Manual Tales from the Concrete Highway (Workers Write! Book 9)

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Twelve million, six hundred thousand cubic yards. Such a wall would be greater in volume than all six pyramids of the Giza Necropolis — and it is unlikely that a concrete slab in the town of Dead Dog Valley, Texas would inspire the same timeless sense of wonder. That quantity of concrete could pave a one-lane road from New York to Los Angeles, going the long way around the Earth, which would probably be just as useful.

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Concrete, of course, requires reinforcing steel or rebar. A reasonable estimate for the amount of rebar would be about 3 percent of the total wall size, resulting in a steel volume of 10,, cubic feet, or about 5 billion pounds. We could melt down 4 of our Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and would probably be a few cruisers short of having enough steel. But the challenge is far greater than simply collecting the necessary raw materials. All of these hundreds of miles of wall would need to be cast in concrete facilities, probably project-specific ones that have been custom built near the border.

Then, the pre-cast wall pieces would need to be shipped by truck through the inhospitable, often roadless desert. The men and women doing the work of actually installing the wall would have to be provided with food, water, shelter, lavatory facilities, safety equipment, transportation, and medical care, and would sometimes be miles away from a population center of any size. Sure, some people would be willing to to do the work, but at what price? Would Trump hire Mexicans?

This analysis also ignores the less sexy aspects of large-scale engineering projects: surveying, land acquisition, environmental review, geological studies, maintenance, excavating for foundations, and so on. Maybe he should stick to story buildings. Update: In the Oct. The author responds here. Ali F. Rhuzkan is the pen name of a professional engineer and unprofessional writer living and working in New York City. Our own journalism — as well as our selections of the smartest stories available every day — reflects a clear and strong perspective, without the kind of propaganda, ultra-partisanship and overwrought ideology that burden so much of our political discourse.

Headlines National News Top News. Rhuzkan September 21, Share this Previous Article. Next Article.

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Popular News. Both fiction and nonfiction, including: "Twenty-four years later, on Wednesday, August 28, at nine-thirty o'clock, in full view of ten million people, the little door in William F. Buckley Jr. But as Knvul Sheikh writes, first-person anecdotes allow journalists to connect with readers by lending authority and emotional authenticity to stories, building up narrative tension, or lightening the tone of a piece.

First-person can also be used to check personal biases and reveal conflicts of interest, avoid awkward phrasing, or breathe life into arcane concepts. From Plot to Narrative by Elizabeth Ellis, a step-by-step process for creating and enhancing stories How comics can bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction Erin Polgreen, Nieman Reports, "Mirk instinctively understood what comic book formats can do for journalism.

The form makes heady topics intimate and relevant. Issues that are far away become more personal to the reader. In a world of information overload, beautifully crafted, hand-illustrated comics provide clarity and emotional resonance. How many interviews? A young woman fooled the governments of three countries. What does her con reveal about how we see the world? Propositional thought hinges on logic and formality. Narrative thought is the reverse. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?

The dangerous idea that life is a story. Information vs. This is because no event any longer comes to us without already being shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information.


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Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it… The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the events is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new.

It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time. When she was reporting in Annawadi, she let children there use her camera to record whatever they wanted. Implied authors. Sunstein, Bloomberg, A novelist may be cruel and vicious to his family and friends, but in his novels, his implied author may be kind and gentle. A poet who is a loving wife and mother may produce poetry whose implied author is venomous and full of rage.

But he also applies it to political discussions: " In particular, contempt and suspicion, and a fundamental lack of generosity, spread like wildfire. Click here for Part 1 the anecdote and the moment of reflection as the two building blocks of a radio story ; Part 2 the amount of time it takes to find a good story and the importance of being tough and killing the boring parts; Part 3 how much time you have to put in to get to the point where your skills match your good taste , and Part 4 being yourself and being a good listener, because what's interesting is the way you interact with people, not your take on things.

Listen to stories from the archive or on the radio find your local stations. Edward Humes on narrative nonfiction How to organize research on a heavily researched subject Jean Strouse, in an interview for Bookreporter. Novelist Geoff Dyer argues that recent reportage about military conflict trumps fiction in its characterisation, observation and narrative drive The Guardian Internet Classics Archive Interview with Jack Hitt Part 1 and Part 2 , by Conor Firedersdorf and if your writing has been a struggle, Part 2, on the writing process, will make you feel better, or smile.

New Kindle Single e-books from The New York Times and ProPublica "highlight the potential for journalists to find new audiences, and possibly new revenue, for long-form reporting.

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Part 1 is a call to bridge the divide between academic writing and narratives intended for the general public. Part 2: Setting addresses the importance of setting and scene in storytelling.

Michael Rosen: The children's laureate shares the secret to writing for kids

And Part 3: Character examines the role of characters in historical writing. Part 4 is about plot. Menand, Louis. Excellent New Yorker essay, The Historical Romance: Edmund Wilson's Adventures with Communism , in which Menand writes: "Intuitive knowledge—the sense of what life was like when we were not there to experience it—is precisely the knowledge we seek.

It is the true positive of historical work. Online start-ups Byliner and The Atavist have established a market for stories too long for magazines and too short for books between 5, word magazine articles and , words books. Much of their income is from apps, not content.


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