The Participatory Journalism of Michael Herr, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joan Didion: Creating New Reporting Styles

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Winner of CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Among New Journalists of the 1960s-1970s, Michael Herr, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joan Didion approached their subjects by placing themselves in the center of their narratives as protagonists and by openly acknowledging their subjective impressions of the events they reported. Unlike journalists who adopted the conventions of detachment and objectivity, these New Journalists employed their subjective, literary styles to construct their narrative personae and to dramatize not only the events like the Vietnam War and the 1972 presidential campaign but their direct participation in the stories they told.


“… the beginning of a technical odyssey that reminds us that the most rigorous analysis of language concludes that powerful, articulate, and creative language often defies categorization, yet it is by the deft strategy of categorization that we come to know what we do not know with confidence.” – Prof. Philip Sipiora, University of South Florida

“[The author] gives insights into how New Journalism differs from conventional, standard journalistic practices, elaborately explaining the ‘participatory’ aspect of this new form of writing.” – Prof. Leonora Flis, University of Gorica

"Mosser's book reveals that concerns about objectivity are neither new nor unvoiced. ... This book provides excellent means of access of writers who once tried to provide new life to what they founda stultifying field; those interested in the underpinnings of the state of journalism today would do well to consider the work of the writers Mosser discusses. He writes clearly andn well, bringing to life journalistic situations with a great deal to offer a radically changed media age." -- Prof. A.J. Barlow, New York City College of Technology (CUNY)

Table of Contents

Preface by Philip Sipiora


1. Introduction: Participatory New Journalism

2. Michael Herr’s Dispatches: Journalist as Hipster and Postmodern Hero

3. Norman Mailer’s The Armies of the Night: Journalist as Novelist and Intellectual

4. Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail’72: Journalist as Prankster and Prophet

5. Joan Didion’s Salvador and Miami: Journalist as Witness and Oracle



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