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Times of My Life and My Life with the Times Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; 1st Trade Paperback Ed. edition (March 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385334982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385334983
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The retired executive editor of the New York Times grippingly evokes his terror as a young Jewish boy in Nazi Germany and his discomfort as an impoverished immigrant in the United States. But it's those 45 years at the Times we really want to read about, and Frankel's account does not disappoint. Yes, he proudly believes his newspaper is America's most important, revered by its educated, influential readers and unswerving in its commitment to informed, impartial reporting. But Frankel is commendably candid about the Times' institutional failings (in particular its slowness to support and promote women, blacks, and homosexuals) and surprisingly so about behind-the-headlines maneuvers among the staff. He airs his differences with the paper's publishers, Arthur Sulzberger and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and makes it clear that he didn't much care for Abe Rosenthal, his predecessor as executive editor. He's equally frank, in a restrained way, about his personal life (two marriages, three kids) but in approved Times fashion saves most of his plain, yet nicely turned, words for public affairs and the newspaper's response to them. It's just the sort of memoir you'd expect from a newspaper man: dignified, lucid, maybe just a tiny bit self-important, but always interesting. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

From his childhood escape from Nazi Germany to confidential encounters with presidents Johnson and Nixon to his wife's struggle with brain cancer, Frankel (a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former executive editor of the New York Times) captures a remarkable life in vigorous, engaging prose. Frankel explains that his painful exile from Germany and his refugee status led him to the journalistically useful trait of "detachment." Although he acknowledges cozy relationships with establishment figures like Henry Kissinger, he demonstrates his integrity by admitting, among other things, that in the early stages of the Vietnam conflict he "became, for too long, just a weather vane registering the winds of Washington's false optimism." Frankel started at the Times as a stringer in 1949, while still a Columbia sophomore. Eventually, foreign bureau stints in Khrushchev's Moscow and Castro's Cuba led to positions as the Times's Washington correspondent and then bureau chief. Despite divulging off-the-record comments from the likes of Nixon, Kissinger and Dean Rusk, Frankel shows that his vaunted diplomatic skills were put to their ultimate test not by such power players but instead when he replaced A.M. Rosenthal as executive editor of the Times in 1986. He sparked controversy by updating the paper's tone?for instance, putting an article about rising hemlines on the front page. Frankel's impact on the Times?particularly his struggle for fair hiring and promotion practices?makes for absorbing reading. But more compelling is Frankel's quintessentially American success story?that of a young, wide-eyed reporter who becomes a professional witness to the most crucial events of the 20th century.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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See all 18 customer reviews
Word choices were very excellent without getting cute.
Carlton F. Schwan
I had planned to skip the first portion of this lengthy book and delve straight into Frankel's illustrious career at the Times.
Molly Pickett-Harner
I highly recommend it to all interested in our history from the 50ies into the nineties.
patricia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By computer-hobbyist on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The first part of the book dealing with the author and his mother's travails in pre-WWII Germany in Weissenfels was absolutely the best part of the book. (And, this was unexpected as I bought the book to read about the editor of my favorite newspaper.) The author puts a human face to his German friends, neighbors, towns people, local officials, and even the Nazi that finally gave the exit visa to Frau Frankel and her son, Max. Even after the war and the Holocaust, Frankel admits he maintained some empathy with the ordinary German folk. I found this perspective to be refreshing and enlightening as it seemed more realistic of the German peoples and their behavior in pre-War Germany. (I do not wish to politicize my book review, please read the book to get your own opinion on this matter-- although one does have to remember Frankel's experiences were that of a young boy). In fact, most of the book was written in a honest, straight-forward manner. The authos's candor was a surprise on many topics including those of race. It is always refreshing to read an honest appraisal rather than the double talk you hear from politician-types.
The remainder of the book amazed me that Max Frankel lived through and was involved in many of the historic events that occurred during the Cold War. Although at times Frankel seemed to explain in hindsight his prescience at events about to occur on the world stage. (As aside, you wonder why you didn't have people like him working for the CIA).
An aspect of the book that I didn't enjoy was the author's apologetic tone in explaining his executive decisions while an editor at the NY Times. It seemed this portion of the autobiography was aimed at the co-workers and people at NY Times that Frankel had worked with.
Definately, the parts of the book talking about the author's personal experiences, whether in Germany, Washington Heights, or the tragic illness of his wife were captivating. The rest about his career seemed routine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Foley on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As an avid reader of the New York Times, it provided a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at how some of the major events of the 20th Century were captured and recorded in the "Newspaper of record." Not only was it a fabulous account of NYT, Max Frankel's personal account of his life read like a novel--I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. If you appreciate current events, the media, and history--you'll love this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on May 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this distinctive memoir, The New York Times's topcorrespondent tells his life story the way he lived it - in tandemwith the big news stories of our time. From his boyhood in Nazi Germany to New York & immigrant life & beyond international boundaries as a roving reporter. This is an extraordinary autobiography - lean in language, replete with insights from the Fourth Estate &; complete with the front pages of The New York Times that affected this writer. A fine look back at the last half of the 20th century...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carlton F. Schwan on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the Max Frankel story on many levels. The story of the family escape from Nazi Germany was riviting and worthing of an entire book. The balance of the book was not riviting, but was nevertheless interesting and entertaining. I might not have finised the book except that it is exceptionally well written (I guess that that should not be a surprise considering the source!). In many places in reads all most like poetry. Word choices were very excellent without getting cute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book begins in Germany, where the author was born in 1930. The account of how he and his parents got out of Hitler's grasp is vivid and breathtaking, and alone is worth the price of the book. Then his account of growing up in New York, his education in high school and college, and how he became connected with the New York Times is of sustaining interest, as is his account of his career there. I thought it equally as good as Katherine Graham's Pulitzer-prize-winning account of her career, and all it told of the Washington Post.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Homer J. Rajotte on July 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Frankel's vivid, lively writing takes the reader on a time machine right to the scenes he describes. Mr. Frankel excels as he shares the fear, pain, pride, and accomplishments he experienced during some of the most tumultuous periods in United States and world history. A must-read for anyone interested in history, journalism or social science. I consider myself fortunate to own an autographed copy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barry G. Cohen on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Max Frankel tells what it was like to be at the helm of the New York Times, For those of us who read the Times regularly, it is a great inside view. He offers a lot with respect to the dynamics and personalities within the paper (of reporters many Times readers readily recognize), and is therefore a more compelling and interesting witness than others such as James Reston's Deadline. He also tells what it is like to run and manage and change a great American newspaper. It is fascinating how he led changes in the appearance of the front page, changing lines and making the type larger. Readers said it was more readable but not knowing why. (I want to find a 20 year old Times, possibly Frankel's photos in the book and compare it to today's edition, and see what makes the new one look more lively and the old one stiff and formal). As witness to world affairs, witness to New York Times politics, and reporter of how NY Times adapts to readers and tv world, Frankel has a 3 in 1 package. His leading the charge to analyze in print (as opposed to merely report) since the scoops come on tv connects a newsaper with its new role. I would be curious to hear his account (even if after his stewardship) on how the Times is now further adapting with its on-line edition and what that means for the life of the Times now and in the years ahead.
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