What is Style?

It’s the arts and features section of the Post. It’s also a bit more than that:

"We wanted profiles, but ‘new journalism’ profiles that went way beyond the bare bones of biography. We wanted to look at the culture of America as it was changing in front of our eyes." (Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Post, on the 1969 conception of the Style section, in his autobiography “A Good Life.”)

"Style was about attitude. It was unapologetically argumentative. Its stories swaggered. Over the years, it has been called snide, brilliant, snotty, brave, iconoclastic, irresponsible, the one section I read, the one section I never read, witty, presumptuous, prescient, self-indulgent, sophisticated, vapid, fresh air, stale chatter, powerful, cynical, pace-setting, arrogant, elitist, elite, smug, sassy, visionary, incendiary, masterful, cruel." (Intro to Style’s 25th anniversary package in 1994.)

"Our last remaining forebears tell stories about the old days of Style that seem outlandish, brazen: The booze in the desk drawers? … The early Style editor who left here in a straitjacket? … The writer and editorial aide who had sex on a desk? … Drug use in the stairwell? … More and more, newspapers have given up on the anything-goes feature section. … We’re not having sex on the desks, but damn if we aren’t still here." (Hank Stuever, in a Jan. 2009 essay marking Style’s 40th anniversary.)

Read vintage Style stories here.

The Style Tumblr is maintained by staff writers Monica Hesse (@monicahesse) and Dan Zak (@MrDanZak), co-sovereigns of The List.

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