Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom - book cover
Leaders & Notable People
  • Publisher : Henry Holt and Co.
  • Published : 11 Jan 2022
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN-10 : 1627791507
  • ISBN-13 : 9781627791502
  • Language : English

Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom

In this triumphant memoir, Carl Bernstein, the Pulitzer Prize-winning coauthor of All the President's Men and pioneer of investigative journalism, recalls his beginnings as an audacious teenage newspaper reporter in the nation's capital―a winning tale of scrapes, gumshoeing, and American bedlam.

In 1960, Bernstein was just a sixteen-year-old at considerable risk of failing to graduate high school. Inquisitive, self-taught―and, yes, truant―Bernstein landed a job as a copyboy at the Evening Star, the afternoon paper in Washington. By nineteen, he was a reporter there.

In Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom, Bernstein recalls the origins of his storied journalistic career as he chronicles the Kennedy era, the swelling civil rights movement, and a slew of grisly crimes. He spins a buoyant, frenetic account of educating himself in what Bob Woodward describes as "the genius of perpetual engagement."

Funny and exhilarating, poignant and frank, Chasing History is an extraordinary memoir of life on the cusp of adulthood for a determined young man with a dogged commitment to the truth.

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Editors' Pick: Biographies and Memoirs

"A self-contained, beautifully written, powerfully remembered, charmingly honest account of the lower rungs of an already-changing business."
David Von Drehle, The Washington Post

"His career spans the profession's best of times and the worst, though the story he tells in Chasing History evokes only the happy days. . . . Carl Bernstein's book, which is ultimately a eulogy for print newspapers, is a passionate reminder of exactly what is being lost."
―Jill Abramson, The New York Times Review of Books

"[A] charming new memoir. . . . This is a book chiefly distinguished by nostalgia and warmth."
―Thomas Mallon, The Wall Street Journal

"His picture of life on the Star is both vivid and elegiac. He captures the frantic rhythms of a big newspaper and its multiple editions―the first published at 11am, the last after Wall Street's close―and the craft of the men and (still relatively few) women who made it all happen."
―The Economist

"Chasing History is the brilliantly crafted personal story of Carl Bernstein's self-education as one of the great reporters of all time. He taught himself the genius of perpetual engagement that led us to Watergate―watching, looking, questioning, and overwhelming the moment. His rules―go anywhere, listen hard, push and push some more―are, to this day, the touchstone in investigative reporting."
Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of 14 #1 New York Times best-selling books

"I loved getting to know the teenage Carl Bernstein, a smart and spirited kid who happened upon the best seat in the country at an extraordinary moment in our national life. The reader marvels as Bernstein, equipped with infinite curiosity and grit, goes from copyboy to newsman, from chasing history to making it."
―Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times #1 bestselling author

"Engaging and vivid, this memoir of the beginning of Carl Bernstein's journalistic journey is a welcome reminder of how important the press is, and how much fun it used to be. Reading it I was put in the mind of Russell Baker―always a good thing. A terrific read!"
Jon Meacham, #1 New York Times bestselling author of His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

"Carl Bernstein's Chasing History is an irresistible, beautifully written memoir, not just of Carl's own coming of age but also of the nation's capital at a time of momentous social and cultural change. The book spans the period exactly 100 years after the Civil War years, and the epic struggle for racial just...

Readers Top Reviews

J. KingLulu
This book is worse than Russian Collusion, various impeachments, Covid 19, the Insurrection, dehumanizing immigrants, and Trump's hairstyle.
Ann M. RhodesDebmiss
Be aware that this only covers the early years of his career. In nauseating detail. The interesting material, such as coverage of Watergate and Nixon, is alluded to once or twice, but not addressed.
CydPaige Mitchell
Chasing History… Is a wonderful tale of living and growing up in this country in a time when media mattered, and the written word was more than a sound bite or a twitter post. America was not perfect, but we had ideals. John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King. The civil rights movement. The March on Washington. Now we are fighting to keep our fair elections. Fight climate change. I hope more young people will read this book. Carl Bernstein has carved his place in not only chasing history but becoming history itself. He is saving himself from a failing lost teenager to honing what skills he does have to matter. To tell the truth. To get to the truth. Not retweet misinformation or conspiracy’s The book is visual in its story telling and makes me wistful for a time before it all went to hell with social media and fox news. The news was something to believe not attack. God Help us and the future of democracy. Its nice to be reminded we were once… The United States of America, Not the divided States.
M. Oberman
Carl and my brother Ron were the same age and best friends. In all fairness, this book is a great trip down memory lane for me. Carl started at the Evening Star as a copyboy at age sixteen in 1960...I started as a copyboy at the same newspaper in 1963. Reading Carl’s descriptions of the newsroom, the reporters, editors, flooded my mind with memories that were vividly brought back to life by Carl’s command of writing. Just looking at the index first...I knew I wouldn’t be able to put the book down.

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