The Black Stallion

By Dave Kehr Chicago Magazine April 1980 The first movie ever made, an 1877 experiment by Eadweard Muybridge, was about horses. And when the movies reached maturity, around the turn of the century, the genre that quickly established itself as the most popular and...

On Disney

By Sergei Eisenstein From On Disney 1986 Alma-Ata, 16, November 1941 ‘The work of this master is the greatest contribution of the American people to art.’ Dozens and dozens of newspaper clippings, modifying this sentence in various ways, pour down upon the astonished...

Wolfe and Breslin and the Birth of New York Magazine

By Richard Kluger From The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune 1986 Of all James Bellows’s efforts to strengthen the Tribune, none was more striking than his willingness to take chances on new young writers, whom he encouraged to work in whatever...

Chuck Bowden and the Red Cadillac

By Luis Alberto Urrea From Red Caddy 2018 The License Plate Said “Hayduke”: Chuck Bowden and the Red Cadillac “I try to construct a theory of how a moral person should live in these circumstances, and how such a person should love.”   Charles Bowden, Desierto...

On Bird

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 There have been a number of instances in jazz history of the incandescent hero-as-world-overturning-improviser eventually plunging, like Icarus, into burnt-out extinction. Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, and, way back,...

Top of the Heap

By William Nack From Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories 2000 On a balmy afternoon in February, 1999, as old Yankee Stadium was getting her face lifted and nails polished for the spring opener, I visited the grand old yard to peer into the nooks and corners of her...

August of 1959

By William Nack From Bloodlines 2006 In the summer of 1959, not far from that old wooden bandbox known as Arlington Park, I awoke early one morning in my bunk in Barn 4A, descended the rickety staircase from my room, and there at once found myself living out the...

How Pryor Put Cosby Behind Him

By Scott Saul From Becoming Richard Pryor 2014 When Richard Pryor first came on the national scene in the mid ’60s, he was a comic who consciously followed the blueprint established by Bill Cosby. Never mind that Pryor, even when he was doing a clean act, lacked...

Hunter In Zaire

By George Plimpton From Shadow Box 2014 I had a number of people to see the next day. I dropped in to see Hunter Thompson. I found him in his room. “I got everything stashed behind the pipes,” he said, after he had peeked out a crack in the door to make sure who I...

Memphis Kid and the Horrible Truth About Prize Fighting

By W.C. Heinz From The Professional 1958 Eddie had come back off the road with the others and had his breakfast, and I had left him lying on his bed and reading the morning papers and listening to the radio while Jay sat at the table writing postcards. After three...

From Pinkerton to Nick and Nora

By Nathan Ward From The Lost Detective 2015 During the winter of 1932, Sid Perelman saw Dashiell Hammett back in New York, at the Sutton Club Hotel on East 55th Street. To land there, Hammett had burned through his remaining movie money at more luxurious...

Eddie and the Gun Girl

By Mark Kram Jr. From Eddie and the Gun Girl November 4, 2013 Excerpted from Eddie and the Gun Girl, a Kindle Single about the shooting of Eddie Waitkus, the real-life event that’s best known as the fictional pivot of Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.  The Edgewater...