The last 25 years haven’t been particularly kind to Norman Mailer, who died yesterday, as his various attempts to produce “The Great American Novel” all ended in dismal and embarrassing failure.
But go a bit further back and The Armies of the Night, his account of the 1967 march on the Pentagon, is probably the single best piece of writing to come out of the 1960s. Not far behind comes 1968’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago; in yer face accounts of the Republican and Democrat Conventions of that year.
The Democrat Convention in Chicago, of course, culminated in the ‘Chicago Eight’ trial where the so-called ring leaders of the protests there were charged with conspiracy and incitement to riot.
Both books are triumphs of engaged journalism, a form virtually lost to us today. RIP Norm!