Rounding up to 4 stars, interesting and often funny writing on working class and other regular people.
Remember when I read The 40s which was a collection of articles from The New Yorker? Remember how I talked about how this book came into my life because I read an article on the NYPL website that James Spader was currently reading it? Well, from that spawned an untapped obsession with journalism. To get my fix, I turned to My Ears Are Bent by Joseph Mitchell who was a longtime writer for the esteemed literary institution mentioned above. However, this collection of articles is from his time before when he wrote for The World-Telegram and The Herald Tribune. It's split into categories with such titles as Sports Section (self-explanatory), Drunks (all about the culture of speakeasies and saloons), Cheese-Cake (not what you'd think and maybe my favorite section), Come to Jesus (religion in NYC), and more. This is the kind of book that makes you want to go out and grab history books of this time period (1930-40s) so you can give more context to the snippets that Mitchell gifts the reader. I made notes on a few key people (Sally Rand, William Steig, and Joe Louis to name a few) so that I could look at their pictures. If you enjoy nonfiction, history, and New York in the 1930s then this is the book for you. Now excuse me, I've got a scoop that I need to explore.
Nuggets of interesting stories and names. Still though, it lacks a certain summation or narrative thread. Just a smattering of one offs and interviews, with little time to really ruminate. A snapshot in time to be sure, but I find myself wanting more depth than what was given.