Esquire Classic Podcast

Esquire Classic Podcast

United States

A timely and revealing update of some of the most groundbreaking narrative journalism ever published by Esquire since its founding in 1933. Presented by PRX and Esquire Magazine.


The Price of Being President, by Richard Ben Cramer  

Published in 1992, Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: The Way to the White House remains the richest and most unvarnished account of the personal price of running for president. The irony, as Cramer pointed out to C-SPAN shortly after the book came out, is that to become president a candidate must sacrifice the entire life that … Continue reading The Price of Being President, by Richard Ben Cramer

The Old Man and the River, by Pete Dexter  

Norman Maclean published A River Runs Through It when he was seventy-three, and only after his children implored him to write down the stories about fly-fishing, brotherhood, and the wilds of Montana that he’d told them for years. The resulting novella is a classic of economy and clarity. A few years later, Pete Dexter visited Maclean in … Continue reading The Old Man and the River, by Pete Dexter

The Days of Wine and Pig Hocks, by Jim Harrison  

Jim Harrison, the novelist and poet who died earlier this year at the age of 78, had a gargantuan, fearless appetite that would make both A.J. Liebling and Anthony Bourdain proud. He wrote about food—about eating, really— in a woolly, baroque style for Esquire’s “The Raw and the Cooked” column. He began one piece with … Continue reading The Days of Wine and Pig Hocks, by Jim Harrison

Martin Luther King Jr Is Still on the Case! by Garry Wills  

12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley discusses Garry Wills’s 1968 profile, “Martin Luther King Jr Is Still on the Case!”

Love in the Time of Magic, by E. Jean Carroll  

A chronicle of risk and romance on the sidelines of the NBA

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce, by Tom Wolfe  

A meeting of two American masters: Robert Noyce and Tom Wolfe.

The House That Thurman Munson Built, by Michael Paterniti  

Trust me, he said, and the last great brawling sports team in America did. Twenty years after Thurman Munson’s death, Reggie, Catfish, Goose, Gator, the Boss—and a nation of former boys—still aren’t over it.

The Crack-Up, by F. Scott Fitzgerald  

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack-Up," a series of essays from 1936 about his alcoholism and mental breakdown, set off a genre of confessional writing that persists and thrives today.

The Brain That Changed Everything, By Luke Dittrich  

When a surgeon cut into Henry Molaison’s skull to treat him for epilepsy, he inadvertently created the most important brain-research subject of our time—a man who could no longer remember, who taught us everything we know about memory. Six decades later, another daring researcher is cutting into Henry’s brain. Another revolution in brain science is about to begin.

“I, Stalkerazzi” and “Angelina Jolie and the Torture of Fame,” by John H. Richardson  

John H. Richardson on our cultural infatuation with celebrity and the humanity that lurks on both sides of the camera lens.

Nureyev Dancing In His Own Shadow, by Elizabeth Kaye  

At the end of a glorious career, the defiant legend takes refuge in his most cherished partner—himself.

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, by Gay Talese  

And some of the most important people in some of the most important places in New York, New Jersey, Southern California and Las Vegas are suddenly developing postnasal drip

Styron’s Choices, by Philip Caputo  

The artist’s life demands solitude, sensitivity, and often a little something to get him through the night. The very same things can destroy him

The Falling Man, by Tom Junod  

Do you remember this photograph?

The American Male at Age Ten, by Susan Orlean  

What it feels like to be a boy in America.

My Father, the Bachelor, by Martha Sherrill  

He was a beautiful man, and someone had to liberate these women from their marriages. When he died, women grieved. Lots and lots of women.

Edwin Moses, by Mark Kram  

A Hurdler in Inner Space.

What It Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer  

What It Takes is the most comprehensive account ever written about the personal price of running for president.

My Father’s Life, by Raymond Carver  

When he looks back at his father, he sees a dim figure losing its substance to sickness, and when the past is a cipher, there is no redeeming the present. There is only living it.

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