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Sidney Awards: David Brooks Names The Best Essays Of 2009

No women writers; only DC, NY publishers need apply*.

Every year, [David Brooks gives] out Sidney Awards to the best magazine essays of the year. In an age of zipless, electronic media, the idea is to celebrate (and provide online links to) long-form articles that have narrative drive and social impact. […]

“… talent is not randomly distributed …”

List one (25 Dec 2009) and list two (2 Jan 2010)

  • The Cost Conundrum, “the most influential essay of 2009” on the health care debate, a view from Texas. The New Yorker by Atul Gawande
  • The End, two financial analysts understood early on that the U.S. financial system was a doomsday machine. Portfolio.com by Michael Lewis
  • How American Health Care Killed My Father, more on the health care debate. The Atlantic by David Goldhill
  • If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care, and even more on the health care debate. National Journal by Jonathan Rauch
  • In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, teaching writing at a small private college and a community college. The Atlantic by anonymous Professor X
  • Trial by Fire, the “most powerful essay” of the year asks, did Texas execute an innocent man? The New Yorker by David Grann
  • A Rake’s Progress, a sympathetic portrayal of Marion Barry. The Weekly Standard by Matt Labash
  • Rediscovering Central Asia, examines the Afghanistan from the lens of history. The Wilson Quarterly by S. Frederick Starr
  • The Unwisdom of Crowds, explores contradictions between common-sense morality and the rules of finance. The Weekly Standard by Christopher Caldwell
  • No title, no link (12 March), “early, brilliant explanation of the Barack Obama phenomenon.” The New Republic by John Judis. (Kathy asks: how can an article written after the election be called an early explanation?)

* Mid-year, Condé Nast transferred ownership of Portfolio.com to its sister publisher, the American City Business Journals, based in Charlotte, NC. However, both firms are owned by New Yorker Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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