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Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking (New York Review Books Classics) - Softcover

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9781590173558: Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking (New York Review Books Classics)
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Jessica Mitford was a member of one of England's most legendary families (among her sisters were the novelist Nancy Mitford and the current Duchess of Devonshire) and one of the great muckraking journalists of modern times. Leaving England for America, she pursued a career as an investigative reporter and unrepentant gadfly, publicizing not only the misdeeds of, most famously, the funeral business (The American Way of Death, a bestseller) and the prison business (Kind and Usual Punishment), but also of writing schools and weight-loss programs. Mitford's diligence, unfailing skepticism, and acid pen made her one of the great chroniclers of the mischief people get up to in the pursuit of profit and the name of good. Poison Penmanship collects seventeen of Mitford's finest pieces-about everything from crummy spas to network-TV censorship-and fills them out with the story of how she got the scoop and, no less fascinating, how the story developed after publication. The book is a delight to read: few journalists have ever been as funny as Mitford, or as gifted at getting around in those dark, cobwebbed corners where modern America fashions its shiny promises. It's also an unequaled and necessary manual of the fine art of investigative reporting.

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Review:
Most collections of journalistic pieces barely warrant being bound in book form: this one (from 1979) with its wit and irrepressible ebullience, genuinely makes a convincing "classic". --Scotsman
About the Author:
Jessica Mitford (1917-1996) was the daughter of Lord and Lady Redesdale, and she and her famous five sisters and one brother grew up in isolation on their parents' Cotswold estate. Rebelling against her family, she became an outspoken Socialist and brilliant muckraking journalist, authoring many celebrated books. She died while working on a follow-up to The American Way of Death, for which, with characteristic humor, she proposed the title "Death Warmed Over."

Jane Smiley is the author of many novels, including Good Faith, Horse Heaven, and A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992. Her most recent work is Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel.

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  • PublisherNYRB Classics
  • Publication date2010
  • ISBN 10 1590173554
  • ISBN 13 9781590173558
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages288
  • Rating
    4.13 avg rating
    ( 302 ratings by Goodreads )

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780394502601: Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780394502601
Publisher: Random House Inc, 1979
Hardcover

9780374521196: Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking

Noonda..., 1988
Softcover

9780394742694: Poison penmanship: The gentle art of muckraking

Vintag..., 1980
Softcover

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. Jessica Mitford was a member of one of England's most legendary families (among her sisters were the novelist Nancy Mitford and the current Duchess of Devonshire) and one of the great muckraking journalists of modern times. Leaving England for America, she pursued a career as an investigative reporter and unrepentant gadfly, publicizing not only the misdeeds of, most famously, the funeral business (The American Way of Death, a bestseller) and the prison business (Kind and Usual Punishment), but also of writing schools and weight-loss programs. Mitford's diligence, unfailing skepticism, and acid pen made her one of the great chroniclers of the mischief people get up to in the pursuit of profit and the name of good.Poison Penmanshipcollects seventeen of Mitford's finest pieces-about everything from crummy spas to network-TVcensorship-and fills them out with the story of how she got the scoop and, no less fascinating, how the story developed after publication. The book is a delight to read- few journalists have ever been as funny as Mitford, or as gifted at getting around in those dark, cobwebbed corners where modern America fashions its shiny promises. It's also an unequaled and necessary manual of the fine art of investigative reporting. Poison Penmanship collects seventeen of Mitford's finest pieces-about everything from crummy spas to network-TV censorship-and fills them out with the story of how she got the scoop. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781590173558

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