Academic journal article Journalism History

A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures

Academic journal article Journalism History

A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures

Article excerpt

Bradlee, Ben. A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. 514 pp. $27.50.

While gossip and innuendo are often appealing, the opportunity to learn an insider's perspective on contemporary politics is undeniably tantalizing. Media historians are not exempt from wondering what John F. Kennedy was really like, or the true story behind the Janet Cooke scandal, or even if Deep Throat really exists. Ben Bradlee knows the answers to these and other questions, and it is the hope that he will share his knowledge with the rest of us that makes his memoir, A Good Life, particularly appealing.

Time seems to have softened this seasoned journalist, and readers may come away feeling that his vision is now rose tinted and not fitting the formidable foe of Richard M. Nixon. A significant part of the memoir details his professional and personal relationship with JFK and addresses Bradlee's confusion as a journalist during the Kennedy campaign and presidency. Readers may be surprised to read that although he was admittedly appalled to learn of the level of deceit involved in Kennedy's extramarital dalliances, Bradlee insists he knew nothing of the President's activities even though his sisterin-law, Mary Meyer, was one of Kennedy's girlfriends.

Bradlee knows the identity of Deep Throat; Woodward and Bernstein told him following Nixon's resignation and the release of their second book, The Final Days. yet readers will not learn his or her identity from the book. Bradlee insists on keeping what he calls the best-kept secret in the history of Washington. …

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