Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Requiem for the Truth Late Reporter Michael Hastings' Unfinished Manuscript Turned Novel Indicts Media over Iraq Coverage

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Requiem for the Truth Late Reporter Michael Hastings' Unfinished Manuscript Turned Novel Indicts Media over Iraq Coverage

Article excerpt

"THE LAST MAGAZINE"

By Michael hastings

Blue Rider Press ($26.95)

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a strong sense of deja vu about the current situation in Iraq. Reading Michael Hastings' posthumously published novel "The Last Magazine" definitely exacerbated that feeling.

Hastings, a recipient of the Norman Mailer Award for Emerging Journalists, was a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, a writer for Buzz Feed, a former intern and Iraq correspondent for Newsweek, and author of books such as "The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan."

Mr. Hastings is best known for "The Runaway General," a 2010 Rolling Stone profile on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then supreme commander of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Mr. McChrystal was quoted bad-mouthing his civilian superiors, which led to his recall to Washington and resignation.

Hastings died in a car crash in June 2013 at the age of 33, but his writing enjoys a roistering afterlife. His 2012 story on Taliban prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl still is considered the definitive report on the soldier. At the time of his death, the FBI was investigating Hastings' reporting on Mr. Bergdahl, which it considered controversial.

Found nearly complete by Hastings' widow, "The Last Magazine" tells the story of an earnest, 20-something journalist named Michael Hastings who works as an intern for the fictional weekly news magazine, The Magazine.

Hastings' reporting, according to the Rolling Stones obituary, refused "to cozy up to power." "The Last Magazine" works in the same vein; it's a thinly veiled roman a clef and a satirical indictment of the media's complicity in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It's at once thoughtful, contumacious, self-conscious and cheeky.

Allusions to real-life figures at Newsweek abound. The international edition editor, Nishant Patel, "an Indian Cary Grant," is a clear reference to Fareed Zakaria. Managing editor Sanders Berman, a "young fogy," is a likely Jon Meacham.

War's hell for writers and editors, as well as those locked in actual combat. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.