Cover image for Some times in America : and a life in a year at the New Yorker
Some times in America : and a life in a year at the New Yorker
Chancellor, Alexander.
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf, 2000.

Physical Description:
309 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Title Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F128.9.B7 C47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Brimming with news and gossip, intrigue and humor, this is a British journalist's irresistible look at the peculiar charms of American life and turbulent times at Tina Brown's New Yorker.

Author Notes

Alexander Chancellor is a freelance journalist who writes a weekly column in the Guardian. He was formerly editor of the Spectator and the Independent Magazine as well as a deputy editor at the New Yorker.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Chancellor, a lifelong journalist, was editor for the Spectator, a British political weekly, in 1975 when Tina Brown, then 21, was looking for work. He didn't hire her, but nearly two decades later, when she began her controversial term as editor for the venerable New Yorker, she hired him to oversee the magazine's opening section, "The Talk of the Town." Brown was already bristling at public skepticism over a Brit's ability to run a quintessentially American publication, so her decision to put her fellow countryman in charge of the most New York^-oriented part of the magazine seemed peculiar then and seems even more bizarre now, as Chancellor recounts his uneasy one-year tenure. He parlays his often awkward experiences into a piquant pondering of "the strangeness of being British in the U.S." and an illuminating consideration of the differences between British and American journalism. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chancellor, a veteran British editor and journalist (he has been editor of the Spectator, among other publications), has done several stints in the U.S., most recently in 1992-1993 as editor of the New Yorker's Talk of the Town section under Tina Brown. This lighthearted and rather lightweight account revolves not only around the magazine but around Chancellor's social gallivanting and his glosses on American life, clearly targeted toward a British audience-for instance, "The point of most religion in the United States is that, like liquor, it should make you feel good." (And Mr. Chancellor has enjoyed his liquor: one of his adventures involved getting arrested on a DUI charge while covering the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta. America, he says, has "ridiculously low speed limits.") We learn how he sublet a lovely furnished flat from the writer Gregor von Rezzori, how he lunched at the prestigious Century Club, how he attended dinner parties given by the very rich Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman and, in a more unpleasant New York experience, how he got mugged. He also tells of how he rented a picturesque cottage in the Hudson Valley during the summer and invited his pal Michael Kinsley and others up for barbecues. Of working with Tina Brown, we learn that, during the early part of her editorship of the New Yorker, she lived in fear of press judgments after the extremely negative reaction to her appointment as editor: "Despite [owner] Si Newhouse's obvious admiration for her, she never behaved as if she felt secure in her job." In brief, this is a collection of anecdotes that is very New Yorker-ish--charming, urbane, witty--but slight. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

1) Introductory Musicp. 1
2) The Gentleman Hackp. 23
3) The Smell of Beeswaxp. 41
4) Cigarettes and Whiskyp. 65
5) Eat Here Now!p. 81
6) The Talk of the Townp. 101
7) Down in the Streetp. 123
8) The Quest for Truthp. 131
9) He is an Englishmanp. 145
10) The Principle of Lunchp. 163
11) The Democratic Dawnp. 181
12) The Merry Widowsp. 199
13) Passing the Timep. 219
14) The Fourth Estatep. 241
15) Out in the Countryp. 269
16) Goodbye to It Allp. 289