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The most influential critic in the world today happens to be a critic of wine. He is not a snob or an obvious aesthete, as one might imagine, but an ordinary American, a burly, awkward, hardworking guy from the backcountry of northern Maryland, about half a step removed from the farm.

"Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction.

Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men’s tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you’re O.K.

In this classic piece from 1970, the Los Angeles Free Press reports on issues of police wrong-doing and the lack of prosecution of officers in cases relating to African Americans.

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Los Angeles Free Press Archives

 (Special thanks to the Los Angeles Free Press)

Jason slammed the door shut, slumped back against it. His soft brown eyes were saucered with panic; his lightly muscled chest was pumping air. “She did not just do that,” he groaned.

In 1995 I was hired as entertainment editor of Hustler magazine at Larry Flynt Publications. I was 30, divorced and at the end of a screenwriting career that had been flatlining for several years. Not only had I failed as a writer, but I had functioned only marginally in a variety of menial, no-brainer day jobs.

Vienna. She was beautiful, they said, but there was something unusual about her beauty, something peculiar—even frightening. Consider the testimony of Frau Braun, now eighty-six (and no relation to Eva), one of the few people left alive who knew Geli Raubal before she became Hitler’s consort

On October 30, 1975, a 15-year-old girl named Martha Moxley was viciously bludgeoned to death in the most exclusive part of Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the most exclusive communities in the United States, where rich people live in grand mansions on lush grounds and go to country clubs and yacht clubs and always feel perfectly safe.

We’re in the Lexus, headed uptown. It’s night and the lights along the Henry Hudson flicker across the faces of the three teenage boys, showing baby-smooth skin. They’re smoking Newports. 

Viewed from the outside, the murder castle was simply a big ungainly building, one of the architectural monstrosities common in the nineties. But its interior, honeycombed with trap doors and secret passageways and walled-up rooms, was the fulfillment of every small boy’s dream of a haunted house.

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