This post is by Callum Blackmore, a GSAS student and intern in the RBML’s Graduate Student Internship in Primary Sources.
In October 1975, a controversy erupted around the American opera singer, Beverly Sills. At the heart of this controversy was a feature article by the opera critic, Peter G. Davis (1948-2021), whose papers are now housed at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University. Davis, then writing for the New York Times, titled his article “Beverly Sills: Media Heroine or Genuine Superstar.” The article was published on the eve of the gala opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s 1975-6 season – an Italian version of Rossini’s The Siege of Corinth, in which Sills had made her Met debut earlier in the year and in which she was again due to star. At this critical juncture of Sills’s career (“the final honor the world of opera has left to bestow upon her,” per the article), Davis attempted nothing less than a wholesale re-examination of the soprano’s entire professional life. For Davis, Sills’s celebrity was somewhat baffling. He saw a glaring discrepancy between the “dependable, hard‐working but not especially remarkable soprano,” who he had seen many times at the neighboring New York City Opera, and the “media darling” and “folk heroine” who became the most recognizable face in American opera in the early 1970s. Ever the skeptic, Davis painted Sills as the cynical product of a national media campaign, spurred on by the adulation of an uncritical fandom, the publicity-hungry management of New York City Opera, and the irrepressible ambition of the prima donna herself. Over the course of the article, Davis charts Sills’s rise to national stardom alongside the evolution of her vocal talents: even as Sills’s fame continued to grow, the soprano experienced a steep vocal decline in the early 1970s, taking on a series of much-publicized (but highly ambitious) bel canto roles that “punished her light, lyric voice.”
The object of Davis’s criticism was not the diva herself (although the veteran reviewer extensively catalogues her artistic “failures”); rather, Davis blames America’s changing operatic mediascape for “[sacrificing] artistic promise […] to the demands of the prima donna.” Davis offers a painstaking anatomy of the media storm that so effectively catapulted Sills into the public consciousness: New York City Opera’s high-profile and high-stakes relocation to the Lincoln Center; a series of rags-to-riches puff pieces in the national press recounting Sills’s rise to operatic fame; Sills’s baldfaced attempts to emulate the operatic successes of international stars like Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland; and a fervent coterie of superfans who would applaud Sills’s presence, rather than her performance. (Incidentally, Sills’s Met debut reportedly received an 18-minute standing ovation.) Ultimately, Davis laments the cult of celebrity that pushed Sills to take on the larger, tour-de-force vehicles that taxed her artistic stamina and irreparably damaged her voice. As long as the media continued to circulate an unrealistic image of Sills’s artistry, he argued, the soprano would never be able to take on the roles that truly nurtured her vocal and dramatic abilities. Ultimately, Davis viewed the rise of Beverly Sills as a uniquely American problem: the European press, he noted, took a much more critical eye towards Sills’s artistry, providing (he believed) a much more balanced assessment of her capabilities and their limits.
Davis’s mounting criticisms of Beverly Sills sent shockwaves through the American operatic community. The response from Sills’s fanbase was swift and brutal, and is captured vividly in the Peter G. Davis papers at the RBML. Garry Wills, writing in the New York Review of Books that same year, described Peter Davis as “a black object of hatred to Beverly fans, because he has refused, all these years, to fall down and worship her.” Indeed, Davis received a fair number of letters from irate Sills fans, chiding Davis for what they saw as an unwarranted attack on their favorite star. It was the timing of the article – right before the glitziest evening in Sills’s career – that irked many readers: “why was it so urgent to present these ‘truths’ on the day before her Met opening?” asked one reader. Another accused Davis of using his position to push a personal vendetta:
I found Mr. Peter Davis’s article concerning Beverly Sills ironic. He stated that the European critics were less than warm in reviewing Miss Sills. I am an avid reader of the London papers, and the only bad reviews I remember reading about Miss Sills’s performances in New York were the ones written by Mr. Davis! He […] seems to take every opportunity he can to write reviews completely contrary to the ones written by the senior critics of the New York Times – the very paper Mr. Davis works for.
However, others wrote in to thank Davis for supposedly seeing through the hype surrounding the famous soprano: “Bravo!!!,” wrote one enthusiastic reader, “your article on Beverly Sills is absolutely marvelous – it takes courage and integrity to write the truth.” Another noted that Davis’s exposé “helped to restore my faith in my own convictions, which was [sic.] at odds with everyone I ever met.” Davis’s article clearly exposed a divide among opera-goers, giving voice to those who felt alienated by the previously glowing coverage of Sills’s career.
But the most interesting letters, to me, are those which engage closely with the complex relationship between media, commerce, and operatic celebrity. Indeed, Davis’s article gave rise to new conversations about the role – and, indeed, the responsibilities – of the media in shaping the operatic voice. Some correspondents believed that Davis had overstated the role of the media in advancing Sills’s career. One reader attributed Sills’s meteoric rise to fame to her comprehensive vocal training, arguing that Davis had failed to account for her “decades of study under Estelle Liebling that began with the Marchese vocal exercises.” For many fans, Sills was a hardworking soprano whose rise to prominence was paved with patience, diligence, and industriousness: the decade that Sills spent as a “utility singer” for NYCO (that, for Davis, was evidence that an otherwise unremarkable figure had been transformed into a media sensation) was, for many fans, proof that Sills had put in the hard yards to ensure her operatic success. One fan accused Davis of overemphasizing the speed of Sills’s career trajectory:
My only quarrel is that you narrowed Miss Sills’s “superstar” quality work to her roles in only two operas, Giulio Cesare and Manon. I do think you should have mentioned the recordings and recitals of her prima period. […] The perfection has certainly not been limited to Cesare and Manon.
On the other end of the spectrum, some partisans believed that the blame for Sills’s vocal decline lay solely with the soprano herself: “Beverly Sills long earned the power to select her roles at the New York City Opera Company, so she is responsible for the miscasting in dramatic roles.”
The role of New York City Opera (whose archival records are also housed at the RBML) in shaping so-called “Sills-mania” was, indeed, a subject of ripe debate for Davis’s readers. One letter suggested that Sills’s vocal decline was the result of NYCO’s flagrant attempt to transform the singer into a commercial commodity: “Having succumb to the easy success and notoriety of building an opera company around the compelling talents of a single singer, [NYCO] is now reaping the bitter fruits of such a decision.” The author believed that the monetization of Sills’s popularity would have a distinctive narrowing effect on the opera industry, resulting in a fanbase who were more interested in the personalities of celebrity singers than in the artform itself. Opera companies would restrict their repertory to works that could act as vehicles for lucrative performers, as “audiences attracted by the exceptional talents of a star seem more unwilling to explore the venturesome but worthy repertoire that was long the raison d’être of the company.” Meanwhile, talented young singers “who may or may not be superstars in the embryo” would struggle to get a foothold in the industry, lacking the name recognition of a Beverly Sills. The author goes so far to suggest that the socio-economic effects of this celebrity worship were already visible in the opera industry: “Judging from the abysmal attendance at non-Sills performances this season, the crisis is upon us.”
At the heart of the debates around Davis’s article were questions about the popular appeal of opera as an artform: Is opera popular genre? If so, is it the singers who make it popular or the works themselves? If opera is popular, must it also be commercial? For some commentators, the widespread popularity of Beverly Sills posed such a threat to opera precisely because it called into question opera’s sanctified, elite status:
[Joan Sutherland] never forgets that opera is more than show business. Sills seems to think there is a virtue in making it pedestrian. She is selling something. [Maria] Callas was very human, taking her work to the masses in a sensational way, but there was never flippancy or an appeal to the huge majority of the public who do not know, let alone like, opera.
Sills, in other words, was a sell-out. In commercializing American opera – repackaging it for a wider audience – Sills was wresting control away from dedicated opera fans, stripping it of its exceptionality, eroding the je-ne-sais-quoi which made the artform special.
The longest piece of reader correspondence that Davis retained – spanning a total of five pages and marked “FOR YOUR REBUTTAL” – accused the critic of neglecting the democratic role of the public in defining national taste. The author suggested that Davis had underestimated the intelligence of the vox populi, who had largely propelled Sills to stardom. She positioned the media as an expression of the people’s will, responding to, rather than dictating, the public mood:
Does the media control the public or the public control the media? […] The human animal can be controlled – to a point! But it still reserves the ability and the power to think, to reason and evaluate, and to make choices. […] The collective influence of sustaining and long-lasting effect – on our values, attitudes, and behaviors – are formed in much smaller groups – friends, family, church, school, vocation, etc. Therefore, the mass media, as we know it, accounts for a very small percentage of influence on the American public – if at all!
For this reader, Davis’s criticism conspired to paint the public as “a group of narrow-minded, simple-minded, at the same time, uneducated people with a bandwagon-type mentality,” when, in reality, the public were (and always had been) the ultimate arbiters of musical success. She suggested that Sills’s enduring popularity with the public was evidence that the “man on the street” was able to see through the initial “hullaballoo” which accompanied her rise to prominence. Rather than being some kind of PR conman, Sills gained popularity precisely because she was able to cut through all the noise, hype, and controversy to deliver truly compelling operatic performances: her popularity was thus “the result of her own direct and honest approach to what she does on stage.” In a thinly veiled reference to Davis himself, the author decried the “esteemed experts” who, “entangled in their own self love,” pretended to dictate public opinion. The opinion of one music critic, she suggested, was worthless in the face of overwhelming public sentiment.
The anxiety over the value of popular opinion which pervades these letters appears to reflect a broader shift between the relationship between Americans and public discourse: as the Vietnam War wrought an unprecedented divide in the nation’s political culture, Americans on all sides of the spectrum felt a growing discrepancy between the public discourse and their own political beliefs. The letters regarding Davis’s article evoke, in various ways, the idea of a Nixonian “silent majority” among opera goers. Sills’s fans and detractors both felt as if their aesthetic tastes were at odds with the media’s representation of the soprano: fans believed that naysayers like Davis were out of touch with the prevailing will of most operagoers, while detractors believed that Davis was giving voice to the majority of listeners, whose critiques had been silenced by the soprano’s small but vocal following. The specter of Watergate looms high over this debate. Partisans on both sides demonstrated a profound suspicion towards public figures: in the case of Sills’s fans, the “experts” who criticized a star that many Americans viewed as a national hero; and, in the case of Sills’s detractors, the soprano herself, who apparently manipulated the media to advance her own interests. Accusing the soprano (and her public relations firm) of “conning the public into believing how marvelous she was,” one correspondent even compared Beverly Sills to Richard Nixon: “And that is how our presidents can get elected, like our last one, Nixon. The herd just goes along with what public relations wants them to believe.”
Ultimately, in framing “Sills-mania” as an American phenomenon, Davis ensured that readers viewed his article in relation to the changing state of American nationalism – which had taken a considerable hit following the fall of Saigon (which, incidentally, coincided almost exactly with Sills’s Met debut). Many of the soprano’s devotees were proud that Sills had built her career almost entirely in the United States, and viewed Davis’s accusation that the soprano’s success was orchestrated by the U.S. media as an assault on everything that made the American opera industry truly American. “Miss Sills has noted that she has turned down offers from the leading European opera houses because she prefers to sing in this country,” one reader proudly asserted, attributing her sudden (and rather late) rise to fame as “explained by the difficulties of a singer making a career in the United States without first achieving success in Europe.” A rumor circulated among Sills fans – reinforced by the diva herself – that Rudolf Bing, the long-standing director of the Metropolitan Opera who retired just prior to the soprano’s Met debut, refused to hire Sills because he preferred European singers. Such accusations only entrenched the feeling that Sills was an American treasure whose career was a matter of national importance.
Davis remained largely critical of Sills – even as he left the New York Times to take up a post at New York Magazine, and she retired from opera singing in 1979 to take on the directorship of the New York City Opera. And Sills responded to Davis’s critiques by fostering an outright resentment towards the music critic’s profession. “Don’t get me started on critics,” Sills wrote in her second(!) tell-all autobiography in 1988. On the one hand, she asserted that professional critics held no special skills that the general public did not possess: “God did not put special gifts in certain eyes and ears.” Yet, on the other hand, she complained that her critics lacked the necessary musical education to effectively judge her: “I can count on one hand the number of critics actually qualified to judge an operatic performance.” In this way, she echoed the opinions of those devotees who felt that the soprano’s critics lauded their pretensions of authority to mock the tastes of ordinary fans. Sills specifically called out Davis for taking “potshots” at her over her direction of New York City Opera: “what I got was a lot of criticism that, at its heart, was anti-female.” On the other hand, Lawrence D. Mass, who knew Davis during this affair, suggested that Sills would often “turn homophobic” in defending herself against Davis’s criticism. Davis, for his part, did not believe that he was unique. Sills, he argued, held a grudge against almost anyone who dared to criticize her: “We always knew that she was resourceful, resilient, and determined, but it may come to a surprise to some that she can also be crafty, mean, and vindictive when crossed.” Even after Sills’s death, the debate over her place in American culture raged on, spurred (in part) by the publication of Davis’s 1997 monograph, The American Opera Singer. Taking a long view of the history of opera in the United States, Davis argued that Sills, in presenting herself as the national savior of the American opera industry, deliberately papered over the legacies of other (more groundbreaking) American singers. Comments from a now-defunct web forum “Whatever happened to the Sills phenomenon?” (preserved for posterity in the Peter G. Davis papers) reveals that Davis’s dismissal of Beverly Sills was just as controversial in 1998 as it was in 1975: “When Mr. Davis can get up on a [sic.] opera stage and sing with the vocal range and expression as Sills did, then I will listen to him,” said one commentator; “Davis pulls no punches and this makes for very stimulating reading, even if you disagree with him (ESPECIALLY if you disagree with him),” said another.
Undoubtedly, many viewed Davis as “acerbic” or “meanspirited” in his criticism of Beverly Sills. But I think that is a rather uncharitable characterization. Davis’s critiques were, I believe, very much ahead of their time. Davis warned that an increasingly sensational, superficial media landscape had the potential to further undermine any vestiges of meritocracy in the opera industry. Operatic success, he feared, would no longer be afforded to the most talented singers, but those best able to manipulate the media, those with the best “brand”: the operagoers of tomorrow would come to value publicity over artistry, celebrity over musicality, and personality over capability. In other words, Davis presaged the rise of the “insta-diva” – opera singers whose careers are built on the backs of massive social media followings. Today, professional opera singers post opera-related memes on TikTok, or write blogposts on how to leverage social media influence into career advancement. Meanwhile producers on the West End increasingly cast based on Instagram clout; entire doctoral theses tout the importance of an opera singer’s “digital persona”; and countless listicles rattle off “12 classical music TikTok accounts to follow” or the “10 great classical music follows on Instagram.” As baritone Lucas Meachem (26.9K followers on Instagram) puts it: “If artists aren’t on social media, they’re just left out of the cut.”
Davis saw the beginnings of this trend in Beverly Sills, divining, in her meteoric rise to national stardom, an operatic industry in which good marketing could compensate for artistic sloppiness. His concern only intensified with the rise of the “Three Tenors” phenomenon in the early 1990s, a once-earnest collaboration which, he laments, had become a multimillion-dollar “cash cow” – “calculated, cynical, and joyless.” Some viewed Davis’s dismissal of hugely popular opera singers like Beverly Sills as condescending. But it was rooted, I believe, in a very real concern for the wellbeing of aspiring singers. In another iconoclastic article, provocatively titled “Where Are the Great Singers of Tomorrow?,” Davis argued that young singers were being thrust into the international limelight too early in their careers: comparing the opera singer to an Olympic athlete, Davis suggested that budding divas and divos were pushed to take on hefty, dramatic roles before their vocal musculature had fully matured, leading to short, damaging, unsustainable (but highly publicized) careers (he brands this early burnout “too-much-too-soon syndrome”). Defending the critic’s craft, Davis believed that so-called “bad” reviews (as unpleasant as they might seem) play an important role in decelerating the overly hasty career trajectories of young opera singers in the age of mass media: it was the critic’s role, he argued, to guide young singers sustainably toward operatic success. And he was not alone in this conviction. Davis received letters from readers and young singers alike who felt that the opera industry, in its attempt to capitalize on celebrity singers, exploited, abused, and ultimately destroyed promising vocalists by continually pushing their voices beyond their physical limits:
One thinks of the young, talented, but inexperienced supporting singers inappropriately cast in taxing bel canto roles. How many of them have now suffered irreparable vocal damage and have disappeared forever? How many more will follow the tragic pattern in attempting to become the next Sills.
It is not an overstatement to say that, at the heart of Davis’s work as a critic, was an excoriating interrogation of the relationship between opera and the post-War mass media industry. From his concern over the effect of media exposure on the development of young singers, to his cynicism over Ken Russell’s attempts to refashion nineteenth-century composers into modern-day rockstars, Davis was generally cautious of the ways in which operatic performance interacted with the broader media landscape. Although Davis spent much of his career writing about opera for the national press, he sought to distance himself from the “circus of hype” that so often surrounded operatic performance, hoping that a critical engagement with opera’s sonic realities would lay bare the ways in which the media helps to shape musical aesthetics. This is no more evident than in Davis’s commentary on the emergence of the “CNN opera” – a neologism coined by Davis himself to describe a fashion for operas with “ripped-from-the-headlines” plots about all-too-real political figures. Witnessing the surging popularity of so-called “docu-operas” like John Adams’s Nixon in China (1987) and Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk (1995), Davis believed that the composers of the 1980s and 1990s sought to endow opera with the same gripping urgency as the 24-hour news cycle by churning out “fact-based dramas about real-life American icons.” The result, he argued, was a commercially savvy but ultimately unsatisfying genre in which the currency and sensationalism of the subject matter took primacy over the expressivity of the music (“The only question now is whether O.J. will be a tenor or a baritone”). Davis – who trained as a composer at Columbia University (and whose compositions are found among his papers at the RBML) – directed much of his umbrage towards Philip Glass. He believed that Glass adopted his distinctly uncomplicated, minimalist style to avoid impeding the marketability of his operatic biopics with musical complexity:
Glass […] prefers to function more as a producer than a real composer, assembling and overseeing the contributions of others to come up with a product in which his music acts more as a varnish than as the defining force. Glass has come to resemble Andrew Lloyd Webber, another limited talent who enjoyed early success and became a crafty entertainment packager with a canny understanding of his middlebrow audiences and how to cater to them. Both composers have created efficiently organized marketing operations to sell their wares, and goods emerging from the Glass factory these days seem, in their pretentious way, even more distasteful.
Some may see Davis’s critique of Glass as rather snobbish – an elite arts critic scoffing at the uncultured tastes of the masses. But this was the 1990s, and new technology had recently given media conglomerates new ways to turn journalism into profit. Thus, Davis was most concerned about what the lurid marketability of news-based opera might mean for the expressivity of the music: in emulating the flashy, tabloid tactics of the modern press, would opera lose the emotional depth that its musical nuances once afforded it?
Tucked in amongst clippings and drafts of Davis’s reviews is a seemingly incongruous New York Times article about the 1994 sinking of the MS Achille Lauro – the boat famously hijacked by members of the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1985, ultimately resulting in the murder of the disabled Jewish-American tourist, Leon Klinghoffer. Davis appears to have kept this article as research material on one of the so-called “CNN operas,” John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, which controversially dramatized the hijacking just six years after it took place. In Klinghoffer, Davis saw “CNN opera” coming full circle: based on recent news articles about the hijacking, the opera then became news itself by (apparently deliberately) stoking controversy around the Israel-Palestine conflict. The “disingenuous” Adams had succeeded only in creating an opera that was “more fun to talk about than to hear.” The presence of this New York Times article within Davis’s collection might remind us why Davis took such a critical view of the relationship between opera and mass media. While confronting this “CNN opera,” Davis kept this small reminder of the real Klinghoffer, as if to recall or acknowledge the very real tragedy that Adams’s opera repackaged for public consumption and exploited for entertainment. As biting as his criticism could be, Davis never forgot that, behind all the glamor, celebrity, and puffery, opera was painfully, inescapably human.
 Peter G. Davis, “Beverly Sills: Media Heroine or Genuine Superstar,” New York Times, October 12, 1975, p.153.
 Harold C. Schonberg, “Opera: ‘Corinth,’ the Sills Debut at Met,” New York Times, April 9, 1975, p.26.
 Garry Wills, “Gorgeous Sills,” The New York Review of Books, May 1, 1975, accessed June 6, 2023, https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1975/05/01/gorgeous-sills/.
 Letter from Murray Orange, 1975 October 12, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Frances Daunt, 1975 October 15, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from an anonymous reader, 1975, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Frances B. Hayes, 1975 October 11, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Michael Hunt Stolbach, 1975 October 12, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Maude Davis, 1975 October 12, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Richard Adams Romney, 1975 October 12, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Joseph P. Hoey Jr., 1975 October 13, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Robert J. Benowicz, 1975 October 12, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from an anonymous reader, 1975, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Carol Tomkinson, 1975 October 20, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 12, folder 4, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Letter from Frances B. Hayes.
 Letter from Michael Hunt Stolbach.
 Jon Anderson, “Beverly Still Holds Center Stage,” Chicago Tribune, 1991 June 11.
 Beverly Sills and Lawrence Linderman, Beverly: An Autobiography (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), p.272.
 Ibid., 302.
 Lawrence D. Mass, “Remembering Peter G. Davis,” Medium, 2021 March 5, accessed 2023 July 3, https://ldmass.medium.com/remembering-peter-g-davis-fd98c5a1b8e5.
 Peter G. Davis, “Settling Old Scores,” New York Magazine, 1987 June 1, p.94.
 “Whatever Happened to the Sills Phenomenon?,” Opera News Online: Standing Room, 1998 May 7, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 10, folder 7, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
 Guy Nancy, The Magic of Beverly Sills (Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 2015), pp.67. 101.
 Lucas Meachem, “Social Media Strategy for Musicians,” The Baritone Blog, 2018 August 1, accessed 2023 July 3, https://thebaritoneblog.com/2018/08/01/social-media-strategy-for-musicians/.
 Matthew Hemley, “Castings based on number of Instagram followers a ‘disheartening’ trend, actors warn,” The Stage, 2019 February 13, accessed 2023 July 3, https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/castings-based-on-number-of-instagram-followers-a-disheartening-trend-actors-warn.
 Jennifer Jones, “Social Media, Marketing, and the Opera Singer,” D.M.A. thesis, Arizona State University, 2016, p.17.
 Hannah Fiddy, “12 classical music TikTok accounts to follow,” Alternative Classical, 2022 January 26, accessed 2023 July 3, https://www.alternativeclassical.co.uk/features/tik-tok-classical-music; Will Roseliep, “10 great classical music follows on Instagram,” Classical Dark Arts, 2015 December 5, accessed 2023 July 3, https://classicaldarkarts.com/2015/12/05/ten-great-classical-music-follows-on-instagram/comment-page-1/.
 Meachem, “Social Media Strategy for Musicians.”
 Peter G. Davis, “Adiós, Amadeus?,” New York Magazine, 1994 August 1, p.57; Peter G. Davis, “Never on Domingo,” New York Magazine, 1999 March 9, p.76.
 Peter G. Davis, “Where Are the Great Singers of Tomorrow?,” New York Times, 1980 April 20, p.1.
 Letter from Robert J. Benowicz.
 Peter G. Davis, “Meet the New Boss,” New York Magazine, 2006 September 28.
 Peter G. Davis, “Headline Muse,” New York Magazine, 1995 April 10, pp.52-54.
 Clipping of the article, “Survivors of Burning Ocean Liner Tell of Their Ordeal,” New York Times, 1994 December 3, Peter G. Davis Papers, box 6, folder 2, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.