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Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times Paperback – October 15, 1995

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0226144726 ISBN-10: 0226144720 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Diamond, a journalism professor at New York University and media columnist for New York magazine, here dissects the progression of the New York Times from the formidable Gray Lady of the '50s and '60s to the multi-sectioned, reader-friendly bundle of the '90s. However, this is no slash-and-burn expose. Diamond had access to the players, from many Sulzbergers (the owning family) to rising stars (columnist Anna Quindlen) and veterans (former editor and current columnist, A. M. Rosenthal). What emerges is a portrait of a still inward-turned, often isolated culture. Diamond describes what makes "good Timesmen" in terms reminiscent of taking holy orders; Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who succeeded his father "Punch" as pubisher in 1992, has tried to encourage more women to join the Times' s priesthood. The chapter on the Book Review goes over familiar ground of outraged authors and supposed ax-grinding. Rebecca Sinkler, the present editor, as quoted here, responds to every accusation with the wry, resigned good humor of one who has said all this before. Although Diamond reports the paper's story as well as anyone, this book may tell more than anyone, except perhaps a Sulzberger, needs to know about the Gray Lady.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Those people who enjoy the tiny classified ads on the front page of the New York Times will relish all the minutiae media-watcher Diamond sees fit to print in this history of the venerable newspaper. Whether others want the blow-by-blow, day-in-the-life commentaries that run throughout the book is another question (Do we care when columnist Anthony Lewis reports to work?). Still, Diamond, the media columnist at New York magazine, has obviously had amazing access to the inner workings of the "Gray Lady," and though he was a past contributor to the Times magazine section, he is certainly more objective--and more critical--than Times men Russell Baker and James Reston, both of whom have penned more avuncular, rose-colored histories. Diamond convincingly indicts the paper's recent sellouts to the bottom line and the lowest-common denominator, the most egregious being the "little wild streak" reporting in the William Kennedy/Patricia Bowman rape case. An essential update to all serious journalism collections, this will be news for serious scholars and the ever-growing legions of media buffs.
- Judy Quinn, formerly with "Library Journal"
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (October 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226144720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226144726
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Journalista on February 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book seemed so disjointed. I believe Diamond is or was a journalism professor and perhaps he collected his research and lectures to compile this book. A bit pedantic, it eventually picks up steam. While reading the last half of the book, I found myself going back to the earlier chapters to see if I had the same impression. I did. Still, there's a lot of worthwhile and interesting information about the Times dynasty, how it operates, and how it came to be that way. Ever the professor, Diamond gives an interesting lecture.
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