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A Death on W Street: A Look at American Culture in NonFiction and True Crime

A Look at American Culture in NonFiction and True Crime_NovelSuspectsAs a nonfiction storyteller, the hardest part of my job isn’t the slow churn of the reporting process or the torturous work of putting words onto the page. The biggest challenge is finding a great story idea in the first place, the thrilling alchemy of character and plot, mystery and momentum, that keeps readers turning the page. For me, the best true stories capture something essential about the human condition—love, death, ambition, revenge— through the narrowest of lenses. Such stories fit the world through the eye of a needle. 

A Death on W Street is the story of a young political staffer named Seth Rich who was murdered in Washington, DC. In the absence of an arrest, Rich’s life and death became a worldwide conspiracy theory, a Fox News rallying cry, and a cautionary tale of the modern culture wars. Yet the book tackles questions about what’s happened to truth in American culture, the role of social media in our lives, and why people believe conspiracy theories such as QAnon or Stop the Steal. The books I’ve chosen do a masterful job of weaving together gripping personal stories and bigger themes and ideas about politics, technology, justice, and more.

 


About the Author

Andy Kroll is an investigative reporter for ProPublica, where he covers voting, politics, and threats to democracy. He is the former Washington bureau chief for Rolling Stone magazine, where he wrote extensively about the Seth Rich case. He has also written for Mother Jones, National Journal, and The California Sunday Magazine. He lives in Washington, DC. This is his first book.