"Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee," by Jeff Himmelman
Jeff Himmelman's new biography on the legendary reporter Ben Bradlee has raised more than a few eyebrows among fellow reporters. This is due in no small part to the co-star of 'Yours in Truth,' famed reporter Bob Woodward, who was central to the chronicling of the Watergate scandal. According to Himmelman, who has written a response piece at The Daily Beast addressing the controversy his book ignited: "Those [quality reporting] standards have not changed; it’s just that I uncovered some information that Bob Woodward happens not to like, and he is doing everything he can to distract attention from it." In the words of Jack Shafer at The Washington Post, Himmelman "gives the reader long, descriptive and dialogue-rich passages in which he confronts Bradlee — and then Woodward and Bradlee — with his findings. It’s almost like reading one of the spectacular fly-on-the-wall scenes from a Woodward book, except in 'Yours in Truth,' all the flies are on the record and the stakes aren’t quite as global or spectacular." Husna Haq at the Christian Science Monitor calls Himmelman's book a "fruitful exploration of the legendary editor's misgivings." But above it all is Ben Bradlee himself, who quells the clamor with: "I love Bob, and I love Jeff, and I trust them both, and let’s move on."
"Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948," by Madeleine Albright
Rich historical context and touching personal stories are the cornerstones of a great memoir. In Madeleine Albright's "Prague Winter," neither are in short supply. Reveling in days of old, Albright flexes her storytelling muscles to describe Czech history, her Jewish heritage, and the pawn-like role of a small European country in the throes of World War II. Philip Kerr, reviewer at The Washington Post, "can't recommend 'Prague Winter' highly enough...[it] is highly informative and insightful, and it’s clear that Albright, a professor of international relations at Georgetown University, has done her homework." Calling it a "riveting tale," contributing reviewer Carolyn Kellogg at the Los Angeles Times notes how "Prague Winter" is "more than a memoir," it is "a book of facts and action, a chronicle of a war in progress from a partisan faithful to the idea of Czechoslovakian democracy." Susan Rubin Suleiman at The Boston Globe agrees: "Albright recounts this history well, and does a particularly good job explaining the diplomatic stakes involved" in her "sprightly narrative."