Despite its five CDs this is a quick read. It is an eclectic series of essays on subjects as diverse as Oliver Wendell Holmes and the magazines Rolling Stone and the New Yorker. If you are a regular (or have been for the last forty years), many "little secrets" are revealed---from the inner politics at the magazine to the eccentricities of the editors and writers. Add all of the others "profiled," and you have an educational and entertaining fare. The essay format is perfect for the short ride or just a little before sleep.
Louis Menand, professor of English at Harvard University, is the author of The Metaphysical Club, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in History. A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.