GENE WEINGARTEN IS THE O. HENRY OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM Simply the best storyteller around, Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually isin narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable. Millions of people know the title piece about violinist Joshua Bell, which originally began as a stunt: What would happen if you put a world-class musician outside a Washington, D.C., subway station to play for spare change? Would anyone even notice? The answer was no. Weingarten's story went viral, becoming a widely referenced lesson about life lived too quickly. Other classic storiesthe one about The Great Zucchini, a wildly popular but personally flawed children's entertainer; the search for the official Armpit of America; a profile of the typical American nonvoterall of them reveal as much about their readers as they do their subjects.

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