chapter  9
13 Pages

Autobiography and Biography

Lives Well Lived in the Magazine World
WithElizabeth Meyers Hendrickson

This chapter illustrates the importance of biographical and autobiographical work that defines individuals and their journalistic contributions. Five themes emerged from the sample of research: early innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in their field; creators of journalistic form and distinctive design; shapers of lifestyle and celebrity culture; individuals seeking societal redirection; and conceptual and general study research. The post-war era set into motion literary journalism, a new style that, Norman Sims notes, focused primarily on ordinary lives, prioritized immersion reporting and narrative conventions that encourage personal voice, yet followed journalistic standards of accuracy. William McKeen’s involvement with documenting early New Journalism practitioner Tom Wolfe is equally impressive, with his 1995 biography of the white-suited author, as well as a personal Web site offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the man who successfully combined journalism reporting with literary techniques.