A top journalist's engaging, worldly-wise account of a 35-year career in what, on the evidence of his wryly anecdotal text, comes off as the news game. All told, Corry spent 31 years with The New York Times (where, in the 1950's, he started as a copyboy in the sports department). Now a fellow at Columbia's Gannett Center for Media Studies, he forsook his otherwise lifelong employer in 1969 for Harper's, returning in 1971 to the Times after Willie Morris had been ousted as editor of that magazine. During his tenure at both publications, Corry formed strong and independent opinions on Manhattan's viscerally liberal literary establishment, as well as on its governance and cafe society. Never forgetting that the access he enjoyed almost anywhere in the world was more institutional than personal, the author covered a wealth of stories at home and abroad—stories ranging from Castro's Cuba through the suicide of Phillip Graham (then head of The Washington Post); political prisoners erroneously believed to be held by a Greek junta; Jackie O.; and Jerzy Kosinski (whose vilification by The Village Voice Corry rebutted in a lengthy Times article). Moreover, as a longtime proprietor of the Times's ``About New York'' column, the author offered readers perceptive takes on the city's haut monde and lesser lights. But he didn't write (as he does here with rueful wit) of his crumbling marriage, financial woes, love affairs, and problems with alcohol. Nor did he pass the sort of public judgment he passes here on famed colleagues and contemporaries—David Halberstam, John Lindsay, Norman Mailer, William Paley, Harrison Salisbury (who ``never met a revolution he didn't like''), William Styron, et al.—though, during a stint as the paper's TV critic, he had a lot to say about the media's handling of news. An absorbing memoir of a journalist's life during the best and worst of times.
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