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Personal History Paperback – February 24, 1998
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Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
She was blessed by the accident of her birth into a family of extreme wealth and ultimate social position. Her family's advantages - sadly compounded by her husband's untimely death - gave her inumerable opportunities. At the same time, she was brilliant, capable, focused, and a gifted communicator. This combination of traits and circumstances allowed her to live a most enthralling, significant life.
Throughout, I marveled at her "realness." Her family had more money and servants and things than anyone I am ever likely to meet, but she describes her challenges, insecurities, and fears in a way that allow me to appreciate how she faced and succeeded in life.
This is a compelling read despite its length and detailed content. It is well documented and beautifully written - without the aid of a ghostwriter. It does not suffer from spurious melodrama, myopia, or vanity to which so many autobiographers fall victim.
I highly recommend both the form and substance of this book.
What comes out in the end is that people in general and women in particular are capable of taking grievous blows and overcoming far greater challenges than they ever realise.
A friend of mine lost her partner in similar circumstances to Katharine Graham many years ago and I wish I could have bought her this book then. Without wanting to sound patronising, this is a good book for men but a great book women. I don't know whether she is a feminist icon but she certainly should be !!
I've read a lot of the criticism of this book-- and I know enough about media history to know that at least some of it is fair. At least in the sense that it's accurate. Graham doesn't come out wearing a hair shirt about the real media relationship to people in power. She also has a slightly nervous tone-- the sound of someone who isn't very sure her accomplishments are going to be achieved. But in the end I found that even valid criticisms didn't really interfere with my reading of the book. In the end I was moved by it, and felt honored that Graham was so willing to put herself out there to be observed and judged.
In some respects it's difficult to argue that Graham had a difficult life-- she was born to such enormous privilege that she had resources to deal with tragedy that most people can never command. (You hear her refer to her family's 'summer home', but what the means remains opaque until you see the picture!). Even still, Graham is human. To be constantly in the shadow of the people in your life, to see yourself as helpmeet and not a full person, to emerge from that shadow and assert that you have a place in your own right-- that's certainly something that speaks to everyone, regardless of who they are.
What I find extraordinary is how revealing the book is about her insecurities. This is a very personal autobiography, and Graham lets you see her weaknesses in a way that I think most public figures would not allow.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The books on tape version is the best because you get her own voice and she reveals emotion about certain parts of the text.
But the book, too, is splendid. Read more
Reading this felt like being invited into a family whose history was the history of the United States. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazonette
Amazing story about an amazing woman. Plus you will learn abundantly about the publishing business. I was also impressed with how the rich are differentPublished 3 months ago by E. Nering
The binding was completely disintegrated. Upon opening the book chunks of 50-100 pages simply fell outPublished 3 months ago by paige
This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and it should have stayed there. I read a lot of biographies and autobiographies and have never read a more vapid and shallow... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The memoir has fascinating material but badly needs a ruthless editor who will cut the quoted letters and speeches in a draconianl fashion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Earl Rovit
Really enjoyed this book and reliving history. Katharine Graham was quite the woman!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book was a real history lesson for me and I would recommended it highly. Katharine Graham, would be a big influence for today's women.Published 4 months ago by Timmie High