introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 29, 2004

"All that Passable Meant to Me"

by Ron Hogan

A few weeks ago, I observed some dissatisfaction with Just Enough Liebling on the part of book critics who wished the selection could have been more representative of A. J. Liebling's prose. But Russell Baker calls it "a good place to start" in a Liebling appreciation for NYRB, declaring him representative of a generation of journalists "whose work combined literary quality and reportorial skill to a degree rare in today's journalism." Well, actually, at a certain point the article stops appreciating Liebling and detours into lamenting the humorlessness and lack of modesty in current reporters before finding its way back to Liebling in his non-journalistic modes.

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