Customer Reviews: Behind the Front Page
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on March 26, 2001
...of unsubstantiated rumor that we've heard in the last 24 hrs~".
I read this when it first came out so I'm forced to paraphrase Mr. Broder, Pulitzer Prize winning political commentator, in that quote.
This is a fantastic book. A fascinating, unbiased, inside look at how the news is made. An extremely even keeled examination that is riveting from beginning to end. Personally I would strongly suggest it to any high-school government class, college level media class, and an absolute must for anybody that watches the news on TV or reads the paper.
Find out how politicians manipulate the news, about sound bites, false stories, newspaper owners, and just about everything and anything that deals with news and Mr. Broder does it in an entertaining way. Forget everything you know or think you know about how the news is made. David S. Broder calls it how he's seen it, from the front lines and "behind the front page".
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on October 3, 1998
Too bad this is out-of-print! Mr. Broder is not nearly as dry as he is in his newspaper columns in this book but just as insightful and non-partisan. He offers valuable inside criticism on the news media and also answers some common criticisms that he does not feel valued (like the claims of a "conservative" or "liberal" media). Very informative and well worth reading.
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on December 19, 2011
The title of the book: Behind the Front Page--A Candid Look at How the News is Made" is somewhat misleading. The book focuses mainly on the reporting of US presidential elections, versus all other news. I borrowed the book from the library shortly after Mr. Broder died. Several readers in the Washington Post praised David Broder very highly so I was inclined to read one of his books. Mr. Broder appears to be an honorable man and questions his own procedures as a reporter.

Mr. Broder's book is nonpartisan and insightful. It is insightful as to the Presidential campaigns he discusses and as to the methods of reporters who follow politicians, particularly political campaigns. I did not understand parts of it but that is probably attributable to my own shortcomings. I am curious to how this book compares to Theodore Whites' books that begin with the title "The Making of the President".

There are some good anecdotes in this book. I enjoyed the story about Henry Kissinger ending an interview with David Broder because Mr. Broder was taking notes and Henry Kissinger wanted to talk on the backround. This anecdote ends two years later when Kissinger and Broder met in passing and Henry Kissinger noted to his companion: "This is David Broder of the Washington Post. He walked out on me when I stopped his taking notes."

All in all, a good book by a honest, intelligent columnist.
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on October 18, 2009
Other than the Internet and Fox News, everything David Broder discussed about the media, warts and all, and some people warning of its demise, is as true today as it was 25 years ago.

I'd love to see Broder do an update, and look more at the business side of the media.

That said, as a newspaper editor myself, I say that Broder rights true. There are certainly elements of competitive rush, cliqueishness and more, but they're not killers of good news. Especially in political news coverage, he has some good prescriptions from back then that have yet to be fully adopted.

Anyway, if you want to see how nothing is new under the sun in the media biz, get this book.
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