Jacqueline Susann: The Writing Machine

By Sara Davidson Harper’s October, 1968 White lightning slams across the sky as the Eastern Airlines 8:00 A.M. shuttle takes off from New York to Washington. In a front aisle seat, a tall, slender woman stares straight ahead through a mask of makeup-black penciled...

The Insanity Bit

By Seymour Krim From Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer, 1961  Until this time of complete blast-off in seemingly every department of human life, the idea of insanity was thought of as the most dreadful thing that could happen to a person. Little was actually known...

The Art of Hanging Out

By Dan Wakefield The New York Times July 21, 1968 Both as a novelist (Run River, 1963) and as a reporter and essayist, Joan Didion is one of the least celebrated and most talented writers of my own generation (“Silent,” B.A.’s circa mid-1950’s). Her first collection...

The American Novel Made Us

By Seymour Krim Playboy June 1969 I was literally made, shaped, whetted and given a world with a purpose by the American realistic novel of the mid- to late 1930s. From the age of 14 to 17, I gorged myself on the works of Thomas Wolfe (beginning with Of Time and the...

The Challenger and the Muslims

By Dick Schaap The New York Herald Tribune January 23, 1964 When he was 18 years old, just an amateur fighter with almost no reputation outside his native Louisville, Cassius Marcellus Clay came to New York and, on the corner of 125th St. and Seventh Ave, by the Hotel...

The Most Hated Winner in Football: Al Davis

By Leonard Shecter Look November 18, 1969 The day in 1966 when AI Davis, who now runs the Oakland Raiders with a small, iron fist, was appointed commissioner of the American Football League, he leaned over the shoulder of the young publicist who was typing the...

The Toughest Man in Pro Football

By Leonard Shecter Esquire January 1968 One of the favorite things of Vince Lombardi, coach, general manager and spiritual leader of the world-champion Green Bay Packers, is the grass drill. He lets an assistant coach lead the bending and stretching exercises, the...

Grateful Dead I Have Known

By Ed McClanahan From My Vita, If You Will 1998 If you’ve got it all together, what’s that all around it? —Inscribed on my bathroom wall by Ken Kesey, who attributed it Brother Dave Gardner A bright Sunday afternoon in August 1971, just one week after Bill Graham...

The Writer as Football Hero

By George Plimpton From Paper Lion 1966 Jack Benny used to say that when he stood on the stage in white tie and tails for his violin concerts and raised his bow to begin his routine—scraping through “Love in Bloom”—he felt like a great violinist. He reasoned that, if...

The Love Ethic on 125th Street

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice April 11, 1968 In times of national tragedy the barometer of the mood of the people can best be researched in saloons and cathedrals. Being more comfortable in the former, Friday afternoon I stopped into a pub in the Wall Street area....

Something to Do with Heroes

By Larry Merchant From Ringside Seat at the Circus 1976 Paul Simon, the Simon of Simon and Garfunkel, was invited to Yankee Stadium yesterday to throw out the first ball, to see a ballgame, to revisit his childhood fantasy land, to show the youth of America that...

The Mongoose

By Jack Murphy The New Yorker 1961 Archibald Lee Moore, the light-heavyweight boxing champion of the world, is 44 years of age by his own account and 47 by his mother’s. She says that he was born on December 13, 1913, in Benoit, Mississippi, but he insists that the...