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A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The glamorous, celebrity-filled memoirs of newspaperman Ben Bradlee, whose role in the Watergate scandal was immortalized in All the President's Men by Jason Robards. This is the story of how he...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

More evidence for JFK conspiracy theorists

Ben Bradlee and wife Tony lived on the same side of the same Washington, D.C. block as Senator John Kennedy, which is how they became friends with him and Jackie. After JFK's election to the Presidency, their friendship continued. He invited the Bradlees to Camp David, the family compound at Hyannis and for private dinners. At one glamorous White House function, Kennedy sat between Tony Bradlee and her sister Mary, who was also his friend. How close the two were was revealed much later. Some time after Kennedy's death, Mary was walking along a D.C. canal when she was grabbed from behind. Her assailant stuck a gun under her chin and pulled the trigger; she died instantly. Shortly after the funeral, Mary's best friend phoned Tony Bradlee, inquiring after Mary's personal diary, which she said had been promised to her. When the Bradlees went to Mary's home to locate the book, they encountered inside it the friend's husband, a CIA operative known as "The Locksmith." He said his wife had sent him to retrieve the diary. When they eventually found it, Ben and Tony were appalled to discover details in the diary of sister Mary's affair with JFK, one that lasted from early 1962 until his Nov. '63 death. They innocently handed the book over to their CIA friend, who promised to destroy it, and never at the time considered the implications of the two violent deaths and an interested CIA. This is just one of many remarkable stories in Ben Bradlee's A GOOD LIFE. From his teenaged recovery from polio, Harvard graduation, service on a WWII destroyer in the hazardous South Seas off Guadalcanal, City Editorship of a New Hampshire paper, a brief stint at the Washington Post then as a Paris-based foreign correspondent who traveled all over Europe and the Middle East, to a job as assistant to the American ambassador in Paris, to Newsweek and again the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee's "good life" was a full and eventful one, as well. A most fascinating and well-written autobiography. Highest recommendation! ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, details their investigation as Washington Post reporters under Ben Bradlee of the biggest Presidential scandal in American history, that of Watergate, which led to the resignation in disgrace of Richard Nixon.

I listened to it twice

Very terse and interesting. You'll be missing a lot if you read it, because he's a great reader. The Kennedy story is affecting, the Watergate story is actually suspenseful. One of the best audiotapes for driving.

Fascinating Man, Fascinating Life

The first thing that makes A GOOD LIFE a wonderful read is that it has been written by a wonderful writer. Luxuriating in his text, it is easy to understand how author Ben Bradlee achieved the professional successes that he had. He is most famous, of course, for having edited the WASHINGTON POST during the Watergate era. The exploits of his reporters Bernstein and Woodward have been well-chronicled in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.The next thing that makes A GOOD LIFE a wonderful read is that Bradlee not only has led the good life--his own definition--he's also led a fascinating one. By some quirk of fate, he was witness to many of the more exciting events in the second half of the 20th century, and he reports on these events in a way that will rivet his fans. His description of his World War II naval career is as good as any other war memoir that I have read, and I have read quite a few.Bradlee was lucky to lead his "good life." And reading about it makes for a fascinating experience.

Nothing short of insightful and entertaining

I first heard the name Ben Bradlee while watching "All the President's Men" in 11th grade history class. I'm a big fan of Watergate and all its intricacies, so I bought the book. It really surprised me. Being an autobiography, I wasn't expecting much, but this is truly a good book. Bradlee shares with us his life in full...his ups and downs...loves and lost loves. He also gives a more personal account of JFK. His devotion to and love for journalism is something that should be applauded...and copied. This book shows that there are some people out there who still believe in publishing good, honest news. If you want to read a good book about a great newpaperman, this is the one to read.

Well-written memoir of a journalist with integrity

Bradlee's life story is fascinating. Although he admits he was lucky, he knew how to capitalize on every opportunity. He also had tremendous integrity which is frequently not present in journalism today. The book also offers insight into two important historical events of the late 20th century: Viet Nam and Watergate. The style is easy to read.
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