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Publisher's Summary

As seen in the new movie The Post, here is the captivating, inside story of the woman who helmed the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography

In this best-selling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story - one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling.

Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband - a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson - plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman’s union as she entered the profane boys’ club of the newspaper business.

As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted - and mastered - the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life.

©2017 Katharine Graham (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  • Kalutha
  • Everett, WA United States
  • 01-01-18

A Life Told with Honesty, Humility, and Humor.

I have been curious about this book for years, and decided to listen to it when I learned that the film about The Pentagon Papers, "The Post," would soon be released, with Meryl Streep in the role of Katharine Graham. I am glad that I learned more about this impressive woman, who was born into wealth and knew famous people all over the world, but who never came across as a snob. She seemed like a person who was truly interested in other people and deeply valued her relationships, both personal and professional. I appreciated learning about the strong values of her father, who started The Post, and how Ms. Graham carried those forward with years of hard work. She was very honest and open about her insecurities as a woman and wife, balancing her personal and work life, her husband's bipolar illness, and the struggles of being a woman in what was then a man's field. The ways she was stereotyped, vilified, and held to a double standard reminded me strongly of what Hillary Clinton has endured. This was a history lesson, particularly about the earlier days of the publishing business and how it developed as technology changed. I enjoyed hearing about the behind-the-scenes unfolding of the Pentagon Papers publication and Watergate. It turns out that she played a much larger role in deciding about the coverage of these events than was portrayed in All the President's Men. Although this was a lengthy audiobook, it kept my interest throughout. The narrator's voice is appealing, and was perfect for this book. I was dismayed, however, at a few mispronunciations, though this was not overly distracting. I hope that younger women in particular will listen to this book in order to gain a greater appreciation of what woman in previous generations had to deal with in the workplace, though I believe that this book has appeal for a wide audience.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Well read fascinating story of a life well lead.

The span of years and experiences kept me listening. lots of detail, but not uninteresting. So very glad Kaye Graham exists and wrote about her life.

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Great but without perspective

Amazing woman, amazing book. Her complete ignorance of her entitlement in various passages is really painful to listen to. Things like taking hours to prepare for a party for president when there was a whole team of people who are actually doing all the work. Still the description of those years of politics and some of the amazing things she accomplished are worthy a lot of respect and she’s a lot more honest about her mistakes than any man would ever be.

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A great piece of history and well told!

So well written with absorbing details of what she was feeling and thinking as Kay Graham was living and influencing US history at its core in DC.