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One Day

The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America

Gene Weingarten



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08 December 2020
Now in paperback- Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten explores the events of a random day in U.S. history, offering a diorama of American life that illuminates all that has changed-and all that hasn't-in the last three decades. December 28, 1986. It was a Sunday-Ronald Reagan was president, Oliver Stone's Platoon was lighting up movie screens across the country, and readers were terrified by Stephen King's latest novel, It. It is also the date that Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist, literally pulled out of a hat, selecting the month, day, and year at random. Compared to other dates seared in our collective memory, that was a quiet Sunday between Christmas and the New Year. But as Weingarten asks, Is there really such a thing as an ordinary day? In One Day, what was a seemingly insignificant day in American history has been transformed into a riveting, poignant collection about the quiet dramas that were entered into the public record but escaped public memory. Through a combination of crowd-sourced stories and years of research, Weingarten revisits the lives of December 28's stories, showing how an arbitrarily chosen 24 hours can act as a herald for the momentous events that would later make history. He finds that racial and economic disparity, and the mistreatment of minority groups are deep veins, running through even the quietest days in American history. And he shows that small dramas and kindnesses in the unremarkable news items can illuminate the often surprising moments of human connection.
By:   Gene Weingarten
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 209mm,  Width: 139mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   318g
ISBN:   9780399185830
ISBN 10:   0399185836
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   08 December 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gene Weingarten is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writer for The Washington Post, where he writes Below the Beltway, the weekly humor column. His previous books include I'm With Stupid- One Man. One Woman. 10,000 Years of Misunderstanding Between the Sexes Cleared Right Up; The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death; and Old Dogs- Are the Best Dogs. He lives in Washington, DC.

Reviews for One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America

One of the 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Last 25 Years Slate A Best Book of the Year The Washington Post Slate Parade New York Post The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel The book adds up to something greater than the individual stories.... Weingarten taps into the wonder of what it is to be alive. --Mike Hill, for the Associated Press An absorbing snapshot of America. --The New Yorker More praise for One Day As I've gotten older, I've become less interested in elaborate fictions or spectacular histories and just want to know how life is lived. I want a book about how other humans get things and lose things, and deal with both, how they cope and how they fail and how they live and how they die. This is the book I've been waiting for. The people described in this book are wonderful and flawed, some of them evil, some of them impossibly good. But none of them have lived the kind of lives that normally get told in books, and in finally seeking them out and telling their stories, Gene has done them, and us, a priceless service. --Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and author of The Incomplete Book of Running Extraordinary tales from an ordinary day, masterfully fashioned. Because Weingarten is such a compelling storyteller, it's easy to overlook how much A+ journalism undergirds One Day. Every detail, every quote, is not just the answer to a question; it's the answer to precisely the right question. --Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury I loved this book. I ripped through it in an evening. I couldn't put it down. --Petra Mayer on NPR's Here & Now An excellent book...humble yet profound. --Guardian [Weingarten has] uncommon storytelling gifts.... The two-time Pulitzer winner and Washington Post columnist takes a single day in history and weaves together multiple stories of tragedy, revelation and wonder. One Day is full of scenes and wordsmithing that can make a reader elbow her partner in the ribs and force him to listen to a read-aloud. That's the hallmark of memorable feature writing. More, please. --Washington Post One of the Best Books of 2019.--Washington Post A captivating portrait of a day in the life of the United States by a much-honored Washington Post journalist... One of the finest plain-prose stylists in American journalism, Weingarten tells his elegantly structured stories without sentimentality or melodrama... A slice of American life carved out by a master of the form. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Everybody loves a good story, especially when it's told by a master storyteller. This collection should have wide appeal, whether read straight through, cover to cover, or dipped into for an occasional article. --Booklist (starred review) [One Day] is a stunt, a dare, but it's also proof of the belief that animates all the books on this list: There are stories everywhere. The nonfiction writer's job is to look long and hard enough to find them, and to tell them with enough empathy and care to bring them to life. --Slate By paying close attention, Mr. Weingarten opens our eyes to the potent meanings of everyday stories all around us.... As the minutes tick by toward midnight, Gene Weingarten's powerful retellings elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary and yield to an awakened sense of awe. --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette One Day...includes a serial killer, a famous band, a helicopter crash, and a tragic fire. But it also includes more prosaic stories that testify to the premise of the book: Stories are everywhere, and every one is interesting; all it takes is a reporter dogged enough to find people's stories, and tell them. --Slate A trove of compelling human-interest pieces with long reverberations. --Publishers Weekly Much more than a gimmick...full of riveting tales. --Washingtonian A brilliant concept deftly researched and inherently fascinating read. Thoughtful and thought-provoking. --Midwest Book Review A master storyteller...a helluva good look at The Human Experience...a collection of ripping yarns. --The Star Tribune Ace writer mines tales from a random organize a book bristling with drama. The journalistic version of a swan dive off a tall ladder into a teacup.--Chicago Sun-Times This snapshot of the nation on one particular day is one that deserves pride of place in America's family album. --Daily Beast One of Fall 2019's Biggest Books...Weingarten, who has won two Pulitzers for feature writing, tells it as few can. --The Philadelphia Inquirer A fascinating conceit. --USA Today Dramatic narrative nonfiction...offer[ing] a new perspective on world history. --USA Today Fall books for your must-read list...It is a great book. It's not about anything huge, it's not uncovering murder mysteries or anything, but it makes connections about people's lives in America at that time that reverberates today. --Minnesota Public Radio What makes One Day so extraordinary is how Weingarten combines dogged, detailed reporting with beautiful, flowing prose. You seldom see those two attributes combined in one writer. --The Antelope Valley Press

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