“I still put in my vote for Ian Frazier’s “Great Plains”—peripatetic reporting, gorgeous prose, and funny to boot. I’m almost as fond of “Family,” which is both more personal and historically broader in its reach (i.e., the rise and fall, or at least gradual downsizing, of the American WASP). “

James Marcus

“‘The Curse of the Mogul’ by Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald and Ava Seave (Portfolio).

“It’s a mostly readable business book that takes a contrarian’s view of much of what passes for wisdom about media companies. (Since few journalists understand one bit about the business they are in, that should be enough to recommed this book right there.) Big lesson: Investing in media companies is dumb; working for them isn’t.

“The book makes a case that Bloomberg is a brilliant company while most others are considerably less than brilliant.

“No matter. What’s important here, for journalists, is that the authors explain how our multi-platform business operates today…and, as I read the book, why old print media remain pretty good enterprises despite the digital onslaught.”

J.D. Crook

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