NIFTY 50: BOOKS FOR THE JOURNALISM CLASSROOM
Reprinted from the fall 2006 edition of Communication: Journalism Education Today
Many of these books are available in the JEA Bookstore.
BY ANNE WHITT, MJE
A wide-ranging list for teacher enrichment and for student inspiration. Practically every book in this list can be found on the Internet for a few dollars each. Also, check public and university libraries as sources. As in any collection, some are funny, and some are serious. But each is worth the effort to read. Meeting, via books, those who have held the torch in the past inspires me to give my best for the cause. The Fourth Estate is truly a vital and rewarding field.
AMERICA’S MOM by Rick Kogan, 2003
Ann Landers’ last editor combines personal anecdotes with research.
AVA’S MAN by Rick Bragg, 2002
Frank family scenes written with affectionate truth.
BIAS by Bernard Goldberg, 2002
Reporter, with 30 years at CBS, in action: giving up on reform within and stepping outside to show how the network distorts news.
BLOOD LIBEL by Uri Dan, 1987
Told by General Ariel Sharon’s press agent, the controversial story of the history-making suit against Time Magazine.
BRINKLEY’S BEAT by David Brinkley, 2003
Personal insights about people and about events that shaped his career.
COMPLETELY MAD by Maria Reidelbach, 1992
First 300 covers included in this history of the comic book and magazine.
DEADLINES AND DATELINES by Dan Rather, 1999
Essays about life in America throughout the 1990s.
DREW PEARSON DIARIES 1949-1959 by Tyler Abell (ed.), 1974
Diary pages that show history in the making – as revealed by Pearson’s stepson, staff reporter and chief of protocol of the Johnson Administration.
E.W. SCRIPPS AND THE BUSINESS OF NEWSPAPERS by Gerald J. Baldasty, 1999
Scripps resisted supporting his 40 newspapers with advertising.
FLIRTING WITH DANGER by Sidbhan Darrow, 2002
Tough decisions and their effects, as revealed in confessions by a CNN correspondent.
FLORENCE HARDING by Carl S. Anthony, 1998
The first lady and the invention of newsies.
THE FRANCHISE by Michaael MacCambridge, 1998
History of Sports Illustrated magazine.
FROM BOTSWANA TO THE BERING SEA by Thomas B. Canby, 1998
Writer’s 30-year journey with National Geographic.
FRONT ROW AT THE WHITE HOUSE by Helen Thomas, 2002
Memoir of a memorable reporter.
THE GENERAL AND THE JOURNALISTS by Harry Maihafer, 1998
The trio: U.S. Grant, Horace Greeley and Charles Dana.
A GOOD LIFE: NEWSPAPERING AND OTHER ADVENTURES by Ben Bradlee, 1995
From the editor who led Washington Post to win 18 Pulitzer Prizes: his Watergate story and how the “Style” section began.
THE GOOD TIMES by Russell Baker, 1989
More Baker: what the public demanded after reading Growing Up.
THE GREAT AMERICAN MAGAZINE by Loudon Wainwright, 1986
An inside history of Life by a lifetime member of the magazine staff.
GROWING UP by Russell Baker, 1982
Humorous and poignant story of his mother’s attempts to prod the eventual Pulitzer Prize winner to “make something of yourself.” Influenced by her statements pointing to “Uncle Edwin at the New York Times.”
GUTENBERG: HOW ONE MAN REMADE THE WORLD WITH WORDS by John Man, 2002
Struggles with inventing technologies, training artisans and keeping secrets until the printing press, the world’s greatest invention, was ready for business. A laborious read but worth the effort.
HELEN STEINER RICE: AMBASSADOR OF SUNSHINE by Ronald Pollitt and Virginia Wiltse, 1994
Suicide of her young husband and other events that prompted Rice to write the verses many of us have sent in greeting cards.
HENRY & CLARE: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF THE LUCES by Ralph G. Martin, 1991
Henry and Clare from childhood through adulthood – portrayed in alternating chapters.
HENRY R. LUCE by Robert E. Herzstein, 1994
Private papers and interviews showing the man who invented “The American Century” as he encountered people such as Douglas MacArthur, Mao Tse-Tung and Chiang Kai-shek.
HOLD ON, MR. PRESIDENT by Sam A. Donaldson, Jr., 1988
Behind the scenes of nightly newscasts.
I’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: A MEMOIR by Art Buchwald, 1996
A history of his Paris stint with The International Herald-Tribune.
IN SEARCH OF HISTORY by Theodore H. White, 1981
Personal accounts of formative experiences in China.
THE INVISIBLE CHILD: ON READING AND WRITING by Katherine Paterson, 2001
Speeches and essays of the author of Jacob Have I Loved and others.
JIM MURRAY by Jim Murray, 1993
Autobiography of stellar sports columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize.
LEGACY: A BIOGRAPHY OF MOSES AND WALTER ANNENBERG by Christopher Ogden, 1999
The what, why and how of the empire that went to son Walter, who founded Seventeen, TV Guide and “American Bandstand” to add to the family collection.
A LIFE ON THE ROAD by Charles Kuralt, 1990
Memoir of his travels as a child with his father and as an adult in journalism correspondence.
LINCOLN’S JOURNALIST: JOHN HAY’S ANONYMOUS WRITING FOR THE PRESS by Michael Burlingame (Ed.), 1998
Circumstantial and stylistic evidence that John Hay wrote anonymous pieces about Lincoln.
LIVE FROM THE BATTLEFIELD by Peter Arnett, 1994
Insights by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who stayed in Saigon after its fall and then moved on to report for 35 years from war zones.
LUCE AND HIS EMPIRE by W.A. Swanberg, 1972
Because of Time Magazine’s ability to pit Henry Luce into the activity of the world, this story gives an intimate walk through American history 1923-1967.
A MAN FROM MAINE: CYRUS CURTIS by Edward W. Bok, 1923
How the team of Cyrus H.K. Curtis and Edward Bok turned Ladies Home Journal into the first magazine to have a million subscribers and the first to carry $1 million in advertising in one issue – and then on to starting Saturday Evening Post and other magazines. Even with its age, a book (available on the Internet for low prices) that is worth the journalistic pursuit to locate.
THE MAN WHO WAS VOGUE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CONDE NAST by Caroline Seebohm, 1982
Tells how Vogue, Vanity Fair, House & Garden and Glamour brought new ideas in covers, experimental typography and design.
THE MODEL MAN: A LIFE OF EDWARD WILLIAM BOK by Hans Krabbendam, 1994
By a man from the Netherlands who felt compelled to set straight certain details, a different retelling of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Americanization of Edward Bok.
MURROW: LIFE AND TIMES by A.M. Sperber, 1986
The 795-page biography about the man featured in a highly-praised 2005 film.
NELLIE BLY by Brooke Kroeger, 1994
The first woman to report live from World War I – known as Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist, Muckracker.
A PLACE IN THE NEWS by Kay Mills, 1990
From the women’s pages to the front pages, how women progressed in journalism.
THE PULITZER DIARIES: INSIDE AMERICA’S GREATEST PRIZE by John Hohenberg, 1997
An intimate look at the Pulitzer process by the man who directed it 14 years.
THE PULITZER PRIZE by J. Douglas Bates, 1991
The inside story of America’s most prestigious award for writing, for cartoons and for photography.
A REPORTER’S LIFE by Walter Cronkite, 1997
Learn through the reporter’s own words where he was when … during the last 50 years.
RUPERT MURDOCH by Jerome Tuccille, 1989
Info about outspoken owner of Fox, metropolitan newspapers and publishing houses.
SINCERELY, ANDY ROONEY, 1999
Book of letters by famous CBS commentator.
TIME D-DAY by Time Editors (ed.), 2004
Twenty-four hours that saved the world.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 1985
His own report of his life in literature. Thick. Not a fast read, but extremely interesting.
TREASON: HOW A RUSSIAN SPY LED AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST TO A US DOUBLE AGENT by Bill Powell, 2002
Intrigue as evident by the subtitle.
UPHILL WALKERS by Madeleine Blais, 2001
Memoir of the family – as much a family story as a story about the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter.
WHO KILLED CBS? by Peter J. Boyer, 1988
The undoing of America’s number one news network.
WINNING PULITZERS by Karen Rothmyer, 1991
Fifteen first-person stories of events that led to award-winning stories.
Onward to the next 50
BY HOWARD SPANOGLE
Begin with brave reporters’ accounts from Iraq.
FRIENDLY FIRE: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF A JOURNALIST KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ by Giuliana Sgrena, 2006
Due out Oct. 1, with realities of an Italian’s capture, release and shooting.
NAKED IN BAGHDAD by Anne Garrells, 2003
A gutsy National Public Radio war correspondent reveals how she reported from the city under attack.
THE ASSASSIN’S GATE by George Packer, 2005
Lucid details show how a writer’s personal experiences changed his viewpoint.
TELL THEM I DIDN’T CRY by Jackie Spinner, 2006
A young reporter’s story of joy, loss and survival.
FIASCO by Thomas Ricks, 2006
Revealing research by a Washington Post Pentagon reporter.
THE ONE PERCENT DOCTRINE by Ron Suskind, 2006
A hard-hitting critique of counterterrorism efforts.
BY KATHY CRAGHEAD
Kathy Craghead, publications adviser at Mexico High School (Mo.), describes herself as an avid reader. She shares insights from critics about four popular books that have caught her attention.
ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN’ by Rick Bragg, 1997
In his sad, beautiful, funny and moving memoir, All Over but the Shoutin’, Rick Bragg gives us a report from the forgotten heart of “white trash” America. … Bragg is showing us a place we have not seen before, not quite like this. And he is joining an elite group of American writers who have used the literature of childhood to affect our understanding of our society, standing in the tradition of Huck and Tom, Holden Caulfield and Dorothy Allison’s Bone Boatwright… — The New York Times book review
DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: A MEMOIR OF WAR, DISASTERS, AND SURVIVAL by Anderson Cooper, 2006
HarperCollins touts the handsome, prematurely gray host of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” as the “prototype for a twenty-first century newsman.” Sadly, that statement is all too true. This brief, self-involved narrative reaffirms a troubling cultural shift in news coverage: journalists used to cover the story; now, more than ever, they are the story. Cooper is an intrepid reporter: he’s traveled to tsunami-ravaged Asia, famine-plagued Niger, war-torn Somalia and Iraq and New Orleans post-Katrina. Here, however, the plights of the people and places he visits take a backseat to the fact that Cooper is, well, there. — Publishers Weekly
THIS JUST IN: WHAT I COULDN’T TELL YOU ON TV by Bob Schieffer, 2003
[Scheiffer] offers a fascinating, and often unflattering, look at the inside workings of broadcast news. … — Austin American-Statesman
These are the tales he tells his friends … witty, entertaining, and enlightening.— USA Today (magazine)
Schieffer, veteran television journalist and moderator of “Face the Nation,” offers insights and a riveting behind-the-scene look at the news events – and the television news business itself – over the 40-plus years of his career. Schieffer recalls the moments that defined his career and shaped the nation, from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Schieffer also recalls his career trajectory from a newspaper reporter in Fort Worth, Texas, to a failed bid to replace Walter Cronkite as anchor of “CBS Evening News,” to his tenure on the respected Sunday-morning news show. — Booklist
PERSONAL HISTORY by Katharine Graham, 1997
Nothing that has been printed about Mrs. Graham (the owner of the Washington Post) is as compelling as the story she tells herself in Personal History, her riveting, moving autobiography. … The story of her journey from daughter to wife to widow to woman parallels to a surprising degree the history of women in this century. It’s also a wonderful book.— New York Times book review