Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- the Pursuit of Excellence by John Hohenberg

Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- the Pursuit of Excellence by John Hohenberg

Article excerpt

Hohenberg, John. The Pursuit of Excellence. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1995. 295 pp. $39.95.

In the preface to this autobiography, John Hohenberg regrets not having the space to recount his travels and promises eventually to use the information as the basis of a "new kind of travel book."

But in a sense this work by Hohenberg, a journalism professor best known as the longtime administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, is already a travel book. Readers share a pleasant journey through his long life (he'll turn ninety in 1996) and make brief sightseeing stops.

There are interesting stories about famous people (Hohenberg is a bit of a name-dropper), but he only makes short stopovers and takes little time to explore deeply.

Hohenberg has led a fascinating life: He earned a job with the Seattle Star in 1923 by scrambling for an interview with Warren G. Harding, worked for the New York Graphic while attending Columbia University (napping on Ed Sullivan's desk and being awakened by the then-sports editor), covered the United Nations at its birth for the New York Post and spent more than a quarter of a century teaching at Columbia University.

He has written fifteen other books, including Foreign Correspondence The Great Reporters and heir Times and volumes on the history of the Pulitzer Prizes. More recently, he traveled to Asia for the U.S. State Department to battle the New World Information Order, an effort by Third World nations via UNESCO to control news coverage.

The book has its poignant moments, particularly an incident in Pre-World War II Vienna when a girl he had never seen before begged him to take her out of the country. …

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