Excerpts from books about the media business and interviews with authors

Latest Books

Excerpt: <I>Small Screen, Big Picture</I> Excerpt: Small Screen, Big Picture
Writer, producer and exec Chad Gervich breaks down the key strategies for breaking into the TV business in his new book -- and tells how he did it.
By Chad Gervich, December 1, 2008


Excerpt: A Death in Belmont
By Sebastian Junger, June 27, 2006
Excerpt: Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers
By Michael Connelly, June 19, 2006
Excerpt: Television Disrupted
The Transition From Network TV to Networked TV
By Shelly Palmer, May 1, 2006
Excerpt: Get a Freelance Life's Insider Guide to Freelance Writing
By Margit Feury Ragland, April 25, 2006
Excerpt: Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies
A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite
By June Casagrande, March 29, 2006
Excerpt: The Intern Files
How to get, keep, and make the most of your internship
By Jamie Fedorko, February 27, 2006
Excerpt: Through Their Eyes
Foreign correspondents in the United States
By Stephen Hess, February 22, 2006
Excerpt: Journalistas
100 Years of the Best Writing and Reporting by Women Journalists
By Eleanor Mills with Kira Cochrane, January 23, 2006
Excerpt: The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight
Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism Revolution
By Marc Weingarten, December 7, 2005
Excerpt: Athur Plotnik's Spunk & Bite
A writer's guide to punchier, more engaging language and style
By Arthur Plotnik, November 16, 2005
Excerpt: Fork It Over
Alan Richman, GQ's longtime food critic, shares the secrets of a professional eater.
By Alan Richman, November 19, 2004
Excerpt: The Record of the Paper
The authors of this new investigative book argue that The New York Times' coverage of foreign affairs was dismal even before the Judith Miller WMD debacle. Here, a dissection the paper's Abu Ghraib treatment.
By Howard Friel and Richard Falk, November 12, 2004
Excerpt: Hardly Working
In this guide to overachieving and underperforming in the office, Chris Morran explains what kind of assistant can help you do as little as possible.
By Chris Morran, November 5, 2004
Excerpt: Food Court Druids
In our quick hit and Q&A, Hipster Handbook author Robert Lanham turns his eye to all the "other creatures unique to the Republic."
By Robert Lanham with Jill Singer, October 29, 2004
Excerpt: America (The Book)
The most trusted name in fake news faithfully delivers the most gleefully twisted look at America in recent history.
October 22, 2004
Excerpt: Media Monoliths
In his new book on how to breed a successful brand, British journalist Mark Tungate dissects 20 brands from MTV to The Economist and finds they all have seven common keys to survival.
By Mark Tungate, October 15, 2004
Excerpt: Just Enough Liebling
In a piece from the new collection of classic work by the legendary New Yorker writer, the author recounts his first, fumbling attempts at a career in journalism.
By A.J. Liebling, October 8, 2004
Excerpt: The Fall of Baghdad
New Yorker writer Jon Lee Anderson's eyewitness account of the war in Iraq details when the walls of Abu Ghraib came down.
By Jon Lee Anderson, October 1, 2004
Excerpt: The Know-It-All
In which A.J. Jacobs, an Esquire editor, sets out to become the smartest person in the world by reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, from A-Z. Here, one of our favorite sections from the Ms.
By A.J. Jacobs, September 24, 2004
Excerpt: Lying Together: My Russian Affair
In her new memoir, Emmy-winning television producer Jennifer Cohen optimistically recalls quitting her job, flying to Russia, and falling in love with a college crush. On the first day of her new job, things start falling apart.
September 17, 2004
Excerpt: Freedom Fries
Steve Brodner, one of the country's most scathing political cartoonists, puts out a collection of his caricatures and satirical drawings.
By Steve Brodner, September 10, 2004
Excerpt: Lads
In his new memoir, former Maxim editor Dave Itzkoff recalls the frenzied, iniquitous life of a lad mag.
By Dave Itzkoff, September 3, 2004
Excerpt: The New Media Monopoly
In the seventh edition of his now-classic critique of media consolidation, the author looks both back and ahead at the power of the media to effect political change.
By Ben H. Bagdikian, August 27, 2004
Excerpt: Polling Matters
The editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll explains why people need opinion polls.
By Frank Newport, August 13, 2004
Excerpt: All the President's Spin
In the introduction to their new book, the editors of set out to expose the Bush Administration's tactics of media manipulation.
By Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer, and Brendan Nyhan, August 6, 2004
Excerpt: 'Fact Checker's Delight,' from The Reluctant Metrosexual
In a humor essay from his new collection, Peter Hyman reflects on his mid-'90s stint as a Vanity Fair fact checker.
By Peter Hyman, July 30, 2004
Excerpt: Attack of the Political Cartoonists
A new collection pays homage to 150 editorial cartoonists from across the political spectrum.
July 23, 2004
Excerpt: Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man
People nationwide might be lining up for Fahrenheit 9/11, but two writers are dedicated to exposing what they see as Michael Moore's manipulation, spin, and grandstanding.
By David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke, July 9, 2004
Excerpt: Homeland
A Pulitzer-winning writer-photographer pair set out to examine Homeland America in the post-9/11 era.
By Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson, July 2, 2004
Excerpt: Obliviously On He Sails
New Yorker humorist and best-selling author Calvin Trillin writes a weekly news-based poem for The Nation. Here's a sample from his latest collection.
By Calvin Trillin, June 25, 2004
Excerpt: The Sound on the Page
In the introduction to his new book on style and voice, author, critic, and University of Delaware professor Ben Yagoda argues that what writers say is not always as important as how they say it.
By Ben Yagoda, June 11, 2004
Excerpt: Google: The Missing Manual
Every journalist knows how helpful Google can be. But a new guide teaches some even more useful tricks to using the search engine.
By Sarah Milstein and Rael Dornfest, June 4, 2004
Excerpt: Stand Up Fight Back
In his new book, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. examines why today's political environment is the bitterest he's ever seen—and, in this excerpt, deconstructs the myth of the liberal media.
May 28, 2004
Excerpt: The Origin of Brands
A father-and-daughter team of marketing experts argue that great brands, like successful species, simply evolve from existing ones. Here, the rules of nature are applied to launching those brands.
By Al & Laura Ries, May 21, 2004
Excerpt: Mortification
In a new collection, 50 writers tell tales of their public humiliation. Here, bestselling novelist Margaret Atwood shares three of hers.
By Margaret Atwood, May 14, 2004
Excerpt: Exception to the Rulers
In her new book, Amy Goodman, the lefty host of public radio's Democracy Now!, exposes "oily politicians, war profiteers, and the media that love them."
By Amy Goodman with David Goodman, May 7, 2004
Excerpt: The Other Side of the Story
Bestselling author Marian Keyes sets this summer's great beach read in the world of London publishing.
By Marian Keyes, April 30, 2004
Excerpt: Things Worth Fighting For
Writer, reporter, and editor Michael Kelly was the first journalist embedded with U.S. troops to be killed in last year's Iraq war. In a Manhattan bookstore Monday night, notables like Dan Rather, Tina Brown, and Kelly's young son read from a new collection of his work. From that book, here's "Rolls-Royce Revolutionaries," one of the three New Republic articles from the first Gulf War that won a National Magazine Award in 1992.
By Michael Kelly, April 23, 2004
Excerpt: This is a Bad Time
For New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan, his drawings—often about the angst of the creative process—double as his private journal.
By Bruce Eric Kaplan, April 16, 2004
Excerpt: Eats, Shoots & Leaves
This appreciation of punctuation—of all things—became a runaway bestseller in the author's native England and is reaching U.S. bookstores this month. Why would someone bother to write such a book?
By Lynne Truss, April 9, 2004
Excerpt: A Fist in the Hornet's Nest
While most journalists during the Iraq war embedded with U.S. troops, Richard Engel forged his own path, working as a freelancer for ABC News. A new book vividly details his experience inside the action in the Middle East before, during, and after the war.
By Richard Engel, April 2, 2004
Excerpt: Attacks on the Press in 2003
In the preface to this year's unfortunately bloody edition of the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual report on crimes against journalists—the death toll in 2003 was 36, up from 19 in 2002—the Nightline anchor talks about the many modes of media survival.
By Ted Koppel, March 19, 2004
Excerpt: Spin Sisters
A longtime women's-mag editor argues that powerful women in the media business use their positions to sell American women unhappiness and liberalism.
By Myrna Blyth, March 12, 2004
Excerpt: Walking to Vermont
On the last day of his distinguished career, ex-New York Times foreign correspondent Christopher Wren left his Manhattan office and walked 400 miles to his home in Vermont. A new book traces his oddball journey into retirement.
By Christopher S. Wren, March 5, 2004
Excerpt: So 5 Minutes Ago
In a Hollywood journalist's first novel, our heroine Alex Davidson fights her way through the down-and-dirty world of movie-biz publicity.
By Hilary de Vries, February 20, 2004
Excerpt: The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity
In her new book, a successful book publicist explains how to get attention for your own opus.
By Lissa Warren, February 13, 2004
Excerpt: Love Monkey
A People magazine editor writes his first novel, the tale of a callow New York tabloid hack who falls in love with his bookish coworker.
By Kyle Smith, February 6, 2004
Excerpt: Miss Media
Lynn Harris, the co-founder who brought her site to Oxygen and then fought a battle to get it back, writes her first novel--a comic look at a woman who brings her relationships website to a new, girl-power media company only to find herself up against powers greater than even incompetence.
By Lynn Harris, January 23, 2004
Excerpt: Fools Rush In
Nina Munk's fascinating new book looks at the many reasons why the AOL-Time Warner merger failed so spectacularly. One reason: Jerry Levin never bothered to get his division heads on board.
By Nina Munk, January 16, 2004
Excerpt: Career Comeback
You know to visit mb when you're looking for a new job in the media business. But it's hard to get ready to look when you're out of a job unexpectedly. Here are some tips to prepare yourself in advance, excerpted from a new career-help book.
By Bradley G. Richardson, January 9, 2004
Excerpt: Herd on the Street
The Wall Street Journal recently published a very funny collection of stories about animals from the newspaper's pages. Here's one appropriate for the season, originally published November 28, 1997, under the headline, "The Sad Day Casper, A Friendly Reindeer, Tried to Kill Santa."
By Robert Berner, December 19, 2003
Excerpt: Arrogance
Two years ago, Bernard Goldberg made headlines with his insider's account of what he saw as pervasive liberal bias in the national media. Now he's back with a plan for how the media should fix themselves.
By Bernard Goldberg, November 14, 2003
Excerpt: Autumn of the Moguls
In this quick hit from his new book, New York magazine media critic Michael Wolff lays out his 368-page-long quest.
By Michael Wolff, November 7, 2003
Excerpt: So Many Books, So Little Time
After 20 years of writing about books, a New York reporter, writer, and critic writes one of her own—about reading.
By Sara Nelson, October 24, 2003
Excerpt: Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites
In CNN host Tucker Carlson's new memoir, he reveals the strange secrets of what goes on just off camera.
By Tucker Carlson, September 26, 2003
Excerpt: Embedded
In this new collection of war reporters' Iraq stories, Newsweek's Scott Johnson recounts his harrowing tale of getting on the wrong side of the front lines.
By Bill Katovsky and Timothy Carlson, September 19, 2003
Excerpt: Girl Walks into a Bar
A quick hit from the hot new memoir (by, yes, his granddaughter) of being young, single, and in the theoretically fabulous world of New York publishing.
By Strawberry Saroyan, July 25, 2003
Excerpt: A New Foreword to 1984
On George Orwell's 100th birthday, a selection from Thomas Pynchon's essay for a new edition of 1984.
By Thomas Pynchon, June 25, 2003
Excerpt: The Quality of Life Report
In this first novel from the prolific freelancer who, famously, packed up and moved from New York to the Midwest, a frustrated New York journalist packs up and moves to the Midwest
By Meghan Daum, May 30, 2003
Excerpt: Roone
In his posthumous memoir, the former president of ABC Sports and ABC News recalls the tragic 1972 day when Palestinian terrorists took the Israeli Olympic team hostage.
By Roone Arledge, May 23, 2003
Excerpt: Karaoke Nation
Steve Fishman's book tells of his year as an internet entrepreneur. Here's the moment when the magazine writer decided to become a businessman.
By Steve Fishman, May 16, 2003
Excerpt: The Odd Todd Handbook
The online spokesman for a laidoff media generation takes his shtick to the bookstore.
May 9, 2003
Excerpt: The Making of Toro
When Mark Sundeen's ill-conceived book on bullfighting was rejected by the publisher that had unwisely commissioned it, he instead turned his experience into a hilarious making-of story.
By Mark Sundeen, May 2, 2003
Excerpt: Media Wars
'News Dissector' Danny Schechter examines media coverage of the war on terror.
By Danny Schechter, April 25, 2003
Excerpt: The House on Beartown Road
In her new memoir, a smalltown reporter and columnist tells of balancing suddenly single motherhood, care for her aging father, and her newspaper career.
By Elizabeth Cohen, April 18, 2003
Excerpt: The Devil Wears Prada
On the day Lauren Weisberger's book hits stores, excerpts the mag-world roman à clef everyone's talking about.
By Lauren Weisberger, April 15, 2003
Excerpt: Attacks on the Press in 2002
Serge Schmemann, an accomplished New York Times foreign correspondent now on the paper's editorial board, writes about the importance of press freedom in the preface to Attacks on the Press in 2002.
By Serge Schmemann, April 11, 2003
Excerpt: Full Frontal PR
The new book from powerhouse PR exec Richard Laermer teaches how to get people to pay attention to your product. Here he shares his 27 Commandments for PR professionals.
By Richard Laermer, April 4, 2003
Excerpt: The War of Art
Internationally bestselling author Steven Pressfield on how to overcome resistance and get moving on your masterpiece.
By Steven Pressfield, April 2, 2003
Excerpt: In Full Bloom
Caroline Hwang's debut novel sets a mother-daughter battle amid the chaos and politics of a glossy fashion mag.
By Caroline Hwang, March 28, 2003
Hunting a Tiger In Africa, by Ernest Hemingway
A literary parody from a J.B. Miller's new collection, The Satanic Nurses.
By J.B. Miller, March 11, 2003