Research Report: Boris Kachka
Boris Kachka gives insight into the downfall of a fellow budding journalist in, “Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lehrer,” which was published in New York magazine. Kachka displays in-depth research throughout the article that examines the journalistic sin of plagiarism perpetrated by Lehrer. The long-time writer is no stranger in covering other journalists and entertainers as his personal website, boriskachka.com, links to almost twenty other profiles. His work often focuses on the people who are involved in the issues, not the issues themselves. This specific article dives deep into the life of Lehrer and how plagiarism affected his journalistic integrity. Based on Kachka’s portfolio, the article about Jonah Lehrer does not intend to take a stand against the egregiousness of plagiarism, but rather, tells a fascinating story about the rise and fall of a wunderkind writer.
Kachka followed a fairly traditional route in becoming a writer at New York magazine, contributor to The New York Times, Elle and GQ, and full-length novelist. He was born in the small country of Moldova and then moved with his family to Brooklyn, NY. From there he received a Master’s degree in journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in English at the Ivy League school of Columbia University. He then worked his way up the ranks at New York where he served as a fact-checker, editor and writer. Today he is still contributes to New York and other magazines across a wide spectrum. He also is promoting his new book entitled Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Kachka describes the book as, “A sweeping, slightly tweedy and slightly tawdry cultural history of late twentieth-century literary New York through the lens of one extraordinary book publisher.”
Kachka has an obvious fascination in the journalism industry as a whole based on the focus of the majority of his work. This gives him credibility when he discusses Lehrer. His knowledge of all the moving parts in journalism allows for the proper analysis of how Lehrer was looked at by the rest of the journalistic world. Kachka has experience with covering fellow journalists throughout his career. This again gives him more credibility on this specific story than someone who usually focuses on issues rather than people.
The only bit of controversy that affects Kachka’s credibility comes from the content of his new novel Hothouse. Laura Collins-Hughes of The Boston Globe points out that he shied away from covering the current state of affairs of the publishing house Farrar, Straus, & Giroux because their, “design director is responsible for his book’s cover.” This is an obvious conflict of interest from a journalistic standpoint. However, Kachka’s credibility in covering the rise and fall of Jonah Lehrer should not be compromised. His experience in covering journalists gives him more credibility than most potential writers of Lehrer’s tribulations.
Boris Kachka. (2013). Retrieved from http://boriskachka.com/home/
Collins-Hughes, Laura/ (Aug 03,2013). ‘Hothouse’ by Boris Kachka. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2013/08/03/book-review- hothouse-the-art-survival and-survival-art-america-most-celebrated-publishing-house-farrar-straus-and-giroux-boris kachka/Dg2n4WEDI4czkkEAFBRwbO/story.html
Kachka, Boris. (Oct 28, 2012). Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lehrer. New York. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/features/jonah-lehrer-2012-11/