An undergraduate seminar I took with Alex Kotlowitz was one of my most valuable journalism school experiences.
I had to petition to get into the class, and I’m glad that it was accepted.
The author of There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River not only was an excellent instructor-he laid out the method of getting story, reporting and writing and repeatedly emphasized the importance of telling detail-but he has proved to be extraordinarily generous in the six years since I took the class.
One of the items Alex sent us after the class ended was a list of some of his non-fiction favorites with a very brief summary. He made it clear both that he read largely in fiction and that the list was neither exhaustive nor in any particular order.
I came across the list this morning and thought it would be interesting to share some of them (It was a long list that I’ll continue to unspool over the next day or two.).
I’ve starred the books that I have read.
Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean By the author of A River Runs Through It; his obsession with unraveling the mystery behind the death of a battalion of smoke jumpers, young men who fought forest fires by parachuting into the woods.
What are your favorite non fiction books? Which should not be on the list? Which does Kotlowitz have right?
This list continues tomorrow.