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Reporter : a memoir / Seymour M. Hersh.

By: Hersh, Seymour M.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Vintage Books, 2019Copyright date: ©2018Description: 355 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780307276612 (paperback).Subject(s): Hersh, Seymour M | Journalism -- United States | Journalists -- BiographyGenre/Form: Biographies.DDC classification: 070.92 | B Summary: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author and preeminent investigative journalist of our time, a heartfelt, hugely revealing memoir of a career breaking some of the most significant stories of the last half-century. Seymour Hersh's fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page by lines in virtually every major newspaper in the English-speaking world, honours galore, and no small amount of controversy. In this memoir he describes what drove him and how, even when working for some of the US's most prestigious publications, he worked as an independent outsider. Here, he tells the stories behind his own ground breaking stories as he chases leads, cultivates sources, and grapples with the weight of what he uncovers, daring to challenge official narratives handed down from the powers that be. In telling these stories, Hersh divulges previously unreported information about some of his biggest scoops, including the My Lai massacre and the horrors at Abu Ghraib. This is essential reading on the power of the printed word at a time when good journalism is under fire as never before.
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Biographies B HER Checked out 25/09/2020

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

" Reporter is just wonderful. Truly a great life, and what shines out of the book, amid the low cunning and tireless legwork, is Hersh's warmth and humanity. This book is essential reading for every journalist and aspiring journalist the world over." --John le Carré

"A master class in the craft of reporting." --Alan Rusbridger, The New York Times Book Review

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author and preeminent investigative journalist of our time -- a heartfelt, hugely revealing memoir of a decades-long career breaking some of the most impactful stories of the last half-century, from Washington to Vietnam to the Middle East.

Seymour Hersh's fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page bylines in virtually every major newspaper in the free world, honors galore, and no small amount of controversy. Now in this memoir he describes what drove him and how he worked as an independent outsider, even at the nation's most prestigious publications. He tells the stories behind the stories -- riveting in their own right -- as he chases leads, cultivates sources, and grapples with the weight of what he uncovers, daring to challenge official narratives handed down from the powers that be. In telling these stories, Hersh divulges previously unreported information about some of his biggest scoops, including the My Lai massacre and the horrors at Abu Ghraib. There are also illuminating recollections of some of the giants of American politics and journalism: Ben Bradlee, A. M. Rosenthal, David Remnick, and Henry Kissinger among them. This is essential reading on the power of the printed word at a time when good journalism is under fire as never before.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author and preeminent investigative journalist of our time, a heartfelt, hugely revealing memoir of a career breaking some of the most significant stories of the last half-century. Seymour Hersh's fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page by lines in virtually every major newspaper in the English-speaking world, honours galore, and no small amount of controversy. In this memoir he describes what drove him and how, even when working for some of the US's most prestigious publications, he worked as an independent outsider. Here, he tells the stories behind his own ground breaking stories as he chases leads, cultivates sources, and grapples with the weight of what he uncovers, daring to challenge official narratives handed down from the powers that be. In telling these stories, Hersh divulges previously unreported information about some of his biggest scoops, including the My Lai massacre and the horrors at Abu Ghraib. This is essential reading on the power of the printed word at a time when good journalism is under fire as never before.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction (p. 3)
  • 1 Getting Started (p. 7)
  • 2 City News (p. 17)
  • 3 Interludes (p. 23)
  • 4 Chicago and the AP (p. 34)
  • 5 Washington, At Last (p. 45)
  • 6 Bugs and a Book (p. 63)
  • 7 A Presidential Campaign (p. 69)
  • 8 Going After the Biologicals (p. 90)
  • 9 Finding Calley (p. 101)
  • 10 A National Disgrace (p. 120)
  • 11 To The New Yorker (p. 139)
  • 12 Finally There (p. 158)
  • 13 Watergate, and Much More (p. 176)
  • 14 Me and Henry (p. 185)
  • 15 The Big One (p. 207)
  • 16 Off to New York (p. 223)
  • 17 Kissinger, Again, and Beyond (p. 250)
  • 18 A New Yorker Reprise (p. 271)
  • 19 America's War on Terror (p. 298)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 335)
  • Index (p. 337)

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Introduction I am a survivor from the golden age of journalism, when reporters for daily newspapers did not have to compete with the twenty-four-hour cable news cycle, when newspapers were flush with cash from display advertisements and want ads, and when I was free to travel anywhere, anytime, for any reason, with company credit cards. There was sufficient time for reporting on a breaking news story without having to constantly relay what was being learned on the newspaper's web page. There were no televised panels of "experts" and journalists on cable TV who began every answer to every question with the two deadliest words in the media world--"I think." We are sodden with fake news, hyped-up and incomplete information, and false assertions delivered nonstop by our daily newspapers, our televisions, our online news agencies, our social media, and our President. Yes, it's a mess. And there is no magic bullet, no savior in sight for the serious media. The mainstream newspapers, magazines, and television networks will continue to lay off reporters, reduce staff, and squeeze the funds available for good reporting, and especially for investigative reporting, with its high cost, unpredictable results, and its capacity for angering readers and attracting expensive lawsuits. The newspapers of today far too often rush into print with stories that are essentially little more than tips, or hints of something toxic or criminal. For lack of time, money, or skilled staff, we are besieged with "he said, she said" stories in which the reporter is little more than a parrot. I always thought it was a newspaper's mission to search out the truth and not merely to report on the dispute. Was there a war crime? The newspapers now rely on a negotiated United Nations report that comes, at best, months later to tell us. And have the media made any significant effort to explain why a UN report is not considered to be the last word by many throughout the world? Is there much critical reporting at all about the UN? Do I dare ask about the war in Yemen? Or why Donald Trump took Sudan off his travel ban list? (The leadership in Khartoum sent troops to fight in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia.) My career has been all about the importance of telling important and unwanted truths and making America a more knowledgeable place. I was not alone in making a difference; think of David Halberstam, Charley Mohr, Ward Just, Neil Sheehan, Morley Safer, and dozens of other first-rate journalists who did so much to enlighten us about the seamy side of the Vietnam War. I know it would not be possible for me to be as freewheeling in today's newspaper world as it was until a decade ago, when the money crunch began. I vividly remember the day when David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, called in 2011 to ask if I could do an interview with an important source by telephone rather than fly three thousand miles to do one in person. David, who did everything possible to support my reporting on the Abu Ghraib prison horror in 2004--he paid dearly to enable me to publish reporting pieces in three consecutive issues--made his plea to me in what I thought was a pained, embarrassed voice, almost a whisper. Where are the tough stories today about America's continuing Special Forces operations and the never-ending political divide in the Middle East, Central America, and Africa? Abuses surely continue-- war is always hell--but today's newspapers and networks simply cannot afford to keep correspondents in the field, and those that do-- essentially The New York Times, where I worked happily for eight years in the 1970s, constantly making trouble--are not able to finance the long-term reporting that is needed to get deeply into the corruption of the military or intelligence world. As you will read herein, I spent two years before I was able to learn what I needed to report on the CIA's illegal domestic spying in the 1960s and 1970s. I do not pretend to have an answer to the problems of our media today. Should the federal government underwrite the media, as England does with the BBC? Ask Donald Trump about that. Should there be a few national newspapers financed by the public? If so, who would be eligible to buy shares in the venture? This is clearly the time to renew the debate on how to go forward. I had believed for years that all would work out, that the failing American newspapers would be supplanted by blogs, online news collectives, and weekly newspapers that would fill in the blanks on local reporting as well as on international and national news, but, despite a few successes--VICE, BuzzFeed, Politico, and Truthout come to mind--it isn't happening; as a result, the media, like the nation, are more partisan and strident. So, consider this memoir for what it is: an account of a guy who came from the Midwest, began his career as a copyboy for a small agency that covered crime, fires, and the courts there, and eleven years later, as a freelance reporter in Washington working for a small antiwar news agency, was sticking two fingers in the eye of a sitting president by telling about a horrific American massacre, and being rewarded for it. You do not have to tell me about the wonder, and the potential, of America. Perhaps that's why it's very painful to think I might not have accomplished what I did if I were at work in the chaotic and unstructured journalism world of today. Of course I'm still trying. Excerpted from Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour M. Hersh All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Recounting the story behind the story, running on conviction and sheer stubbornness, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hersh's investigation of the 1968 My Lai massacre of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops in South Vietnam and the case against army officer William Calley Jr. often reads like a case study in how to write a political thriller. Between racing through military training camps, hand-copying files, and fighting skeptics, Hersh's account reveals the level of persistence that drives award-winning journalism. Going beyond the business of news, Hersh offers an insider look at Washington politics, recounting the people (Kissinger, Nixon) and events (Vietnam, Watergate) that put his stories on the front page, ending with a review of the War on Terror and reporting post-9/11. As Hersh notes, he is a "survivor from the golden age of journalism." VERDICT A fascinating look at an era when quality reporting was the result of will and determination (and knowing the right contacts). An excellent choice for readers interested in late 20th-century politics.-Gricel Dominguez, Florida International Univ. Lib., Miami © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Morey, with his mature and confident voice, is a convincing stand-in for journalist Hersh in the audio edition of Hersh's memoir. The book recounts Hersh's storied career as an investigative reporter, from his Pulitzer-winning report on the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American troops at My Lai, up through more recent exposés, including that of the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib military prison. Morey's vocal delivery has the perfect tone and timbre to tell Hersh's story. His reading conveys Hersh with conviction as he recounts how the reporter doggedly follows lead after lead in his efforts to get to the truth of a story. Morey's skillful narration of Hersh's life makes for an excellent listening experience. A Knopf hardcover. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Perhaps he had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Perhaps it was his reporter's well-honed instinct for a great story. Whatever the reason, Hersh became a pioneer in the field of investigative journalism, garnering a reputation for uncompromising adherence to truth and tireless quest for accountability in the often duplicitous realms of national security and politics. Hersh's persistent reporting peeled back the veneers masking some of the most controversial issues of our time, from the Vietnam War massacre at My Lai to the Iraq War military atrocities at Abu Ghraib. In this candid and revelatory memoir, Hersh chronicles his evolution as a reporter in both style and substance, focusing on his dogged pursuit of leads, nuanced cultivation of reliable resources, and often fraught relationship with editors, colleagues, and critics. Compared to the contemporary field of blogs, bots, and opinion-driven reportage, the last half of the twentieth-century can look like the heyday of honest and critical journalism. But Hersh remains at the vanguard of tenacious and purposeful writers who speak truth to power, and surely he's inspiring the best at work now. Journalism junkies will devour this insider's account of a distinguished career.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

One of the most skilled investigative journalists in American history shares his saga in compelling detail.Hersh (The Killing of Osama bin Laden, 2016, etc.), who has won seemingly every major literary award and is often portrayed as gruffly relentless, shows his charming side as he recounts his Chicago childhood with a small-businessman father, a quietly supportive mother, and three siblingsa twin brother and twin sisters. A quick learner with a restless curiosity, Hersh began and abandoned several career paths while attending college. He slipped into a low-paying, unglamorous journalism job in Chicago, departed and returned to that career path several times, and then needed to figure out what to do after completing "six months as a grunt in the U.S. Army," which "was not a transformative experience." The city boy became a rural journalist in South Dakota, where his reporting initiative led to a book about controversial chemical and biological weapons, freelance investigative exposs about massacres of Vietnamese civilians by American troops (reporting that led to his Pulitzer Prize in 1970), and, in 1972, a position at the New York Times as a reporter with the Washington bureau. Hersh takes readers behind the scenes as he exposes corrupt U.S. foreign policy, Defense Department bumbling in numerous wars, political coverups during Watergate, private sector corporate scandals, and torture tactics used by the U.S. government against alleged terrorists after 9/11. The author shares insightful (and sometimes searing) anecdotes about fellow journalists, presidents and their cronies, military generals, and numerous celebrities. Readers interested in a primer about investigative techniques will find Hersh a generous teacher. He explains why he tends to be a loner, zigging when other journalists are zagging. Hersh discloses little about his wife and children, but otherwise, candor is the driving force in this outstanding book.Rarely has a journalist's memoir come together so well, with admirable measures of self-deprecation, transparent pride, readable prose style, and honesty. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.