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by A.J. Liebling

Pub Date: June 23rd, 1949
ISBN: 0837161746
Publisher: Doubleday

Sub-titled "The Wayward Pressman's Casebook", these articles- all of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, comprise a fairly precise and perforating investigation of the infallibility of written words- in this case those of the press. And with unfailing markmanship, Liebling delivers some chastening criticism of his confreres and sob sisters, their boomerangs, duds, alarums, and plain exaggerations and errors. Here, in particular instances which have incited him to research and reproach, are the varied versions which appeared on headline high spots and sore spots; the atom bomb and food prices; the Lady in Mink- on the relief payroll, and Princess Elizabeth's wedding; a controversy over rooks, and a regional gestapo- the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; the French murderess Mme. Schlumpf and the un-american Elizabeth T. Bentley; red herring and hotbeds, from spy scares to the Hiss-Chambers affair; and the all time record out on a limb, the national election, when "Practically every newspaperman above the grade of a Sokolsky was stunned into contrition". There's some pretty brilliant stuff here, which is very funny too, but one questions whether the no longer topical interest in many of the subjects scored may not limit the appeal of the volume.