MEMOIRS: Sixty Years on the Firing Line by Arthur Krock

MEMOIRS: Sixty Years on the Firing Line

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Krockery hurled from the pages of the New York Times has been unpoising political bigwigs for years. Here, the former dean of Washington correspondents, who has known eleven Presidents, makes neat (often caustic) judgments of all. Krock states his position forthrightly: he started as a liberal and remains one, but times and platforms have so changed that the granddaddy of reporters is visited with a ""visceral fear"" for the future of the Republic. This book, a recap of personalities seen in the light of day-to-day crises of office, expresses his ""dim view of the stewardship of those to whom the American people have entrusted the institutions of democracy--Presidents, Congresses, and Supreme Court justices."" Thus, everybody gets his comeuppance--particularly, Earl Warren (for rewriting the Constitution by ""judicial fiat"") and LBJ. FDR is ""one of the greatest human forces in American history"" but also ""an opportunist."" Only Truman and Eisenhower are exactly the right men at the right time. JFK is gently chastised, but Krock knew Joe, Sr. better and would rather talk about him than the Kennedy boys. In general, Krock makes no new assessments. He often quotes himself (especially private memoranda of suppressed stories) or others to support himself, and manages to show that in his role as reporter-advisor-liaison Krock more often fired than was fired at. He stresses that men and events have reshaped our country for the worse. But as FDR said, ""Cheer up, Arthur. Things have seldom been as bad as you said they were.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls