and the Woman Who Disappeared in Her Own Home.” (Paige Williams, August 2012)

I remember reading this piece when it was first published in 2011. I was interning at a daily newspaper and learning about feature writing and reporting for the first time. Michael Kruse and the Tampa Bay Times (previously the St. Petersburg Times) came highly recommended to me, and this story, “A Brevard Woman Disappeared, but Never Left Home” — is a contemporary classic. Journalist and professor Paige Williams dissects the story on an educational basis; Kruse answers her questions and adds commentary.

4. “Annotation Tuesday! (Back to School Edition): Josh Roiland and His ‘Literary Journalism in America’ Syllabus.” (Josh Roiland, August 2015)

During my senior year of undergrad, I embarked on an independent study of longform journalism — reading hundreds of essays, interviewing Ben Montgomery, and analyzing what makes different stories tick. Ready to embark on an independent study of your own? There’s no better place to start than this syllabus — I wish it had been around when I was in school. Roiland, presently an assistant professor with the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine, goes into glorious detail about each of his reading selections.

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week.

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