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In the magazine world, no recognition is more highly coveted or prestigious than a National Magazine Award. Annually, members of the American Society of Magazine Editors, in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, select the year's most dynamic, original, provocative, and influential magazine stories. The winning and finalist pieces in this anthology represent outstanding work by some of the most eminent writers in America as well as rising literary and journalistic talents. This prestigious collection includes stories that cover a variety of subjects from Elizabeth Kolbert's investigation into global warming in the "New Yorker" and James Bamford's look at the PR campaign behind the Iraq War in "Rolling Stone" to Chris Heath's remarkable profile of Merle Haggard in "GQ" and Bill Heavey's hilarious account of teaching his daughter to fish in "Field and Stream," Other writers include David Foster Wallace ( "The Atlantic Monthly"), Joyce Carol Oates ( "The Virginia Quarterly Review"), Priscilla Long ( "The American Scholar"), Jesse Katz ( "Los Angeles Magazine"), Marjorie Williams ( "Vanity Fair"), Hendrik Hertzberg ( "New Yorker"), Sven Birkerts ( "The Virginia Quarterly Review"), Erik Reece ( "Harper's"), Wendy Brenner ( "The Oxford American"), John Jeremiah Sullivan ( "GQ"), James Wolcott ( "Vanity Fair"), and Wyatt Mason ( "Harper's"). Wide-ranging in their style and subjects, these writers' stories inform, surprise, entertain, and provide new perspectives on our world. They also reflect elements that distinguish the best in magazine writing: moral passion, investigative zeal, vivid characters and settings, persistent reporting, and artfulwriting.