Cover image for Final draft : the collected work of David Carr
Title:
Final draft : the collected work of David Carr
Uniform Title:
Works. Selections
ISBN:
9780358206682
Physical Description:
xv, 373 pages ; 24 cm
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Summary:
A career-spanning selection of the legendary reporter David Carr's writing for the New York Times, Washington City Paper, New York Magazine, the Atlantic, and more. Throughout his 25-year journalistic career, David Carr was noted for his sharp and fearless observations, his uncanny sense of fairness and justice, and his remarkable compassion and wit. His writing was informed both by his own hardships as an addict, and his intense love of the journalist's craft. His range-from media politics to national politics, from rock 'n' roll celebrities to the unknown civil servants who make our daily lives function-was broad and often timeless. Whether he was breaking exclusives about Amazon or mourning Philip Seymour Hoffman's death or taking aim at editors who valued political trivia over substance, Carr's voice and concerns remain enormously influential and relevant. In these hundred or so articles, from a range of publications, we read his stories with fresh eyes. Edited by his widow, Jill Rooney Carr, and with an introduction written by one of the many journalists David Carr mentored and promoted, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Final Draft is a singular event in the world of writing news, an art increasingly endangered in these troubled times.  
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Summary

Summary

A career-spanning selection of the legendary reporter David Carr's writing for the New York Times , Washington City Paper , New York Magazine , the Atlantic , and more.

Throughout his 25-year journalistic career, David Carr was noted for his sharp and fearless observations, his uncanny sense of fairness and justice, and his remarkable compassion and wit. His writing was informed both by his own hardships as an addict, and his intense love of the journalist's craft. His range--from media politics to national politics, from rock 'n' roll celebrities to the unknown civil servants who make our daily lives function--was broad and often timeless. Whether he was breaking exclusives about Amazon or mourning Philip Seymour Hoffman's death or taking aim at editors who valued political trivia over substance, Carr's voice and concerns remain enormously influential and relevant. In these hundred or so articles, from a range of publications, we read his stories with fresh eyes. Edited by his widow, Jill Rooney Carr, and with an introduction written by one of the many journalists David Carr mentored and promoted, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Final Draft is a singular event in the world of writing news, an art increasingly endangered in these troubled times.


Author Notes

DAVID CARR was one of the most prolific and celebrated journalists of our time. Carr edited and wrote for a wide variety of publications, including the Twin City Reader in Minneapolis, the Washington City Paper , Inside.com, New York Magazine , the Atlantic , and the New York Times , where he created The Carpetbagger and the Media Equation columns. His memoir, The Night of the Gun , in which he chronicled his battles with substance addictions and his ultimate recovery, was a national bestseller. In 2015, Carr died at the age of 58.

JILL ROONEY CARR works in hospitality in the New York City area. She and David Carr married in 1994.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

David Carr (The Night of the Gun), who died in 2015, was a consummate journalist with a gift for memorable expression, as demonstrated in this rewarding volume edited by his widow. Its 56 columns and features span his 25-year career and beats that ranged from Minnesota to Manhattan, where, from the New York Times's culture desk, he wrote "The Carpetbagger" film industry column. The pieces include celebrity profiles (such as of Neil Young and Philip Seymour Hoffman), a look at the fall of the Tribune Company's newspaper empire, and dissection of local Washington, D.C., politics. The most powerful selections, about Carr's early struggles with cocaine and alcohol addiction, frequently serve up observations stunning in their candor and self-awareness: "Crack users are universally paranoid consumptive eunuchs who show little interest in things unrelated to their addiction." Throughout, Carr's work is a model of concision, demonstrating a skill at crystallizing an idea in a single resonant sentence as, when writing about 9/11's impact on New York City's psyche, he observes, "This is the place where the world seemed to end in a single morning." Readers will appreciate having this wide-ranging sample of Carr's inimitable perspective on American life. Agent: Flip Brophy, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

A collection of key pieces of the renowned journalist, who died unexpectedly at 58 in 2015.Arranged more or less chronologically, these pieces commence in the 1980s, when Carr (The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own, 2008), a Minnesota native, was a freelancer in his home state. Gradually, we move through his other gigs: Family Times (a monthly local in the Twin Cities), Twin Cities Reader, Washington City Paper, Atlantic Monthly, New York Magazine, and the New York Times, where he died in the newsroom. The earlier pieces include some very personal ones about his substance abuse and struggles with cancer, but there are also investigative pieces about other assorted topics, including hungover airline pilots and a gay political candidate. Throughout are a number of celebrity profiles: Tom Arnold, Sally Quinn, Neil Young, Bill Cosby, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr. (In the Cosby piece, Carr chides himself for not pursuing the rape allegations about the now-incarcerated comedian.) The author also provides coverage of Bill Clinton's impeachment, 9/11, and the journalism profession (plagiarism, Fox News, the toxic effects of Ann Coulter). Related to all of this is an 11-page copy of a journalism syllabus for a course he taught at Boston University. Sometimes the pieces are thematically arranged. Near the end are two separated by 12 years; both deal with the view as drivers approach New York City (the author was commuting from New Jersey at the time). Throughout the book, Carr displays profound care about his craft, flashes of humor, and, when necessary, genuine fangs: See his 2015 piece about a neighbor's cat, and witness the gleam of his verbal scalpel that vivisects Coulter. Carr's wife, Jill, served as the editor for the book, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who worked for Carr at Washington City Paper, provides the foreword.A revelatory collection reminding us of what journalism used to beand what it ought to be. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Journalist Carr (1956--2015) began his impressive career in his home state of Minnesota, then moved to Washington, DC, and finally to New York and the New York Times. The mostly chronological layout of this collection allows readers to see Carr develop his style and hone his skills. He wrote about politics both local and national, media and business news, his home life, show business, and more. His takedowns of media and show business figures are lacerating and precise. He even takes himself to task for being one of the many reporters (including Ta-Nehisi Coates, who contributes a foreword) that "looked away" from the burgeoning sexual assault charges against performer Bill Cosby. He's especially tender with reformed and not-so-reformed addicts, having walked that path himself. While some pieces may seem dated, many address issues and people still on the scene today--Hillary Clinton, Fox News, Robert Downey Jr., the dismantling of newsrooms, government and corporate chicanery. Standouts include a visit with the interview-averse Neil Young, a slow Acela train ride, and articles about Details magazine, the DC social scene, and cats on the internet. VERDICT This collection will make readers wish Carr was still here to share his observations. A must for aspiring journalists and fans of Carr who want to read more of his award-winning reporting.--Liz French, Library Journal


Table of Contents

Jill Rooney CarrTa-Nehisi Coates
Introductionp. ix
Forewordp. xi
1 Early Freelance in Minnesota
New Home Isn't Pretty, but I Came from Hell Anywayp. 3
Fishing Trip to Boundary Watersp. 10
Drinking and Flyingp. 16
Faegre's "Women Who Run with the Wolves"p. 34
Brian Coyle's Secretp. 38
Even in Facing AIDS, Coyle Served Truth and His Cityp. 51
2 Family Times
Because I Said So ...p. 57
3 Twin Cities Reader
Prodigal Clownp. 79
Paranoid or Positive?p. 89
IR Queerp. 100
Still Life with Alien no Indictment Cityp. 121
Jackpot Cityp. 123
Public Dis'coursep. 128
4 Washington City Paper
Andrew Sullivan Out at New Republicp. 133
Good News Traveling Too Fastp. 135
Goredp. 141
Sidney Blumenthalp. 145
Sally Quinn on Vernon Jordanp. 148
Kids Say the Darnedest Thingsp. 151
Road Tripp. 156
Crash Coursep. 161
Death Marchp. 165
People (Not) Like Usp. 168
Who Asked You?p. 172
One Last Hitchp. 177
Goodbye to All Thatp. 181
Oral Examp. 198
Oh Say, Why Can't We See?p. 203
5 Magazines
Slower Than a Speeding Bulletp. 209
Details Rebornp. 218
Me, Me, Me™p. 224
Who Needs Writers and Actors When the Whole World Is Your Backlot?p. 225
The Futility of "Homeland Defense"p. 229
A New Maskp. 236
18 Truths About the New New Yorkp. 238
Gathering to Rememberp. 244
That's All, Folks!p. 246
6 New York Times
Neil Young Comes Cleanp. 251
Both Hero and Villain, and Irresistiblep. 263
At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culturep. 269
Ezra Klein Is Joining Vox Media as Web Journalism Asserts Itselfp. 281
When Fox News Is the Storyp. 285
Deadly Intentp. 292
Been Up, Been Down. Now? Superp. 296
Before They Went Badp. 303
Calling Out Bill Cosby's Media Enablers, Including Myselfp. 309
All Hail the Helixp. 314
View, Interruptedp. 317
Breaking Away, but by the Rulesp. 320
7 All the Rest
The Wrestlerp. 327
Press Playp. 330
All That You Leave Behindp. 342
Catsp. 355
Untitled Essayp. 362
The So-Called Artist's Lifestylep. 365
Acknowledgmentsp. 376
Creditsp. 377