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Jesse Kornbluth
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Jesse Kornbluth is a New York-based journalist and editor of a cultural concierge service (books, music, movies), HeadButler.com.

As a journalist, he has been a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and New York, and a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, etc.

In l996, he co-founded Bookreporter.com. From l997 to 2002, he was Editorial Director of America Online.

His books include Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken; Airborne: The Triumph and Struggle of Michael Jordan; and Pre-Pop Warhol.

Entries by Jesse Kornbluth

"Night Life" Was Nominated For A Hugo Award. "Night Work" Has Fidel Castro, A Body In Central Park, And An Incorruptible Cop -- And It's Even Better.

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2016 | 12:08 AM

I don't read thrillers, and I especially don't read thrillers with police as heroes, but I read "Night Life" non-stop, and when it was over, I cheered. And when it was nominated for a Hugo Award --- not the sort of thing that happens to debut novels --- I cheered...

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Eli "Paperboy" Reed: He's Got The Song of Summer -- And Enough Gospel & Soul To Heat Up The Winter

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 11:55 PM

Every summer has a song.

I knew "Nights Like This" was the soundtrack of Summer 2016 the first time I heard it. The ingredients were all in place: hot streets, "feeling the beat of thousand people passing," the search for "someone to get right." And then the chorus, one imperative...

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Roger Enrico: How The Pepsi CEO And Michael Jackson Invented "New Coke"

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2016 | 8:03 AM

When Al Pacino got his first important theater role, an actor who didn't get the part asked him how that happened.

"Just lucky," Pacino said.

But that wasn't the truth.

"That actor wanted the part," Pacino explained, decades later. "I had to have it."

Roger Enrico, who died last week...

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25 Years Ago, A Documentary Called 'Trump: What's The Deal?' Told The Truth About Trump. Trump Threatened To Sue. It Was Never Shown. You Can See It Now.

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 8:20 AM

Twenty-seven years ago, when Donald Trump was riding high, some filmmakers started to make a documentary film about him.

Twenty-five years ago, when Trump was on the ropes, they finished "Trump: What's the Deal?"

No one saw it.

Donald Trump went after the very rich --- much richer...

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Bruce Springsteen Won't Sing In North Carolina. Here's A List Of Bands Scheduled To Play There This Summer. Who's Next?

(72) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 7:25 AM

Where I live -- that is, in my head, heart and soul -- music matters. A lot. I'm with Friedrich Nietzsche, who was never a better philosopher than when he wrote this: "Without music, life would be a mistake."

Why is music the most crucial, the most urgent of the...

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Trump? A Minor Player. In His 2008 Classic, 'The Chrysalis Effect,' Philip Slater Saw a Bigger Drama: 'Global Metamorphosis'

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2016 | 7:07 AM

Donald Trump is a throwback to a time when leaders were dictators, war was noble and women were property. "Why now?" is the wrong question -- what's happening in our country isn't limited to Trump's candidacy. It's bigger, much bigger. Think: global. "The Chrysalis Effect: The Metamorphosis of Global Culture"...

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O.J. Simpson Is Back, and So Is Sheila Weller's Stunning, Definitive Story of Toxic Love, 'Raging Heart'

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2016 | 6:05 AM

Two decades after O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife, there's a hugely popular TV series about the crime and a news story about a knife -- perhaps the knife that O.J. used to butcher Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.

In the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin has written that he's skeptical...

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In "Opening Belle," A Novelist Tells It Like It Is -- Even For Successful Women On Wall Street

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2016 | 7:42 AM

Belle McElroy has three children in Manhattan private schools (at more than $40,000 --- that's after-tax dollars --- per child), a nanny, a dog walker, a housekeeper, a car and an expensive garage, a killer maintenance on a Manhattan co-op and an equally killer monthly rent on a house in...

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Paul Lisicky Is Gay. Denise Gess Was Straight. 'The Narrow Door' Is Their Epic Love Story.

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2016 | 6:04 AM

"The best book about friendship I've ever read." That's what I wrote, some years ago, about Let's Take the Long Way Home, Gail Caldwell's memoir of her friendship with Caroline Knapp. Two writers, private in the important ways, both triumphantly sober --- and then Caroline was diagnosed with...

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Impossible, But True: A New Novel About Georgia O'Keeffe Has Something Original to Say About Her

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 9:18 AM

When it comes to culture, Americans are like baby birds -- we like our nutrition pre-chewed. About the last place I'd go to learn about Hadley Richardson, perhaps Ernest Hemingway's greatest love, is The Paris Wife. And if I wanted an accurate picture of the Lost Generation in 1920s Paris,...

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SOS Chefs: The Most Interesting Shop In New York Sells Spices, Teas & Honey Of The Highest Quality

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 7:17 AM

It's getting hard to tell the difference between the shopping streets of Manhattan, Greenwich, Palm Beach, Paris, you-name-it --- the same stores are everywhere.

The one-of-a-kind shops, the small boutiques? The FOR RENT signs tell you where they used to be.

So when I walked into SOS Chefs, I...

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On the Day of the Iowa Caucuses, 'Waiting For The Barbarians' Is the Book to Read

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 6:08 AM

The South African novelist J.M. Coetzee writes with a pen that's sharp as a knife, in ink made from his own blood. Or so it seems, for each word seems carved or cut, obtained at great price, offered as a sacrifice. "Fun" reading? Not at all. [His best book is...

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The Joan Baez 75th Birthday Concert: Four Days Before The Iowa Voting, A Double Shot Of Espresso

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 7:02 AM

"I never dared to be radical when young," Robert Frost said, "for fear it would make me conservative when old."

Joan Baez is Exhibit A that Frost was wrong.

Celebrating her 75th birthday with the taping of a PBS show at the Beacon Theater, Joan Baez looked like an...

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The Speech I Wish That Hillary Clinton Would Give: 'Bernie Sanders Taught Me a Lesson'

(107) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 7:41 AM

As a journalist, I rarely wrote about politics, but I don't think it takes a pro to see that Hillary Clinton could lose in Iowa and is likely to lose in New Hampshire. As a speechwriter for CEOs and others, I thought I could help her -- I like Bernie,...

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The Political Pundit Who Makes the Most Sense Today Died In 1950: George Orwell

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 7:10 AM

A few years ago, without warning, Amazon removed "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm" from the Kindles of customers who had bought them. Amazon offered a bogus explanation. Buried in the brouhaha that followed was the last thing that Amazon wanted customers to know -- with Kindle editions, you don't really...

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O.Henry Wrote His Christmas Classic, 'The Gift Of The Magi,' In 1905. In 'The Gift Of Gifts,' I Update It.

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 8:36 AM

O.Henry (William Sydney Porter) wrote "The Gift of the Magi" for his New York World column in December, 1905. If you know anything about him, you won't be surprised that O.Henry, who died of cirrhosis five years later, wrote his classic holiday story in a bar, Pete's Tavern,...

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A Book 'Everyone Says' We Must Read. Especially Now: Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning

(1) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 7:20 AM

Hitler had already occupied Austria when Viktor Frankl, a young Viennese psychiatrist and writer, learned that the United States had approved his request to immigrate. His parents were overjoyed -- their son would escape the Nazis, go off to America and continue his brilliant work.

Frankl was feeling guilty about...

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The One Essential Holiday Book for Kids and the Adults Who Love Them: Chris Van Allsburg's 'The Polar Express'

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 7:05 AM

What is the most interactive medium of all?

A rich, wise man in Silicon Valley -- so rich he did not need to offer up the knee jerk response: "online media" -- had the right answer:

A person in a chair, reading a book.

I instinctively knew that was right....

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When Greg Pardlo Won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, He Was a Graduate Student In... Non-Fiction

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 6:54 AM

Greg Pardlo submitted "Digest," his slim book of poems, to the major publishers. All rejected it. He sent it to Four Way Books, which is, like the poet, literary and decidedly non-profit. In 2014, Four Way published his 75-page book.

When Pardlo won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry,...

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For a Few Weeks After 9/11, We Read and Thought. After Paris, This Reading/Viewing List Might Be Helpful.

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 7:33 AM

Think back, please, to the weeks immediately following 9/11. In New York, they were quiet, contemplative, even profound. Eager to understand why it happened, many of us read Ahmed Rashid's 'Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia.' We hugged it out with people we loved. Those were three...

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