Controversy and other essays in journalism, 1950-1975 by William Raymond Manchester

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In the title essay Controversy, Manchester details his experience writing The Death of a President, the award-winning account of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It was indeed a controversy like few others, engaging one of the most prominent historians of the day against Jackie Kennedy, the most famous, yet private, widow in the world. This 76-page essay provides a compelling insider’s account of the most high-profile publishing struggle of its day.

“A work of love, even passion…. Mr. Manchester’s final telling of the death of Kennedy is most moving; it is also less controversial than one had been led to believe by those who read the original manuscript.” —Gore Vidal

This sweeping collection further provides a penetrating look at the period between World War II and the Vietnam era. In an account that’s both exacting in its accuracy and a pleasure to read, these essays cover the events that shaped world history during this period of time—from the Bay of Pigs fiasco to Watergate and Vietnam.


William Manchester (1922–2004) was a journalist, Professor of History Emeritus at Wesleyan University, and the best-selling author of several noted histories, novels, and biographies. Notable works include The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill spanning several volumes; American Caesar, on the life of Douglas MacArthur; The Arms of Krupp, A World Lit Only By Fire; and The Death of a President. His awards include the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the Abraham Lincoln Literary Award, and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

About William Raymond Manchester

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William Manchester was born on April 1, 1922 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. After serving as a Marine in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he completed his B.A. at the University of Massachusetts and earned his master's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He was a journalist for several years before becoming the managing editor of Wesleyan University's publications office. He spent the rest of his career at the University, serving in various roles including adjunct professor of history and writer-in-residence. In addition to several novels, her wrote a number of historical and biographical works. Among them are The Death of a President, which won the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize and American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964. His last major work was a three-part biography of Winston Churchill, entitled The Last Lion. He received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award in 2000. Manchester died on June 1, 2004, at the age of 82.
Published October 24, 2013 by RosettaBooks. 429 pages
Genres: History.

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The lead article in this collection recounts—for those who still care—Manchester's side of the dispute over the Kennedy book, Death of a President.

Jan 04 2013 | Read Full Review of Controversy and other essays ...

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