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The Powers That Be Paperback – October 19, 2000
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Halberstam does an outstanding job of telling the stories of these organizations and tying them together in this book. The stories in this book are entertaining and informatative, teaching us about history, journalism and business.
If you've never read any of his books, this is a good one to start with. If you like it you should try some of his others, including:
The Best and The Brightest - A history of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the Vietnam war.
The Children - A story about the Civil Rights movement.
The Fifties - I never thought it was a very interesting decade until I read this book.
The Reckoning - A history of Ford Motors.
He's also written some great sports books. The bottom line is that you can't go wrong with any of his books.
It is truly great reading, but in the end there is a bit too much of it. In retrospect, it also appears dated, and perhaps places a bit too much faith in the press. For those like myself who increasingly feel that the press is ridiculously focused on personal foibles instead of issues and failed to do its duty during the Clinton scandals - preferring to keep a trivial story alive rather than point out that it has all, like, happened before - they will find little support and that Halberstam had any inkling of when things might go too far.
Nonetheless, no one has done a better job at telling the story of the press, in print and TV, than Halberstam. He also succeeds in putting a great deal of issues in proper perspective, such as the rich careers of Walter Lippman, Teddy White, and Walter Cronkite.
This book put me in some proper perspective. Halberstam's wonderful inside information, ranging from political pressure put on newspapers and the networks to squabbles among the press people themselves, avidly shows how limited American journalism was then, and by induction, how limited it probably is now. It mentions stories that were dropped not because they were not good or verified, but merely because some powerful figure in Washington, or worse yet a sponsor, chose to intervene. What to naive people might seem a scandal is shown here to be standard practice.
I heartily recommend this book. It's length (over a 1000 pages) can be intimidating at first, but not after you start reading - this is probably the most readable work I've come across, packed with information and yet never dull. While the scope of the book is limited (it was published in the 70s and does not go beyond Watergate), it is truly enlightening and mind-expanding, a must for anyone wishing to understand the media.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is intimidating in terms of length but it's depth of knowledge regarding its subject matter is TRUELY remarkable. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert B
Classic Halberstam. Well researched and full of fascinating depth.Published 2 months ago by John Lindblom
Interesting accounts of founding and development of major US businesses.Published 3 months ago by S. Willoughby
This book is very detailed and worth the time it takes to read about history.Published 4 months ago by Vicki Portwood
I have read most of Halberstam's works. They are all deeply researched and immensely readable. He devours his subjects in order to educate his readers. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
An incredible work. So close-up and easy to read and yet always so aware of the
huge historical implications. Read more
The book was excellent, typical of David Halberstam. The production was atrocious, with typos on almost every page.Published 13 months ago by Gene Weisberg
Halberstam is hard work. Very readable, just so smart and thought provoking. I miss him.Published 13 months ago by Leo B. Casey