Yours in Truth by Jeff Himmelman


9 Critic Reviews

The book is fascinating to those of us who are journalists and perhaps to history buffs. Others might rather pick up a John Grisham novel or sit around the pool in this hot weather.
-Look At OKC


“I hope we’re as good friends when you finish your book as we are now,” Ben Bradlee, the legendary former executive editor of The Washington Post, told Jeff Himmelman in March 2010. “But I don’t give a [expletive deleted] what you write about me.”
So begins Yours in Truth, an intimate portrait of a fixture on the American scene for nearly half a century—a close friend to John F. Kennedy; the center of D.C. social life; and a crusty, charismatic editor whose decisions at the helm of the Post during Watergate changed the course of history. Granted unprecedented access to Bradlee and his colleagues, friends, and private files, Himmelman draws on never-before-seen internal Post memos, correspondence, personal photographs, and private interviews to trace the full arc of Bradlee’s forty-five-year career—from his early days as a press attaché in postwar Paris through the Pentagon Papers, Richard Nixon’s resignation, the Janet Cooke fabrication scandal, and beyond. Along the way, Himmelman also unearths a series of surprises—about Watergate, and about Bradlee’s private relationships with Post owner Katharine Graham and President Kennedy and his wife, Jackie.
“Don’t feel that you have to protect me,” Bradlee told Himmelman whenever the reporting started to strike close to home. “Follow your nose.” Those instructions, familiar to any Post reporter, have resulted in this thoughtfully constructed and beautifully written account of a magnetic man whose career has come to define the golden age of newspapers in America, when the press battled for its freedom—and won.

“The absolute best nonfiction book of the year . . . a work of journalistic art . . . history straight and true . . . should be required reading at the Columbia School of Journalism.”—Chicago Tribune

From the Hardcover edition.

About Jeff Himmelman

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Jeff Himmelman has worked on two national bestsellers, Bob Woodward's Maestro and Tim Russert's Big Russ & Me, and was the co-author of A Different Life with Quinn Bradlee. He has written for The Washington Post and The New York Times Magazine; his work with Woodward and a team of other reporters helped The Post secure the national reporting Pulitzer Prize for its post-9/11 coverage. He is also a professional musician who writes, records, and performs under the name Down Dexter. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.
Published May 8, 2012 by Random House. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Yours in Truth
All: 9 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 4

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Phil Bronstein on Aug 03 2012

Bradlee still emerges from this account larger than life and worthy of respect, especially as an editor who transformed The Washington Post and had abiding faith in his reporters.

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Star Tribune

Reviewed by Kevin Duchschere on Jun 16 2012

This surprising and compulsively readable bio, written as a first-person quest to dig out the real Bradlee, does a better job of explaining why he's a legend than the retired editor's own somewhat bloodless 1996 memoir.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Jack Shafer on May 04 2012

Had the archives been dropped on a master of narrative journalism, ...perhaps a great work could have surfaced. Instead, we’re stuck with a book that has the flavor of a Woodward production without any of the substance.

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Look At OKC

Below average
Reviewed by Dennie Hall on Aug 08 2012

The book is fascinating to those of us who are journalists and perhaps to history buffs. Others might rather pick up a John Grisham novel or sit around the pool in this hot weather.

Read Full Review of Yours in Truth

Below average
Reviewed by Kate Tuttle on May 25 2012

Himmelman is a diligent researcher with a clear, winning prose style, but he can’t seem to knit together these fabulous details, stories, and voices into a coherent narrative.

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Post and Courier

Reviewed by Dottie Ashley on Jul 13 2012

a riveting history lesson with fastidiously researched facts intertwined with first-person observations.

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The Atlantic

Reviewed by Peter Osnos on May 15 2012

...for all the elements of the book that have landed with a thud, it does underscore what it was about Bradlee's leadership and professional courage that made an indelible impression on journalism...Every portrayal of Ben emphasizes his swashbuckling newsroom style, which was irresistible.

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The Weekly Standard

Below average
Reviewed by Judy Bachrach on Sep 03 2012

...Yours in Truth had very little to do with the T-word in the title or, least of all, with the former newspaper editor and his third wife, and far more to do with the aspirations of its author.

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Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Reviewed by Dan Simpson on Jul 29 2012

...a sparkling, revealing, definitely controversial, and very readable book...

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