During his time at ESPN’s now-defunct Grantland, Jonathan Abrams authored definitive oral histories on sporting events as iconic as the 2005 Pacers/Pistons brawl. Then, in March, he released his first book, Boys Among Men, a thorough account of the generation of basketball players who went straight from high school to the NBA. On Friday, Abrams used Twitter to reveal his next project: a book-length oral history of The Wire.
The Wire was a drama that originally ran for five seasons on HBO, from 2002 to 2008. Created by Baltimore Sun veteran David Simon and retired Baltimore homicide detective Ed Burns, the show dove deep into the problems ravaging modern Baltimore, from a rampant drug trade to a corrupt political hierarchy to a failing school system. Although it never won an Emmy, the show has garnered much critical acclaim and fan adoration over the years, even after its original run. Quotes from the show pop up in rap lyrics frequently, and President Barack Obama is a noted fan, going so far as to invite Simon to the White House to discuss criminal justice reform.
“I’ve been interested in expanding outside of sports for a little while and the excitement of doing this project immediately drew me in,” Abrams tells EW. “To me, oral histories work best when many different people offer a different opinion/viewpoint on a singular event. I think this subject will capture that essence well.”