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Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU 600 Jefferson St., Houston, TX 77002 OF CANADA Satire Create a positive first impression with your next paper or report. Complete your project with one of our inexpensive bindings to create your own special effect. Remember, first impressions can have lasting effects. Ginny’s Bindery Services Austin, Te x 2021 W . Guadalup e Call 476-9171 for details 1.08 Cong ress 2700 Anderson Lane Copying is our middle name but not our only service Ginny’s Copying Service, Inc. Printers Stationers Mailers Typesetters High Speed Web Offset Publication Press Counseling Designing Copy Writing Editing Trade Computer Sales and Services 1111. Complete Computer Data Processing Services %FUTURA PRESS AUSTIN TEXAS IFUTIUIRSIL 512/442-7836 1714 South Congress P.Q. Box 3485 Austin, Texas 78764 perience while keeping himself out of jail. Tom Wolfe uses reporting as a means of creating highly detailed social novels. He once wrote an essay I don’t remember where or when attacking contemporary writers of fiction for abandoning their primary duty of bringing their readers the news \(note the dead in the contemporary novel, Wolfe sniffed, so we journalists will have to do it instead. That’s the key to Tom Wolfe he is really a latter-day Dickens or Trollope. The. Right Stuff certainly does what journalism should do. There is more to be learned about the U.S. space program from this book than from all the conventional news stories ever written since the founding of Project Mercury in 1958. But that is incidental to its author’s purposes. The Right Stuff is instead a brilliant exploration of social attitudes, of national mythology, of macho and male bonding. The subject matter what I really want to say is the plot concerns the astronauts and the space program, but the theme, the book’s reason for being, is the “right stuff,” Wolfe’s phrase for the mystic ingredient in the American success myth. Wolfe has done a tremendous amount of reporting in order to gather material for this book, but the final product is a seamless fabric in which the process of creating is invisible. The Right Stuff reads like a novel, which is no coincidence. Tom Wolfe is also a genius, but his new journalism is in reality almost antithetical to Thompson’s gonzo approach. Reading these three books together, at least for one who cares about journalism, is like a deep draught of a powerful but mercurial drug. There is a glow of excitement at all the possibilities for journalism these authors hold forth, followed by a stale sense of depression as the reader drifts back to the mundane world and looks again at the mediocre stuff that clutters up most newspapers and newsmagazines. Tom Wolfe’s interests are becoming more refined and more aesthetic; Hunter Thompson does indeed seem to be uncommunicative these days; and Gunter Wallraff constantly is suffering death threats and government court suits. If the insurrection against objectivity and gentlemen’s rules is to continue into the ’80s, journalism will need more Wolfes, more Thompsons, more Wallraffs. “What’s happened to the American people that they have this absolute desire for obedience to authority?” Ramsey Clark June 11, 1980 ABC News THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17