I-Search Outside Reading

(due April 4th and 5th)

In the spirit of I-Search, you have a choice of 3 books to read, each of which is kind of a book-length I-Search paper. That is, a reporter set out to investigate a subject by interviews and background reading, and produced from that information an influential book.

  1. The oldest is John Hersey’s Hiroshima, written in 1946. Hersey was sent by the New Yorker magazine one year after the atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. He interviewed survivors and put together a piece for the magazine that turned into a book. Hiroshima focuses not on the politics and military history of World War II, but rather on what it was like to be in that human-made disaster on the day the bomb dropped and the weeks afterward.
  2. Like Hiroshima, the origin of Into the Wild was as a magazine article, this one in Outside magazine in 1993. John Krakauer was investigating the strange death of a young man named Chris McCandless, who left all connections behind to hitchhike to Alaska and head for the wilderness, with nothing but 10 pounds of rice, a .22 calibre rifle, a camera, several boxes of rifle rounds, and a small selection of reading material. His body was found several months later by some hunters. Krakauer, in trying to figure out how McCandless died, ended up looking also into Chris’s personality and life and motivation for heading off on his own to Alaska. This popular book was made into an excellent movie in 2007, directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch.
  3. The Perfect Storm was written in 1997 by Sebastian Junger. Junger investigated the loss of a fishing boat, the Andrea Gale, based out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The crew was lost 575 miles at sea during the severe conditions of a “perfect storm.”  You will learn a lot about deep-sea fishing, about the community of fishermen from Gloucester, about storms, and about rescues at sea in this gripping book, which was made into an excellent movie in 2000.
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