Insightful and convivial account of a bright, bountiful life dedicated to words, information and wonder.

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DEADLINES AND DISRUPTION

MY TURBULENT PATH FROM PRINT TO DIGITAL

The digital media revolution powers a lifelong journalist’s sharp, business-minded autobiography.

Former Newsweek senior editor and BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Shepard, now in his 70s, acknowledges the inevitable replacement of traditional media with digital, portable formats. He writes that he foresaw the progression but never imagined its enormity. These musings fittingly accentuate his memoir, a chronicle that recalls a 50-year history as a distinguished journalist, beginning in the Bronx as a Jewish child born to a depressive mother and a hardworking father. A pretty grade school penmanship teacher helped foster an early love of writing, though Shepard misguidedly majored in engineering in college. In 1966, he became a 26-year-old rookie at BusinessWeek, married the first in a line of fellow journalists and penned stories as a foreign economic correspondent. Throughout a breezy wealth of anecdotes, truisms and historical asides, Shepard writes of spending a defining five years at Newsweek, a stint at the doomed Saturday Review, overseeing seminal investigative pieces and advocating an online version at BusinessWeek. While he firmly considers the Internet a destructive “Category Five storm for journalism,” Shepard concedes he’s come full circle in the understanding and even the advocacy of the great migration to digital formats. The author reports rather than complains or bemoans this media acculturation and feels the industry would be best suited by “a convergence of traditional and revolutionary.” Celebrating a two-decade tenure at BusinessWeek and a founding deanship at CUNY’s top-tier graduate journalism program, Shepard’s authoritative and cautionary blessing on the journalism world is both fitting and resolute.

Insightful and convivial account of a bright, bountiful life dedicated to words, information and wonder.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-07-180264-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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