Ronald Kidd - March 4, 2022

Capsule Reviews

Before Watergate

Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom
by Carl Bernstein

Are you interested in the heyday of the newspaper business? in the guy who, with Bob Woodward, went on to break the Watergate scandal? in a fascinating and hilarious coming-of-age story? Then read Chasing History, the first of what surely will be a series of memoirs by Carl Bernstein.

Bernstein ditched high school and dove into the busy newsroom of the Washington Star, at that time the best newspaper in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He inhaled every aspect of the paper from the crime beat to the press room, in the process developing a lean, no-nonsense writing style that is on display in this beautifully crafted story.

It was his good fortune (and ours) that the time period covered in this volume, 1960-66, included some of the most important and dramatic events of the twentieth century, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK’s assassination, the Vietnam War, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Bernstein was on journalism’s front lines for them all.

When the book ends, Watergate is six years in the future, but Carl Bernstein’s place in the world of newspapers has been carved out, and the chase has begun.

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