|  Share | Cite

Best American Journalism of the 20th Century

The following works were chosen as the 20th century's best American journalism by a panel of experts assembled by New York University's journalism department.

  1. John Hersey: “Hiroshima,” The New Yorker, 1946
  2. Rachel Carson: Silent Spring, book, 1962
  3. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: Investigation of the Watergate break-in, The Washington Post, 1972
  4. Edward R. Murrow: Battle of Britain, CBS radio, 1940
  5. Ida Tarbell: “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” McClure's, 1902–1904
  6. Lincoln Steffens: “The Shame of the Cities,” McClure's, 1902–1904
  7. John Reed: Ten Days That Shook the World, book, 1919
  8. H. L. Mencken: Scopes “Monkey” trial, The Sun of Baltimore, 1925
  9. Ernie Pyle: Reports from Europe and the Pacific during World War II, Scripps-Howard newspapers, 1940–1945
  10. Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly: Investigation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, CBS, 1954
  11. Edward R. Murrow, David Lowe, and Fred Friendly: “Harvest of Shame,” documentary, CBS television, 1960
  12. Seymour Hersh: Investigation of massacre by American soldiers at My Lai in Vietnam, Dispatch News Service, 1969
  13. The New York Times: Publication of the Pentagon Papers, 1971
  14. James Agee and Walker Evans: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, book, 1941
  15. W.E.B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk, collected articles, 1903
  16. I. F. Stone: I. F. Stone's Weekly, 1953–1967
  17. Henry Hampton: “Eyes on the Prize,” documentary, 1987
  18. Tom Wolfe: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, book, 1968
  19. Norman Mailer: The Armies of the Night, book, 1968
  20. Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, collected articles, 1963
  21. William Shirer: Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1939–1941, collected articles, 1941
  22. Truman Capote: In Cold Blood, book, 1965
  23. Joan Didion: Slouching Towards Bethlehem, collected articles, 1968
  24. Tom Wolfe: The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, collected articles, 1965
  25. Michael Herr: Dispatches, book, 1977
  26. Theodore White: The Making of the President: 1960, book, 1961
  27. Robert Capa: Ten photographs from D-Day, 1944
  28. J. Anthony Lukas: Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, book, 1985
  29. Richard Harding Davis: Coverage of German march into Belgium, Wheeler Syndicate and magazines, 1914
  30. Dorothy Thompson: Reports on the rise of Hitler, Cosmopolitan and Saturday Evening Post, 1931–1934
  31. John Steinbeck: Reports on Okie migrant camp life, The San Francisco News, 1936
  32. A. J. Liebling: The Road Back to Paris, collected articles, 1944
  33. Ernest Hemingway: Reports on the Spanish Civil War, The New Republic, 1937–1938
  34. Martha Gellhorn: The Face of War, collected articles, 1959
  35. James Baldwin: The Fire Next Time, book, 1963
  36. Joseph Mitchell: Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories, collection of much older articles, 1992
  37. Betty Friedan: The Feminine Mystique, book, 1963
  38. Ralph Nader: Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, book, 1965
  39. Herblock (Herbert Block): Cartoons on McCarthyism, The Washington Post, 1950
  40. James Baldwin: “Letter from the South: Nobody Knows My Name,” The Partisan Review, 1959
  41. Nick Ut: Photograph of a burning girl running from a napalm attack, The Associated Press, 1972
  42. Pauline Kael: “Trash, Art, and the Movies,” Harper's, 1969
  43. Gay Talese: Fame and Obscurity: Portraits by Gay Talese, collected articles, 1970
  44. Randy Shilts: Reports on AIDS, The San Francisco Chronicle, 1981–1985
  45. Janet Flanner (Genet): Paris Journals chronicling Paris's emergence from the Occupation, The New Yorker, 1944–1945
  46. Neil Sheehan: A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, book, 1988
  47. A. J. Liebling: The Wayward Pressman, collected articles, 1947
  48. Tom Wolfe: The Right Stuff, book, 1979
  49. Murray Kempton: America Comes of Middle Age: Columns 1950–1962, collected articles, 1963
  50. Murray Kempton: Part of Our Time: Some Ruins and Monuments of the Thirties, book, 1955
  51. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele: “America: What Went Wrong?,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1991
  52. Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–1963, book, 1988
  53. Harrison Salisbury: Reporting from the Soviet Union, The New York Times, 1949–1954
  54. John McPhee: The John McPhee Reader, collected articles, 1976
  55. ABC: Live television broadcast of Army-McCarthy hearings, 1954
  56. Frederick Wiseman: Titicut Follies, documentary, 1967
  57. David Remnick: Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, book, 1993
  58. Richard Ben Cramer: What It Takes: The Way to the White House, book, 1992
  59. Jonathan Schell: The Fate of the Earth, book, 1982
  60. Russell Baker: “Francs and Beans,” The New York Times, 1975
  61. Homer Bigart: Account of being over Japan in a bomber when World War II came to an end, The New York Herald-Tribune, 1945
  62. Ben Hecht: 1,001 Afternoons in Chicago, collected articles, 1922
  63. Walter Cronkite: Documentary on Vietnam, CBS television, 1968
  64. Walter Lippmann: Early essays, The New Republic, 1914
  65. Margaret Bourke-White: Photographs following the defeat of Germany, Life magazine, 1945
  66. Lillian Ross: Reporting, collected articles, 1964
  67. Nicholas Lemann: The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America, book, 1991
  68. Joe Rosenthal: Photograph of Marines raising an American flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, The Associated Press, 1945
  69. Hodding Carter Jr.: “Go for Broke,” editorial, Carter's Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, Miss.), 1945
  70. The New Yorker: The New Yorker Book of War Pieces, collected articles, 1947
  71. Meyer Berger: Report on the murderer Howard Unruh, The New York Times, 1949
  72. Norman Mailer: The Executioner's Song, book, 1979
  73. Robert Capa: Spanish Civil War photos, Life magazine, 1936
  74. Susan Sontag: “Notes on ‘Camp,’” The Partisan Review, 1964
  75. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: All the President's Men, book, 1974
  76. John Hersey: Here to Stay, collected articles, 1963
  77. A. J. Liebling: The Earl of Louisiana, book, 1961
  78. Mike Davis: City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, book, 1990
  79. Melissa Fay Greene: Praying for Sheetrock, book, 1991
  80. J. Anthony Lukas: “The Two Worlds of Linda Fitzpatrick,” The New York Times, 1967
  81. Herbert Bayard Swope: “Klan Exposed,” The New York World, 1921
  82. William Allen White: “To an Anxious Friend,” The Emporia (Kan.) Gazette, 1922
  83. Edward R. Murrow: Report of the liberation of Buchenwald, CBS radio, 1945
  84. Joseph Mitchell: McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, collected articles, 1943
  85. Lillian Ross: Picture, book, 1952
  86. Earl Brown: Series of articles on race, Harper's and Life magazines, 1942–1944
  87. Greil Marcus: Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music, book, 1975
  88. Morley Safer: Atrocities committed by American soldiers on the hamlet of Cam Ne in Vietnam, CBS television, 1965
  89. Ted Poston: Coverage of the “Little Scottsboro” trial, The New York Post, 1949
  90. Leon Dash: “Rosa Lee's Story,” The Washington Post, 1994
  91. Jane Kramer: Europeans, collected articles, 1988
  92. Eddie Adams and Vo Suu: Associated Press photograph and NBC television footage of a Saigon execution, 1968
  93. Grantland Rice: “Notre Dame's ‘Four Horsemen,’” The New York Herald-Tribune, 1924
  94. Jane Kramer: The Politics of Memory: Looking for Germany in the New Germany, collected articles, 1996
  95. Frank McCourt: Angela's Ashes, book, 1996
  96. Vincent Sheean: Personal History, book, 1935
  97. W.E.B. Du Bois: Columns on race during his tenure as editor of The Crisis, 1910–1934
  98. Damon Runyon: Crime reporting, The New York American, 1926
  99. Joe McGinniss: The Selling of the President 1968, book, 1969
  100. Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, book, 1973

101 Most Influential People Who Never LivedLiterature and BooksPoets Laureate of the United States

More on Best American Journalism of the 20th Century from Infoplease: