My Review of Adam Nagourney’s ‘Biography’ Of The Modern New York Times, ‘The Times’

by Shelt Garner

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read more, and, as such, I just finished reading Adam Nagourney’s “biography” of the modern New York Times. I’m not getting paid to write this, so you get what you pay for.

Adam Nagourney

In general, this is a great, great book. Very well written. I highly recommend it if you’re a media nerd like me. I suppose I don’t have the proper context in my head to be able to point out any problems on that front, but, in general, it SEEMS to do a pretty good job of laying out the ups and downs of The New York Times the last 20-odd years.

One thing is clear — when it comes to internal politics, especially succession issues, The New York Times is a messy bitch. Repeatedly in the book, Nagourney recounts how internal politics got in the way of a simple succession from one Executive Editor to the next.

It probably comes from how much power and prestige is involved with the job. So it’s a regular Game of Thrones easing anyone out of the spot to put new blood in. That’s probably the most entertaining part of the book. Another fun part of the book is how flat footed The Old Gray Lady was with the rise of the Internet.

I will note, in passing, that an entire book should be written — and maybe has already been — that would directly address in tick-tock form EXACTLY what happened at the paper on 9/11. That would be really interesting and compelling. I felt that specific topic, while addressed, was not fleshed out enough in The Times book — but that was probably simply size constraints.

Anyway. Buy the book. It’s really good.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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