Bill O'Leary (Jacket Photograph) New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. First Printing. Hardcover. 25 cm, 514 pages. Illustrations. Index. Benjamin Crowninshield "Ben" Bradlee (August 26, 1921 – October 21, 2014) was executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991. He became a national figure during the presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's stories documenting the Watergate scandal. At his death he held the title of vice president at-large of the Post. He was also an advocate for education and the study of history, including working for years as an active trustee on the boards of several major educational, historical, and archeological research institutions. As a reporter in the 1950s, Bradlee became close friends with then-senator John F. Kennedy, who had graduated from Harvard two years before Bradlee, and lived nearby. In 1960 Bradlee toured with both Kennedy and Richard Nixon in their presidential campaigns. He later wrote a book, Conversations With Kennedy, recounting their relationship during those years. Bradlee was, at this point, Washington Bureau chief for Newsweek, a position from which he helped negotiate the sale of the magazine to The Washington Post holding company. Bradlee maintained that position until being promoted to managing editor at the Post in 1965. He became executive editor in 1968. Bradlee married fellow journalist Sally Quinn on October 20, 1978. Bradlee retired as the executive editor of The Washington Post in September 1991. The most important, glamorous, and famous newspaperman of modern times traces his path from Harvard to the battles of the South Pacific to the pinnacle of success at The Washington Post. After Bradlee took the helm in 1965, he and his reporters transformed the Post into one of the most influential and respected news publications in the world, reinvented modern investigative journalism, won eighteen Pulitzer Prizes, and redefined the way news is reported, published, and read. His leadership and investigative drive during the Watergate scandal led to the downfall of a president, and his challenge to the government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers changed the course of American history. This is the witty, candid story of a daring young man who made his own way to the heights of American journalism and public life, of the great adventure that took him at only twenty years old straight from Harvard to almost four years in the shooting war in the South Pacific, and back, from a maverick New Hampshire weekly to an apprenticeship for Newsweek in postwar Paris, then to the Washington Bureau chief’s desk, and finally to the apex of his career at The Washington Post. Bradlee took the helm of The Washington Post in 1965. He and his reporters transformed it into one of the most influential and respected news publications in the world, reinvented modern investigative journalism, and redefined the way news is reported, published, and read. Under his direction, the paper won eighteen Pulitzer Prizes. His leadership and investigative drive following the break-in at the Democratic National Committee led to the downfall of a president, and kept every president afterward on his toes. Bradlee, backed every step of the way by the Graham family, challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers—and won. His ingenuity, and the spirited reporting of Sally Quinn, now his wife, led to the creation of the Style Section, a revolutionary newspaper feature in its time, now copied by just about every paper in the country. Bradlee’s timeless memoir is a fascinating, irreverent, earthy, and revealing look at America and American journalism in the twentieth century — a “sassy, sometimes eye-poppingly, engrossing autobiography...must reading” (The New York Times Book Review). Condition: Very good / Very good.
Keywords: Washington Post, Katharine Graham, Cold War, Watergate, Richard M. Nixon, Pentagon Papers, Vietnam, Journalism, John Dean, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Sally Quinn, Edward Bennett Williams, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein