29 July 2010

Great Reads - Katherine Graham's Personal History

Anybody contemplating writing a memoir needs to read Katherine Graham's Personal History. I almost passed on this 600+ page memoir, it seemed excessive for an autobiography....who remembers that many details of their life. Of course, most of us haven't lived a life like Mrs. Graham's. It was published during my Watergate phase, so I picked it up anyways, figuring I'd read a few chapters then skip to the WoodStein sections. Instead, I found myself captivated by the extraordinary life of this woman, from girl to Washington institution. Graham has told the story of her life as just that a story, and she's told it with an objective frankness not usually found in an autobiography. This reader found herself turning each page and wondering just exactly what was going to happen next. Don't pass this up just because you don't like memoir; I'm glad I didn't. It is well worth the time.

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