In retrospect, his sweetness and modesty may not have been all they seemed. But in an industry crowded with overbearing egos, his self-effacing attitude made a refreshing change. In fact, Glass was apparently so vulnerable and eager to please, he could never really say “no.” And this endeared him to his colleagues.
Creatively, Glass’s breakthrough came in 1996 when the magazine’s owner, Martin Peretz, suggested he write a piece about how types of immigrants were taking the jobs of African-American taxi drivers in Washington. Glass spent months on the piece but the final copy impressed. “People were in wonderment about his ability to find these crazy characters,” said a former colleague to Vanity Fair.
Later that year, Glass submitted a scathing piece about the Center for Science in Public Interest. Controversially, he depicted a reactionary and frivolous organization led by one haughty and scheming Michael Jacobson. In one scene, Jacobson fanatically interrogates a waitress in a Chinese restaurant concerning their ingredients. Michael Kelly, the new editor of The New Republic, loved it.