We told you a few weeks ago how David Remnick ’81 (a Press Club alum who has hit the proverbial “big time” as editor-in-chief of the New Yorker) was writing a “pimped out” new biography about President Obama. It hit bookshelves today, and critics are absolutely raving about it. And about Remnick!
Yesterday the Times ran a story on how Remnick makes running the New Yorker “look easy” while the media industry collapses around him. Quoth the Grey Lady:
It’s hard to make running any magazine, even The New Yorker, look easy these days. Last year, the magazine’s ad pages fell 24 percent, a little less than the industry average. But Mr. Remnick managed to eke out a small operating profit (excluding corporate overhead charges) by cutting costs, as he had for years.
Understated compliment maybe, but given the Times‘ financial state, you can bet they’re a little jealous of a publication that’s not disastrously bankrupt.
And it wasn’t just the old fogey media that was praising the Princeton man’s virtues. Even Gawker wrote something nice about somebody, and in this case, it was Remnick:
Remnick is perfect for his time and place in the industry. He’s no-nonsense, budget-conscious, and a wise cultivator of talent; he’s also a Princeton man and a willing cultivator of The New Yorker‘s insular traditions. … Remnick is the best that anyone could hope for (which is to say, he’s excellent). We’re even willing to indulge his determination to write another fucking Obama book.
And then the media finally decided to like, read the book, I guess, and hey, looks like they love that too! (To save you the effort of reading the reviews, it was called “brilliantly constructed,” “flawless,” and other doting adjectives.)
Michiko Kakutani in the Times writes:
But if the outlines of the story told in “The Bridge” are highly familiar, Mr. Remnick — the editor of The New Yorker and the author of a thoughtful 2008 article in that magazine, “The Joshua Generation: Race and the Campaign of Barack Obama,” from which this book apparently springs — has filled in those broad outlines with insight and nuance. He’s used interviews with many of the formative figures in the president’s life to add details to the narrative of his political and sentimental education — in particular, his relationships with his self-destructive father and his romantic, sometimes naïve mother. Writing with emotional precision and a sure knowledge of politics, Mr. Remnick situates Mr. Obama’s career firmly within a historical context.
Which all adds up to say, “Yeah, we’ve read this Obama story a bunch of times, but shit, Remnick told it the best.”
So there you go. Princeton’s very own David Remnick – tearing up the journalism circuit and repping to the fullest.
(photo via dutchproblogger.com)