John H. Richardson displays the detached, nonjudgmental, observational eye of the perpetual outsider. He’s curious and smart, a realist with a spiky, mordant sense of humor; a truth-seeker with an eye for the poignant and wryly ironic.

A terrific reporter and a first-class storyteller, well known for his work at Premier and Esquire, Richardson has amassed a trove of memorable pieces over the decades. Collected in Not Guilty by Reason of Afghanistan are seven of his greatest narratives, deep dives into murder, cartels, street gangs, and gun smuggling. Sprinkle in the macabre death of a B-movie actress, the mystery of an old-time Hollywood agent found dead by his open safe, and the unfortunate tale of a man who claimed to have the largest penis in the world. It's uniquely entertaining narrative journalism at its finest.

Whether writing about abortion clinic doctors, gun advocates, or neighborhood swingers, Richardson loves characters on the fringe. “It’s a privilege to listen to people tell their stories and write them down,” he says, “especially when they’re the kind of people who get overlooked.”

Including an interview with the author by imprint editor Alex Belth.

About The Stacks Reader Series

The Stacks Reader Series highlights classic literary non-fiction and short fiction by great journalists that would otherwise be lost to history—a living archive of memorable storytelling by notable authors. Brought to you by The Sager Group with support from NeoText.

John H. Richardson was born in Washington D.C. The unwitting son of a CIA officer, he grew up all over the world. A veteran journalist and college professor, this is his fourth book.