Down and Out in the Minor Leagues

By J. Anthony Lukas Harper’s June 1968 “Ladies and gentlemen, we regret there will be no national anthem tonight,” the public address system announced to 159 ladies and gentlemen and about 9,841 empty seats in Knoxville’s Billy Meyer (pronounced Billa Maahr) Stadium...

I Was a Champion

By Floyd Patterson The American Weekly May 15, 1960 (as told to W.C. Heinz) For almost a whole year I’ve seen it day and night, maybe a thousand times. Me and Ingemar Johansson boxing and Johansson sticking out that left jab and me ducking under it, and then I’m down...

Hot Chicago

By Bill Zehme Vanity Fair November 1984 This year Chicago delivered to Broadway the two most important new American plays of the season, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and David Rabe’s star-studded Hurlyburly. Both plays originated in...

Angry Young Man with a Horn

By Bruce Buschel GQ February 1987 Wynton Marsalis leans forward, peers through his glasses and says with his usual fervor, “People actually want to discuss music with me. Me! Their knowledge of music is so limited that I don’t understand how they even think they can...

Kiss ’n’ Kill

By Judith Rossner The Movies November 1983 Pornography, erotica, fantasies of beautiful women are probably as old as excess energy and leisure time. It was Hugh Hefner’s inspiration to bring them, on a large scale and slickly packaged, into the middle-class living...

R.I.P. The Best American Sports Writing

By Kevin Koczwara The Stacks Reader February 2, 2020 The calm and quiet of upstate Vermont—past Burlington and Winooski, almost to the border of sleepy Canada, but before Montreal—is where Glenn Stout calls home. The world stops there. Or so it seems. The pace of life...

Diana Ross: An Encounter in Three Scenes

By O’Connell Driscoll Rolling Stone August 11, 1977 One: A Backstage Party September 1976: The Performer’s Lounge, Backstage at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. A windowless basement room with concrete-block walls. The furniture consists of several couches, some...

Shooting To Win

By Gloria Emerson The Movies November 1983 I did not suspect until recently that a large number of journalists rapidly converging on the capital of a small, poor country in great trouble might be a chilling sight. For nearly a decade I had often been part of such a...

Shelley Winters: “Wait A Minute—Where Am I?”

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1980 Shelley Winters has written the story of her life. Anyone who has followed her flourishing career on the talk show circuit will be pardoned for asking what she possibly has left to tell. The TV addict who really keeps track of...

The Man Who Wasn’t There

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader January 24, 2020 In the late ’70s, Kenneth Tynan wrote a handful of long, entertaining profiles for The New Yorker—later collection in Show People. It’s our good fortune that the good folks down at Conde Nast see fit to make one of...

The Making of An American Swami

By Sara Davidson My Generation September 2001 It’s eight a.m. on New Year’s morning and I’m sitting in the darkened hall of the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Los Angeles, staring at the cluster of swamis in red sitting cross-legged on the floor. There’s a slender...

A Miracle of Faith

By Tom Junod Life July 1991 She would board the plane in Albuquerque, although she knew that doing so could kill her. She would fly to New York and then to Belgrade and Sarajevo, where she would get on a bus. Thirty-five hours it was supposed to take Carol Lynn Leland...