This review was written and published to address two books by Nancy Whitelaw about wellknown newspaper publishers. William Randolph Hearst, only child of extremely wealthy parents, had a firm base on which to build his publishing empire. His mother could deny him nothing. His father, George, bought the San Francisco Examiner to further his own political ambitions. When George left for Washington, D.C., as a United States Senator in 1886, William Randolph took over the Examiner. He had some experience as a reporter at Joseph Pulitzer's paper, the New York World. In purchasing newspapers all over the country, he pushed his own, generally failed, political ambitions. His fierce competition with Pulitzer may have set off the Spanish American War, but his "yellow journalism" style won him readers and advertisers. Finally the newspapers that drained money, made money. Katherine Meyer Graham also was born to wealth, raised by parents who barely acknowledged her existence. Her father was the publisher of the Washington Post, and when Katherine married Phil Graham, Eugene Meyer saw him as his successor at the paper. No one considered Katherine, nor did she have a very high opinion of herself. When she became publisher after the suicide of her husband in 1963, she was still unsure. By 1971 her confident response to the question of whether or not the Post should publish the Pentagon papers provides the title for this biography. These entries in the Makers of the Media series provide a useful synopsis of the subject's life but neither flows as a story. Constricted by page limits, the information seems listed, jumping from event to event with little to hold it all together. With beneficial endnotesand indexes, the titles are adequate for research papers but will be read cover to cover only by someone already fascinated by the person. Glossary. Index. Photos. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 1999, Morgan Reynolds, Ages 12 to 15, 112p. PLB $18.95. Reviewer: Lynne Hawkins
Gr 7-10-This book details Graham's career as a young reporter, her suffering under her mother's scrutiny, her turbulent marriage, and her triumph in the newspaper business. Along with the subject's personal life, the book also provides a history of the Washington Post and the changes and evolution it has undergone over its 120-year history. The political involvement of the paper's president-Graham's father-gives readers the inside story on how closely politicians are tied to news people. An appendix entitled "Newsworthy Events in American Journalism" provides interesting but brief entries spanning from 1690 to 1981, detailing events such as the forming of the Associated Press. A good choice for students interested in journalism.-Allison Trent Bernstein, Blake Middle School, Medfield, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Whitelaw follows They Wrote Their Own Headlines (1994), on American women journalists, with a probing biography of the greatest of them all.