Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking #2020

Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking Jessica Mitford Jane Smiley Poison Penmanship The Gentle Art of Muckraking 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 journal

  • Title: Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking
  • Author: Jessica Mitford Jane Smiley
  • ISBN: 9781590173558
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Paperback
  • Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking Jessica Mitford Jane Smiley 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 famouJessica 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.
    Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking Jessica Mitford Jane Smiley

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      Published :2019-07-20T22:35:39+00:00

    One thought on “Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking”

    1. I cannot imagine why I have never read this before, given my Mitford sisters mania, but it was, as I hoped, utterly fabulous It has not only Decca s most famous pieces, but also her comments on how she wrote them and what the reaction to them was Her turn of phrase is, as always, hilarious and pointed, and her investigations unflinching I think I most enjoyed her takedown of Bennett Cerf s Famous Writers School entitled Let Us Now Appraise Famous Writers , but everything here is simply marvelous [...]

    2. This was truly an interesting read, despite the very datedness of the articles featured herein I was directed to this book by an article that covered modern scams which prey upon writers insecurities Mitford is well known among publishing circles as the journalist who took down the Famous Writers School, which was sort of the grandaddy of writer scams I wasn t born until 1970 but my grandparents saved a stash of old readers digests and Saturday Evening Posts Every summer when I d visit their far [...]

    3. Wonderful reminisces of mitford s time as a muckraker taking on the usa death industry, the usa prison industry, frenemies, bad restaurants, and much , all told in her bright, somewhat surprised sounding, but posh prose She went to fight against franco when young.

    4. I have read two of Nancy Mitford s novels and perused several biographies of the Mitford sisters but wasn t really motivated to pick up Jessica Mitford s writing until I read that JK Rowling an author I ve never read but whose career interests me on a feminist level called her her favorite writer Then my boyfriend brought home this book as a gift for me I was really pleased by it and I m now somewhat baffled as to why Jessica Mitford is not as widely read as a lot of the other journalists cuttin [...]

    5. Jessica Mitford is most famous for her classic expose on the funeral industry The American Way of Dying , which earned her the title queen of the muckrakers those journalists who expose corruption and swindling among the powerful and the profitable Before her American success she hailed from a distinguished British family of accomplished sisters This is a collection of some of her journalism with comments on the behind the scenes process of reporting Stand out pieces You All and Non You All is a [...]

    6. Marvelous snark on all sorts of topics, ranging from the funeral industry to diet resorts to Eqyptologists It is a fine primer for aspiring journalists and highly amusing good fun for the rest of us Now I want to go read Mitford.

    7. Jessica Mitford Poison Penmanship The Gentle Art of Muckraking New York New York Review of Books Classics Reprint, 2010.Though her work was better known in the 1970s, Jessica Mitford is still worth reading today Mitford was born into an eccentric English aristocratic family two sisters, Jessica and Nancy became writers, while two others, Unity and Diana, became notorious for their pre World War II support of Adolf Hitler In 1939 she moved to the United States and it was here that she became a wr [...]

    8. Jessica Mitford is a self admitted muckraker, once she found out what the label meant, she heartily agreed and called herself such from then on and was happy to see that each new dictionary had a nicer take on the word as it became commonly used In 1957 she published her first expose, which, as she was willing to admit, was rather dull and fell flat Yet that is the charm of this book Jessica views this book as a kind of how to for the muckraker to be She details her techniques and theories of f [...]

    9. I looked for a copy of this book in my favorite used bookstore, but to no avail The kind woman who tried to help me find it agreed with me that Jessica Mitford is a great writer But a horrible person she insisted I think she may have confused her with one of her sistersIS Mitford is the ex communist, Americanized, very amusing muckraker This book contains not only some of her best essays with her own criticism of them , but a cleverly interwoven thread of instruction on how to rake muck and writ [...]

    10. Delightful window into someone else s journalistic practice the explanatory notes at the end of each piece about how it came to be written and sold, and what the process was like, were so welcome It s the kind of thing I ve always wanted attached to most of the feature articles I read Practical and entertaining Also a window into writing and life in the pre internet age I liked the chronological order of the pieces, late 1950s to late 1970s Carried along on torrents of its author s personality, [...]

    11. Highly readable seminar on muckraking Each piece is accompanied with commentary on Mitford s perspective on strengths and weaknesses in the piece, including successful tactics and tidbits she s devastated to have missed This also means she includes weak, petty, and failed pieces some are instructive, some should probably be skipped altogether Many of these pieces seem oddly modern and current though conversational than we usually tolerate in journalism today The pieces continued relevance, and [...]

    12. I m a big fan of Jessica Mitford, especially Hons and Rebels I love her humour and feisty attitude to life This book is a good overview of the writing she did in the USA, on the funeral industry, her time as a visiting lecturer at Yale, working in the Civil rights movement in the southern states, investigating the mail order teaching business hilarious and various other activities that have not been written up as books A great read.

    13. Armed with a patrician background, a left wing lawyer husband and a very British conviction that a well dressed lady with a pleasant accent can get away with anything, Jessica Mitford uses early gotcha journalism to skewer the funeral industry, correspondence writing courses, the Elizabeth Arden spa in Arizona, bad New York restaurants, San Quentin and archeologists gone Egyptomaniacal And she may have coined the word frenemy in 1926.

    14. Really delightful and funny She put in her unedited manuscripts for articles that ran in various places and then commented on the articles and why she thought they were interesting and relevant and what was cut by the editors and why she thought things were cut and changed Also tips on how to write like Jessica Mitford which really people should Every article was fascinating and funny The dated stuff read like a snapshot history of a time So engaging.

    15. Reading Mitford felt like rediscovering an old friend, though I had never read anything by her before I tore through the book and at the same time really didn t want it to end Wondered if it might not be too late to embark upon a career in muckraking journalism It s absolutely delightful to tag along as Mitford sinks her teeth into a juicy enemy and exposes them for all they re worth Really great stuff.

    16. A wonderful primer on muckraking, a.k.a investigative journalism Mitford writes with humour and style on a wide variety of topics, from her misadventures upon refusing to be fingerprinted at San Jose State University to desegregation in the South to the high pressure sales rhetoric of the funeral industry This collection of articles published from the late 50s to late 70s includes a great introduction elucidating her research techniques and writing method Entertaining and illuminating.

    17. Jessica Mitford is at her funny and wicked best here From racist whites in the Civil Rights era to the snobs at the Elizabeth Arden spa, Mitford skewers many here and seems to have had an fantastically fun time doing so The essay on the Famous Writers course is the best.

    18. A collection of pieces with valuable commentary by the muckracker herself The expose of the Arden spa is particularly winning.

    19. Neither poison pen nor mudraking all the way Good fun, though.The Mitford sisters and I we go back a long way, literally speaking I first came across them in March 2009 after following the exploits of the Rt Hon Unity Mitford, whom I described in a recent Tweet as a U Brit brat a Winston Churchill relation a Hitler groupie The Mitford sister younger to her was Jessica aka Decca , the adventurous one with leftist inclinations who ran away from her stately home to fight in the Spanish Civil War an [...]

    20. Thoroughly enjoyedLoved getting to know Jessica Mittford, a bit of her family history, career, writing style and cardinal rules, and approach to muck racking A studied gal who took as much advantage of opportunities as she created for herself Some minor nits with the digital version on missing or misspelled words, but would definitely recommend.

    21. Jessica Mitford has the ability to write about serious subjects with humor I really enjoyed the various articles in this collection.

    22. Worth the read if you enjoy non fiction investigative journalism Brilliant research work and humorous writing.

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