You can thank novelist James Ellroy and his lurid masterpiece L.A. Confidential for inspiring Henry E. Scott's marvelous pop history Shocking True Story, which details the rise and fall of 1950s scandal rag Confidential.
A former journalist turned media consultant, Scott picked up L.A. Confidential in 1997 and became fascinated by Ellroy's fictional Hush-Hush magazine, based on the real-life Confidential. He ended up writing a history of the path-breaking tabloid.
The result is incredibly timely, what with TMZ and Gawker, and the National Enquirer's coverage of John Edwards' love child. Like it or not, these are gossip's glory days.
With a newsman's conciseness rather than a historian's verbosity, Scott details the magazine's start in 1952 Manhattan.