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Personal History (1997)

por Katharine Graham

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2,693455,385 (4.04)55
The captivating, inside story of the woman who helmed the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story--one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling.   Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband--a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson--plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman's union as she entered the profane boys' club of the newspaper business.   As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted--and mastered--the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
TL;DR: has some nice quotes, made me want to (re)watch Mad Men, it is probably too detailed and long for non-Americans,mainly describes the US (politics & journalism) from 30s-80s.

This book was recommended by Ryan Holiday (it's one of the few books written by women he recommends), and after reading What Makes Sammy Run and loving it, I chose this book as the next one for my Read To Lead project.
It's hard to do justice to this book by rating it with 1-5 stars. Some chapters were very interesting, especially those on transitioning from a housewife/hostess to CEO, investing, Warren Buffet, leading a large corporation without the right experience, friendship, relating to your parents and children, feminism and women in the workforce and the union strikes in the 70s. Other chapters (the majority), especially those that consisted mainly of names of Katharine Graham's political acquaintances, were less interesting or downright boring -- I'm not American, and most of the names, titles and White House functions meant nothing to me. YMMV. ( )
  jd7h | Feb 18, 2024 |
Picked this up on a recco by Warren Buffett. What a fantastic life this woman, Katherine Graham, has had. A very moving and a honest biography. ( )
  Santhosh_Guru | Oct 19, 2023 |
Katharine Graham’s Personal History is an extraordinary autobiography that won the Pulitzer Prize. It spanned the ownership of the Washington Post as a family business. Started with Eugene Myer, the Post was inherited by Phil Graham - his son-in-law, passed on to Kay, Myer’s daughter, and ended up in the hands of Don, Myer’s grandson.
Eugene laid the foundation of the Post. Throughout his leadership as publisher, the paper was competing with four other newspapers in Washington DC. His venture was losing money, but as publisher he held on to it, and set its editorial standards. Eventually, he transferred its reigns to Phil – a Harvard graduate who had just wrapped up his service in the military. He became the publisher, and with Kay they controlled most of the shares.
During this period Phil made acquisitions that included Newsweek, WTOP-TV in Washington DC, and WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Florida. He became active politically, and was responsible for Lyndon B. Johnson becoming vice president to John F. Kennedy. Phil was also a member of numerous boards, and was nominated chairman of COMSAT. His work load was phenomenal, and he broke down under pressure suffering from manic depression. As Phil was recuperating from this illness, he committed suicide at their country home Glen Welby.
The Post therefore fell into the hands of Kay who later became its president and publisher. In her memoir she expressed self-doubt in her ability about running the Washington Post Company. But as the years passed, she grew in confidence. The Post chief competitor was the Star, but there were other major problems she had to grapple with. She made an outstanding pick in Ben Bradley as editor. She confronted the difficulties incurred with the Pentagon Papers, steered the Post through the Water Gate years, witnessed the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon, and dealt with the debilitating pressmen strike - all the time wondering if the company would fold.
In the 1970’s her son Don was at the reigns of the Post. By then it had become public. The Post was making money and its rival the Star was no longer publishing. However, Don’s tenure was marred by the Janet Cooke’s incident who had won the Pulitzer Prize. The only problem was that her story about drugs and a child was false. The Post had to return this prize and Cooke was fired. ( )
  erwinkennythomas | Aug 29, 2023 |
Fascinating. ( )
  cathy.lemann | Mar 21, 2023 |
I read this book some time ago but I did not write a review , I would like to say that Katharine Graham was an force of significant grace under fire and she knew when to act upon her intuition in many instances. I think a woman in power is always more scrutinized and criticized but her intelligent and decisive actions on many controversies she faced while at helm of the Washington Post are phenomenal. She is a star in my eyes.
  mgallantfnp | May 26, 2022 |
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I would like to dedicate this book to the most important people in it:
my parents, Eugene and Agnes Meyersm
my husband, Philip L. Graham,
my children, Elizabeth (Lally) Weymouth, and Donald, William and Stephen Graham
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My parents' paths first crossed in a museum on 23rd Street in New York.
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ISBN 0736636978 and 0736636986 are an unabridged audio book in two containers; Read by Francis Cassidy.

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The captivating, inside story of the woman who helmed the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story--one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling.   Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband--a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson--plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman's union as she entered the profane boys' club of the newspaper business.   As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted--and mastered--the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life.

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