Written into History: Pulitzer Prize Reporting of the Twentieth Century from the New York Times

Written into History: Pulitzer Prize Reporting of the Twentieth Century from the New York Times

by Anthony Lewis
     
 

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With each news day, history unfolds as steadfast journalists uncover facts and public opinion. Drawn from the New York Times's archive of an unparalleled eighty-one Pulitzer Prizes, Written into History offers a fascinating record of the twentieth century.

The Times's award-winning reports range from Antarctic dispatches on the Byrd

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Overview

With each news day, history unfolds as steadfast journalists uncover facts and public opinion. Drawn from the New York Times's archive of an unparalleled eighty-one Pulitzer Prizes, Written into History offers a fascinating record of the twentieth century.

The Times's award-winning reports range from Antarctic dispatches on the Byrd expedition to the eyewitness account of the atomic bomb, from the First Amendment battle to publish the Pentagon Papers to the personal narrative of an interracial friendship. Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Lewis culled the newspaper's most acclaimed writing to chronicle life and history as it was happening, with such highlights as David Halberstam on Vietnam, J. Anthony Lukas on hippies, Anna Quindlen on AIDS, and John F. Burns on the Taliban.

Lewis tells the stories behind the stories, describing journalism's changing role in the world. For armchair historians and aspiring reporters, this is a rich and memorable portrait of a century by the men and women who most artfully observed it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The kind of even-shaping journalism pioneered by Pulitzer is on display in Written into History, a collection of Pulitzer Prize reporting from the New York Times. Editor Anthony Lewis chronicles changes in the attitude of the press toward the presidency and government, as reflected in the kind of reporting that won the prize over the years and the trend toward recognizing more analytical writing. He also provides background on the history of the Pulitzer Prize and the arduous decision-making process. The selected award-winning articles (the Times has won more Pulitzers than any other American newspaper) are sorted into the following categories: investigative reporting; dangerous stories that put reporters at risk; international news; public advocacy; criticism of the arts; science reporting; and biographical and human-interest stories. Among the topics are Russian slave-labor camps during the 1950s, the Pentagon Papers, the Vietnam War, and exploitation of illegal aliens in the U.S.” —Vanessa Bush, Booklist

“Lewis (Gideon's Trumpet), a writer with the New York Times for nearly five decades and himself a two-time Pulitzer winner succeeds in presenting some of the world's best recent journalism . . . There are plenty of both prominent and almost-forgotten stories: 'Red' Smith on the near-bankruptcy of New York City in the 1970s, Max Frankel on Nixon's 1972 visit to China, Linda Greenhouse on failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Lewis's fine introductory essay describes the post-Vietnam transformation of American journalism. The war and Watergate, he contends, made the press more skeptical of those in power and more confrontational in tone. Pulitzer Prizes increasingly went to fearless reporters like David Halberstam, whose tragically prescient analysis, in 1963, of the worsening situation in Vietnam constitutes one of the highlights of this book . . . Another highlight is Lewis's own analysis of the Warren court, which moved aggressively to 'federalize' legal protections in the areas of civil rights and criminal due process. It's a paragon of accessible legal writing. Perhaps the best, and certainly the most important, piece in the collection is Mirta Ojito's unforgettable recent story of two Cuban immigrants, one black and one white and how race comes to define and divide the two friends once they move to Miami. The piece is everything great journalism should be: empathetic, unmistakably relevant and a challenge to our basic ideals. For anyone interested in recent history or journalism at its best, this book will prove worthwhile.” —Publishers Weekly

“Newspaper reporting and writing at its best . . . Many of the stories have the ring of history, but they were written as the events were still churning at the writers' elbow . . . Their words, written pretty much on the spot, have held up well over the years.” —Syracuse Post-Standard

“All Pulitzer, all the time: Dozens of classy-by turns subversive, condemning, and exploratory-pieces of journalism from the New York Times . . . A stellar collection.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

bn.com
Anthony Lewis edits and writes an introduction to this remarkable collection of essays from past Pulitzer Prize winners, all of which have appeared in the hallowed pages of The New York Times. The list includes: David Halberstam on Vietnam, Thomas L. Friedman on Israel, James B. Reston on Eisenhower, Rick Bragg on carjacking, and Maureen Dowd on Bill Clinton. This is award-winning journalism at its top-notch best.
Publishers Weekly
Lewis (Gideon's Trumpet) a writer with the New York Times for nearly five decades and himself a two-time Pulitzer winner succeeds in presenting some of the world's best recent journalism. This is a book best dipped into for the pleasure of its writing. There are plenty of both prominent and almost-forgotten stories: "Red" Smith on the near-bankruptcy of New York City in the 1970s, Max Frankel on Nixon's 1972 visit to China, Linda Greenhouse on failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Lewis's fine introductory essay describes the post-Vietnam transformation of American journalism. The war and Watergate, he contends, made the press more skeptical of those in power and more confrontational in tone. Pulitzer Prizes increasingly went to fearless reporters like David Halberstam, whose tragically prescient analysis, in 1963, of the worsening situation in Vietnam constitutes one of the highlights of this book. The American military in Vietnam, wrote Halberstam, faced a bloody quagmire, "a situation like the one that defeated the French in the 1945-54 Indochinese war." Another highlight is Lewis's own analysis of the Warren court, which moved aggressively to "federalize" legal protections in the areas of civil rights and criminal due process. It's a paragon of accessible legal writing. Perhaps the best, and certainly the most important, piece in the collection is Mirta Ojito's unforgettable recent story of two Cuban immigrants, one black and one white and how race comes to define and divide the two friends once they move to Miami. The piece is everything great journalism should be: empathetic, unmistakably relevant and a challenge to our basic ideals. For anyone interested in recent history orjournalism at its best, this book will prove worthwhile. Agent, the Wylie Agency. (Oct. 16) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
All Pulitzer, all the time: Dozens of classy-by turns subversive, condemning, and exploratory-pieces of journalism from the New York Times. Since 1918, the Times has received some 81 Pulitzers, and this collection showcases some of the best of them. Intelligently introduced by Times columnist Lewis, the articles range from criticism to scientific discoveries to investigative reporting. Much of this work is so good it still remains fresh in the mind after, in some cases, decades: David Halberstam telling it like it was in the Vietnam of 1963; moving elegies by John Burns for the civil war-torn Sarajevo; and Sydney Schanberg reporting on the descent of Cambodia into the hellish hands of the Khmer Rouge. There are also less-touted articles packing a fresh sting, such as John Crewdson's investigation into the virtual slave exchange of Spanish-speaking aliens in the US. On-the-spot reporting of breaking news is ably illustrated by Nicholas Kristoff's article on the violent retaking of Tiananmen Square from Chinese protestors and John Burns, again, telling of the low doings of Afghanistan's Taliban, but-unforgivably-the report from Thomas Friedman on the Sabra/Shatila massacre is nowhere to be found. Nan Robertson's story on her experience with toxic shock syndrome is in the best tradition of personal reporting, the kind of material that makes your pulse race as you devour the terrible story. Finally, there is the beauty of fine writing, writing that had to be churned out on the spot, under a deadline minutes away, as when Red Smith reported: "New York City is tapped out like a broken horse player and nobody-not Abe Beame nor the town's smartest bankers nor the best fiscal brainsin Albany and Washington-knows what to do about it." A stellar collection.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805071788
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.85(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The kind of even-shaping journalism pioneered by Pulitzer is on display in Written into History, a collection of Pulitzer Prize reporting from the New York Times. Editor Anthony Lewis chronicles changes in the attitude of the press toward the presidency and government, as reflected in the kind of reporting that won the prize over the years and the trend toward recognizing more analytical writing. He also provides background on the history of the Pulitzer Prize and the arduous decision-making process. The selected award-winning articles (the Times has won more Pulitzers than any other American newspaper) are sorted into the following categories: investigative reporting; dangerous stories that put reporters at risk; international news; public advocacy; criticism of the arts; science reporting; and biographical and human-interest stories. Among the topics are Russian slave-labor camps during the 1950s, the Pentagon Papers, the Vietnam War, and exploitation of illegal aliens in the U.S."—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

"Lewis (Gideon's Trumpet), a writer with the New York Times for nearly five decades and himself a two-time Pulitzer winner succeeds in presenting some of the world's best recent journalism . . . There are plenty of both prominent and almost-forgotten stories: 'Red' Smith on the near-bankruptcy of New York City in the 1970s, Max Frankel on Nixon's 1972 visit to China, Linda Greenhouse on failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Lewis's fine introductory essay describes the post-Vietnam transformation of American journalism. The war and Watergate, he contends, made the press more skeptical of those in power and more confrontational in tone. Pulitzer Prizes increasingly went to fearless reporters like David Halberstam, whose tragically prescient analysis, in 1963, of the worsening situation in Vietnam constitutes one of the highlights of this book . . . Another highlight is Lewis's own analysis of the Warren court, which moved aggressively to 'federalize' legal protections in the areas of civil rights and criminal due process. It's a paragon of accessible legal writing. Perhaps the best, and certainly the most important, piece in the collection is Mirta Ojito's unforgettable recent story of two Cuban immigrants, one black and one white and how race comes to define and divide the two friends once they move to Miami. The piece is everything great journalism should be: empathetic, unmistakably relevant and a challenge to our basic ideals. For anyone interested in recent history or journalism at its best, this book will prove worthwhile."—Publishers Weekly

"Newspaper reporting and writing at its best . . . Many of the stories have the ring of history, but they were written as the events were still churning at the writers' elbow . . . Their words, written pretty much on the spot, have held up well over the years."—Syracuse Post-Standard

"All Pulitzer, all the time: Dozens of classy-by turns subversive, condemning, and exploratory-pieces of journalism from the New York Times . . . A stellar collection."—Kirkus Reviews

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Meet the Author

Two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Anthony Lewis is the author of Make No Law and the bestseller Gideon's Trumpet. In his nearly five decades of writing and reporting for The New York Times he served as the Times's London bureau chief for eight years and as a columnist for the paper from 1969 until 2001. A Visiting Lombard Lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, he lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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