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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This captures the essence of interviewing
I read this book ( published in 1976) many years ago. Since then, I've been a reporter and writer for the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Fortune. After a request to teach a journalism class, I purchased the book again, and found that it still captures the essence of interviewing. The examples in the book are a bit dated (it hasn't been revised ), but the...
Published on October 14, 1999

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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great in the 70s, Outdated in 2000
It is true that the basics of good interviewing haven't change much over the years, but they have changed some. And this book, while it was surely a must-read in the 70s, is so outdated that I found myself skipping the first chapter, then the second, then the third ... then much of the rest of the book. For example: there is a full chapter, and several pages...
Published on April 11, 2000


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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This captures the essence of interviewing, October 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
I read this book ( published in 1976) many years ago. Since then, I've been a reporter and writer for the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Fortune. After a request to teach a journalism class, I purchased the book again, and found that it still captures the essence of interviewing. The examples in the book are a bit dated (it hasn't been revised ), but the underlying truths are still very close to those I've experienced in many interviews throughout my career.
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great in the 70s, Outdated in 2000, April 11, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
It is true that the basics of good interviewing haven't change much over the years, but they have changed some. And this book, while it was surely a must-read in the 70s, is so outdated that I found myself skipping the first chapter, then the second, then the third ... then much of the rest of the book. For example: there is a full chapter, and several pages scattered through the book, that talk about research techniques. This is pre-internet, pre-much-of-what's-out-there-today, and as a result, those 75 or so pages are useless. The same is true for the roughly 25 or 30 pages that talk about how to get an interview, and how to make a good first appearance. This is pre-email, and clearly pre-women's-lib. Many of the tips for women on how to get interviews and make sure they come out successful are down right offensive to women today. Fortunately, most female interviewers no longer have to rely solely on looking nice, batting eyelashes, and agreeing with everything their interviewee has to say. Yes, there are a few good pointers, but to buy and read an entire book for mearly a few pointers isn't necessary. There was nothing here that I hadn't seen elsewhere. For a good, up-to-date book on interviewing, try "Creative Interviewing," by Ken Metzler, it's over priced, but filled with great and useful information.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Smart Part of a Journalist's Library, February 23, 2003
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
"The Craft of Interviewing" by John Brady is just one book a beginning journalist should read. Most of journalism involves local newspapers covering local people, and despite how the internet has altered the speed and process of interviewing, good ol' gumshoe journalism still lives and breathes. That's why this book still matters 30 years after it first hit the college bookstores of j-school.

A good interview requires knowledge, diplomacy, fearlessness, rapport, organization, and knowing how to separate and summarize it all for a good story. This book has chapters on all of this. One complete chapter, "Off the Record" discusses some interesting approaches and policies this misunderstood phrase calls for. As you build relationships with key sources, this chapter, and others, can assist you in seeing ways through the thorny challenges of integrity and journalism.

Brady provides anecdotes about complicated interviews and interviewees. Even though these are with celebrities, the examples show the reader how to walk the line carefully and confidently.

"The Craft of Interviewing" by John Brady should not be the only book you read, and probably not your first. I fully recommend it as both a classroom text, and as a personal edification book. Your interviewing will be better you apply what Brady suggests.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books on writing I've ever *used*, December 25, 2009
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
I think there is a difference between a book being 'old' vs. 'out-dated.'

Nowadays, no hard-copy book is going to be able to remain 'current' in terms of changing technologies, but this one was extremely helpful to me, very early on, in just thinking about the process of preparing for something unfamiliar to me at the time.

I read it soon after college, when I was reading just about anything Writer's Digest put out. A few years later, I managed to talk my way into a Staff Writer's position with a small award-winning busines newsweekly in New Orleans. Given how shy I was at the time, I was pleasantly shocked at how well prepared and even comfortable I felt as I set up and faced my first interviews. And I attribute much of that to this book and this author.

Years later, I still think much of the *thinking* here will translate well across the years and the technology, at least for those who like to approach things in terms of 'learning how to learn' vs. being handed a check-list. Interviewing has its practical and technical aspects, its nuts-and-bolts...but it's also an almost artistic experience in that 2 people can interview the same person and come out with very different results. This book helps you with a lot of the practical though sure, that's not going to include discussion of resources that weren't available back then. But it also goes well beyond that, helping provide the kind of understanding that can help you come up with something another interviewer might have missed, to get your anticipated questions answered but to stay tuned for those comments that lead to new questions. As for not covering e-interviews...gosh, why don't we just automate the whole process, people?

BTW, I'm a female and don't remember anything in here about eyelash-batting. Maybe I'll have to re-read it. What I do remember is that I felt like he wrote for me, whoever I was, and that he gave me a strong understanding on which I could build. Since reading this book, I have conducted hundreds of interviews, not only for journalistic purposes, but also in therapeutic and research contexts. The greatest compliment I got, shortly after starting out, was from a much more experienced writer at our newsweekly, who overheard one of my phone interviews. He said "It sounded like you were having a conversation, with someone you've known a while."
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Cookbook, but a Guide for Thinkers, May 22, 2002
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This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
Some people seem to be looking for just one way to conduct an interview: John Brady describes several. If you are looking for something like a cookbook where the specific questions you should ask and in what order are listed, you won't like this book. If you are looking to develop your own interview style and want to pick and choose from a variety of methods, then you will find Brady's book an excellent source of information. Brady covers everything from getting appointments to to research to notetaking to tape recorders to knowing when the interview is over. He shows how different people handle interviews over the phone or by letter. When you finish this book, the choice of what questions to ask and how you should go about the interview remain up to you, but Brady's book will have given you a solid base.
Just about the only topic that is uncovered (due to the date of the book) is how to conduct an interview by Internet Chat. But a smart reader can easily adapt Brady's ideas to that situation.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're an easily offended woman, you are not a journalist, October 18, 2001
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
Funny, I don't remember the parts about batting eyelashes and such. This book covers the fundamentals of interviewing and pre interview research.
I found the book to be a useful tool for conducting interviews, and think that it would be very helpful to beginners. I am a nurse turned free lance writer, and the techniques and tips for securing interviews were helpful to me.
I particularly liked the section on the "wrong questions"--this should be mandatory reading for local and national news reporters.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You get more than you asked for but just what you need, February 11, 2008
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This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
John Brady has written a helluva book. You think it's just about "interviewing": well, it is that, but so much more. You get elements of a fascinating autobiography. You get vignettes about some of the most important folks of the last century as object lessons about interviewing as an art. You get insights into the lives of those people who have devoted themselves to presenting, in a sensitive and coherent way, the real words of real people at moments of heightened passion (William Wordsworth: take note!). And you get a sometimes mellifluous and always piquant bit of writing. "The importance of being sternest"?! Just too good. Read this and then try to get some flavor out of what passes for the low-sodium instant dribble of most modern journalists. "How does it feel to win/lose the you-name-it...?" "Just great/awesome/awful... I'd like to thank...." May as well talk to a bladder just after it empties. We get what we deserve, unfortunately, in spite of people like John Brady. Don't read it to learn how to interview - although you will learn. Read it because you have to learn how to talk to other members of your species.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless advice on interviewing, March 6, 2011
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This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
This is one of those books that, like Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," should never be out of vogue. Brady's tips on interviewing and his discussion, too, of what does NOT work, are essential for journalists but also anyone who wants to succeed in the business world -- or in any job requiring "people skills." Good interviewers are good listeners. I was in the journalism field for nearly three decades and kept going back to this book for refreshers. I still find it useful in my current job; in fact, I just bought my third copy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars terrible, November 20, 2014
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Please don't buy this, rubbish and waste of time. No meaning at all, I wasted my time in vain. Terrible
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4 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worthless, January 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Craft of Interviewing (Paperback)
"seems to say almost everything" is correct but it really says virtually nothing.
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The Craft of Interviewing
The Craft of Interviewing by John Joseph Brady (Paperback - August 12, 1977)
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