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Deadline: A Memoir Hardcover – October 8, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 525 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 8, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394585585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394585581
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although a self-described unreconstructed Scotch Calvinist, the 82-year-old Reston clearly has mellowed, by evidence of this captivating memoir. Perceptive, frank, uncommonly interesting, avuncular, he relates with seemingly total recall "everything he saw" during 50 years with the New York Times as correspondent, D.C. bureau chief, executive editor, columnist. We learn much from Reston's close readings of the characters of our era's major political figures: the 10 presidents he has covered, cabinet members, presidential advisers, legislators, international leaders. His shop talk of the Times , revealing of internal workings, analyzes coverage of various controversial events and profiles colleagues. The integrity of the Times , Reston writes, has been one of the "dominant forces" in his life, along with his wife and the stern teaching of his parents. "Don't breathe on the window, ye'll get it dirty," his mother was wont to chastise, but "Scotty" gives the admonition no mind in his impressive memoirs.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"Scotty" Reston emerges unscathed from Russell Baker's The Good Times ( LJ 5/1/89), an ironic memoir of the New York Times political beat, and after reading Reston's memoirs, it's not hard to see why. Reston is one of those writers whose simple sentences seem so only for seconds; then the acuity of the expression hits. Reston provides a solid summary of his days covering the London blitz, being chief Washington correspondent during the Cold War, and achieving the executive editorship in 1968. While Reston lacks Baker's fine sense of absurdity, he has other admirable qualities: he is fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage (he emigrated to the United States as a child) and dedicated to his job (he now writes in retirement for the Times ) and most of all his family. With so much media-bashing going on these days, it's nice to hold up an exemplar of the profession. Recommended to anyone interested in reporting on this time period and for all journalism collections. --Judy Quinn, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of memoirs by journalists and James "Scotty" Reston's name comes up in lots of books. I first read the biography on him by John Stacks Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism but found the most interesting passages were the ones quoted from Reston's own memoir "Deadline" so bought it and find it far superior.

I found it well written and insightful. He seems to be a deeper thinker and more interesting than other favorite autobiographies by journalists & newspapermen such as Ben Bradlee A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures, Max Frankel Times of My Life and My Life with the Times and Arthur Gelb City Room - all good but this is better. Reston's book is more in the line of Katharine Graham's Personal History which is also wonderful.

It's surprising to me that those books all elicit so many reviews and yet Reston's book seems forgotten - it shouldn't be, in my eyes it's superior.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on June 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
James ¨Scotty¨ Reston (1909-1995) was one of the top U.S. journalists of the 20th Century. In this 1991 memoir Reston describes his youth in Scotland (where many young neighbors died in the Great War), his formative years in the USA, and his 60-year journalistic career. This University of Illinois grad began writing for the Springfield Ohio Daily News and AP before joining the New York Times in 1939 - where he remained (except during the war) until the early 1990's. Reston earned a reputation for fairness and ability, and had the extensive contacts a good journalist needs. For example, after President Kennedy met privately with Soviet Premier Khrushchev at Vienna in 1961, Kennedy spoke to Reston even before briefing his own staff. Reston also describes his attack of appendicitis while visiting China with President Nixon in 1972 - and how Chinese doctors operated via acupuncture rather than anesthesia. Some say Reston was duped by Henry Kissinger in those years, but what journalist is perfect?

Reston was a very capable journalist, but his prose here lacks the easy readability of most newspaper writers, and sales of this memoir never soared. Still, this book makes interesting reading about the 20th Century.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Reston was where the action was as a journalist for the New York Times during much of the 20th century. He was a skillful and perceptive writer and covers his dealings with the important news-makers of his time (especially the politicians) with insight and humor. He has interesting things to say about the many wars and problems he covered and made a graceful goodby to his journalistic work in this book written after he retired at 80 years of age. I recommend it.
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