I am so not over Ted Con-over!
October 25, 2003 11:56 PM   Subscribe

Ted Conover is a fantastic, prize-winning author. His book Newjack is, to quote Jon Krakauer, "a compelling, compassionate look at a terribly important, poorly understood aspect of American society." In it, he works undercover as a guard at Sing Sing. You can read the truncated New Yorker version on the site. Additionally, there are many other articles, reviews and interviews, and a pretty interesting group of e-mails from "officers, their families, and others affected by prison." And, just to name-drop once more, Sebastian Junger says: "Ted Conover is a first-rate reporter and more daring and imaginative than the rest of us combined." Check him out!
posted by adrober (7 comments total)
Thank you, adrober. I've been interested in that book since I read Conover's Rolling Nowhere, an account of the time he spent "riding the rails with America's hoboes." There are lots of articles about this sort of subject, but Conover is the only author I've seen who actually ate, drank, and worked with the hoboes -- everything from dumpster diving and soup kitchens to fortified wine to picking fruit with migrant laborers. A fantastic read. I'm looking forward to going through all these links.
posted by subgenius at 5:54 AM on October 26, 2003

I read Newjack back when it came out in hardcover--that book was amazing.
posted by Prospero at 8:51 AM on October 26, 2003

Newjack was a great book. We picture prison guards as having near-total control over inmates; in truth, the book portrays a situation reminding me more of teaching in a rough inner city high school: there is an agreement among the prisoners/students that the guards/educators are in charge, but the agreement produces only a fragile, tense and unpleasant semblance of order.
posted by kozad at 9:21 AM on October 26, 2003

Newjack was a great book; I also recommend earlier work, like Coyotes, which was a similarly undercover exploration / "live the life" type reporting, of illegal mexican immigrants. Not sure if he's got a new project underway, since Newjack came out a few years back, but I take notice of his name when it comes up.
posted by mdn at 2:43 PM on October 26, 2003

I'd never heard of him...but y'all have gotten me interested now. I'll have to go read some of his stuff. Thanks!
posted by dejah420 at 9:15 PM on October 26, 2003

Sing Sing aerial view.
posted by dhartung at 11:03 PM on October 26, 2003

great post adrober - what I've read so far is pretty compelling and his books have piqued my interest - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:26 PM on October 27, 2003

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