The Stacks Chat: Derek Cianfrance

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader May 20, 2020 When you watch a movie by Derek Cianfrance you know you are witnessing something deeply personal. No mistaking that. There is nothing light or frivolous in his work. Best known for his features Blue Valentine, A Place...

Attention Must Be Paid

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 22, 2020 Most of us by now know someone who has died from COVID-19. I want to pay tribute to a victim of the virus. He lived in my building. Meyer was a short man with lively eyes. He was very old and irresistible. As a child,...

The Essential Ron Rosenbaum: Part One

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 20, 2020 Ron Rosenbaum is in the pantheon of great non-fiction writers alongside Wolfe, Didion, Trillin, Talese, and Thompson. He’s been a newspaper columnist, a virtuoso magazine feature and profile writer, and author of...

The Stacks Illustrated

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 16, 2020 You can add Jeffrey Smith to the list of illustrators we admire—a group that includes Robert Weaver, Jim McMullan, Robert Giusti, and Julian Allen. Smith is prolific and terrific as you can see for yourself at his...

The Man Who Wrote the “Citizen Kane” of Celebrity Profiles

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 13, 2020 O’Connell Driscoll is a great name for a writer, the kind of byline that sticks. Trouble is bylines are easily forgotten and the history of magazine writing is littered with terrific writers who are neglected and Driscoll...

Robert Giusti: An Illustrator’s Life

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 11, 2020 Last summer, I spent a few hours with the illustrator Robert Giusti at his beautiful home. Just a terrific, unpretentious guy—and great company—Giusti did a lot of magazine work in the ’70s and ’80s, but his most famous...

The Only Thing We Know For Sure is The Present Tense

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader March 22, 2020 In the early nineties, I went to the Museum of Broadcasting (now the Paley Center For Media) with my friend Mary Lou to watch Dennis Potter’s final TV interview with Melyn Bragg. Potter was dying and during the interview...

Raising Kane

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader December 17, 2019 Last year, Harlem, 1958, a beautiful book celebrating the 60th anniversary of the most famous picture in jazz history was published. It remains a perfect gift for the jazz lover or the pop culture history buff in your...

Shadow Boxing

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 6, 2019 With a nod to the great Joseph Cornell, here are a few shadow box paintings by our man Robert Weaver.

This Gun for Hire

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 2, 2019 Julian Allen is one of our favorite magazine illustrators. He made a splash in England in the late ’60s and then arrived in New York during the Watergate era. For the next twenty plus years his work was a fixture in the...

The Write Stuff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader A couple of our pals have new stellar new book anthologies out and both are well worth your time. From the intrepid Wright Thompson, ESPN’s maestro of longform, comes his first anthology, The Cost Of These Dreams: Sports Stories and...

The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...