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Book Review: The Journalist and the Murderer

the journalist and the murdererJanet Malcolm. The Journalist and the Murderer. 

Here’s another dark topic, though it’s not a dark book. And instead of the author’s website, because I couldn’t see one, I link her name to an interview in the Paris Review.

This short non-fiction account examines the relationship (and lawsuit) between accused murderer Jeffrey MacDonald and journalist Joe McGinniss, author of Fatal Vision, a book about the murders, the murder trial, and MacDonald’s life. Malcolm’s book opens: “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.” I loved the tone and enjoyed Malcolm’s insights into the relationship between interviewer and subject, not just in the MacDonald McGinniss case, but in the field of journalism. A terrific read.

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