If he had a soul mate, it was that other Jewish rebel from Newark, Philip Roth, who later would outdo him as a maestro of rage-driven hilarity. Both men knew that what happened in Upper West Side salons was no more authentic—possibly less so—than the transactions that took place in Newark and Buffalo and Ketchum, in back seats, kitchens, and hunting lodges with big TV screens. This knowledge enabled Fiedler to push beyond the encrustations of "cultural politics" to explore the deeper realm of revenge and hatred, fear and loathing, where we really live. "I have, I admit, a low tolerance for detached chronicling and cool analysis," he once wrote. "It is, I suppose, partly my own unregenerate nature. I long for the raised voice, the howl of rage or love." And when he failed to find those howls in the subjects he wrote about, he supplied them himself.
TODAY IN SLATE
The End of Pregnancy
And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.
Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City
How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry
The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats
Blame China for everything.
The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer
Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place
Now it’s descending into madness.
Don’t Just Sit There
How to be more productive during your commute.