Starred Review. Old-school newspapering comes alive in this scintillating memoir. Anglo-American journalist Evans (The American Century
) reminisces about his rise up the ladder of English newspapers to its pinnacle as editor of the Sunday Times
and his late-career hop across the ocean to run Condé Nast Traveler
and the publisher Random House. The author depicts British journalism as a more rugged affair than the American version; editor Evans dodges British laws that permit prior restraint of news stories by the government, gets sued by the Irish Republican Army and battles a thuggish printers' union that he hates even more than he does his boss, Rupert Murdoch. America presents its own unique hardships, including protracted discussions with Marlon Brando over acquiring his memoirs, during which the blowsy thespian accuses Evans of being a CIA agent. Evans creates a lively, evocative portrait of 20th-century journalism: the mad deadline pressure of the copy-desk, stocked with Dickensian characters; the epic investigative pieces that make reporting a kind of spy craft; the obsessive pull of editorial crusades against official wrongdoing. Written with self-deprecating humor and quiet conviction, this is a fine valedictory for a heroic style of journalism one hopes still has a future. Photos. (Nov. 5)
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GREAT PRAISE FOR MY PAPER CHASE
"[My Paper Chase
] is a fight song that revels in the music of times past...It celebrates bygone glories and dwells on the truths of good journalism that still obtain." (New York Times Book Review David Carr
"Not only is [My Paper Chase
] a loving homage to the joys of old-fashioned British newspapering, but it has allowed Mr. Evans to tell at proper length stories that should now be taught as classics in journalism schools worldwide."
(New York Times Simon Winchester
"Despite the title, Evans's memoir is more than relevant in the age of computer news; good reporting still demands what Evans exemplifies here-honesty, courage and dogged determination." (Kirkus Reviews
"Old school newspapering comes alive in this scintillating memoir. Evans creates a lively, evocative portrait of 20th-century journalism...Written with self-deprecating humor and quiet conviction, this is a fine valedictory for a heroic style of journalism one hopes still has a future." (Publishers Weekly
"A refreshing memoir...[Evan's] jettisons hand-wringing over the 'vanished times' of its melancholy subtitle for one man's unquenchable enthusiasm for his life's work... My Paper Chase
is the Gospel of Evans, and the gospel makes juicy copy." (Christian Science Monitor Justin Moyer
"Engaging...In this readable, almost wistful memoir, Sir Harold Evans remains the rare self-made Englishman who changed British journalism."
(The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr.
"Evocative and enjoyable...Evans has a young man's perennial enthusiasm: he is 81 going on 18. Reading his autobiography, one quickly grasps how he became the most successful editor of his generation. He exudes a combination of boundless enthusiasm, relentless energy and an almost childlike delight in the sheer wonderfulness of newspapers. How can they not survive? ...one feels the warmth of his sunny personality even as the lights seem to be going out in much of print journalism. He saw the best of it - o, lucky man!" (The Times Robert Harris
[My Paper Chase
] is a work of extravagant exuberance. It is tough, optimistic, full of verve and friendship, written with clarity and energy, and goes like a train..." (The Telegraph Melvyn Bragg
""Inspiring" is an overused word. My Paper Chase
truly is. Anyone who feels cynical about public life in general, and journalists in particular, should drink down this wonderful book in a single gulp. Harry Evans was the great crusader of the twentieth century British press. His memoir, which is also jaw-dropping social history, is the best education possible in what true journalism's all about." (BBC Andrew Marr
"SIR Harold "Harry" Evans remains one of the great figures of modern journalism. For this reason, and because the kind of campaigning, reporting-based work he stood for is threatened as never before, his autobiography, written as he turned 80, is both gripping and timely." (The Economist
"Like many others I was lucky to have worked with him. His book is illuminating and entertaining on his personal history and it gives a valuable record of what used to be known as English provincial life; more vital then, perhaps than now. But the important reason to read it is that it tells you how good newspapers were once made and why they still matter." (The Guardian Ian Jack