In the mid- to late nineties, Bezos hired two dozen writers and editors to produce copy for the Web site. One of them—Amazon employee No. 55—was a cultural critic from New York named James Marcus, who, in turn, brought in his friend Kerry Fried, who edited his pieces at the Village Voice. (She had also worked at several New York publishers and at The New York Review of Books.) For these refugees from New York, where jobs in publishing and journalism were already beginning to thin out, Amazon offered the thrill of working at a rising power, with stock options and an enormous audience.