CONTROVERSY AND OTHER ESSAYS IN JOURNALISM, 1950-1975

The lead article in this collection recounts—for those who still care—Manchester's side of the dispute over the Kennedy book, Death of a President. (Jackie had told him, "Anybody who is against me now will look like a rat unless I run off with Eddie Fisher.") The other pieces are essays in popular history. Valentines to the Marines, to the Pacific forces in WW II, and—in a long profile—to Walter Reuther are accompanied by a second category: the gentle debunking that amounts to an encomium. Here the beneficiaries are John D. Rockefeller I, Adlai Stevenson, and the New York Times. The strongest pieces—which recall Manchester's excellent Arms of Krupp (1968)—describe the Bank Holiday of 1933 and a resourceful slumlord. While the banks themselves get off the hook, we have a lively sense of financial mechanisms and historic periods. There is also an appreciation of H. L. Mencken, whom Manchester knew well. It becomes clear, indeed, why Manchester is so fond of a man who truly dared to mock the great, while sharing a fierce hatred of "the dull and delinquent"—a sentiment Manchester vents in a singular essay which turns from sound ridicule of inverted snobbery into a crotchety howl against "egalitarian. ism." The rest of the book, however, is good fun if not lasting journalism.

Pub Date: May 16, 1976

ISBN: 0316544973

Page Count: 432

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1976

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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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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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