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Best Books On The News Media

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Behind the Times (Villard, 1993) by Edwin Diamond: Diamond wrote this book shortly after Arthur Sulzberger Jr. succeeded his father as publisher. Diamond’s writing tended toward the pedantic, but the book’s strong point is its examination of how the Times evolved as a newspaper and a business.

Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of The New York Times Means for America (Encounter, 2010) by William McGowan: The perfect book to read after the above-mentioned Behind the Times, it traces the Times’s headlong descent into identity politics and political correctness under the reign of Sulzberger Jr.

 

Fit To Print (Lyle Stuart, 1988) by Joseph Goulden: To date the only full-length biography of longtime New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal. Generally perceived to be an unflattering look at its subject, the book offers a plethora of juicy tidbits about life at the Times from the 1960s through most of the 80s.

 

Four other recommended books about the Times are Hard News (Random House, 2004) by Seth Mnookin, about the scandals that afflicted the paper during the Howell Raines era from 2001-2003; The Times of My Life and My Life With the Times (Random House, 1999) by former Times executive editor Max Frankel; City Room (Putnam, 2003) by former Times managing editor Arthur Gelb; and The Trust (Little Brown, 1999) by Susan Tifft and Alex Jones, a detailed history of the Ochs-Sulzberger dynasty that owns and runs the paper.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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