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Editor’s Choice

June 2024
1min read


Peter Andrews, whose history of American newspapering anchors this month’s issue, recommends an entertaining study by Stephen Bates, who wrote the accompanying piece on the Hutchins Commission: If No News, Send Rumors: Anecdotes of American Journalism (Henry Holt, 318 pages, $12.95 soft cover, CODE: HHC-3 ).

Edward Sorel, who illustrated the newspaper story, has for years collaborated with his wife, Nancy Caldwell Sorel, to create a highly popular series in The Atlantic Monthly called “First Encounters.” Now it has become a very handsome, wholly engaging book chronicling sixty-five actual first meetings: an anxious Scott Fitzgerald shows off for Edith Wharton; the young Fats Waller goes at gunpoint to Al Capone’s birthday party; Sarah Bernhardt collapses in Thomas Edison’s arms; William Randolph Hearst gives Orson Welles the cold shoulder . . . ( First Encounters: A Book of Memorable Meetings , Knopf, 144 pages, $24.00, CODE: RAN-23 ).

In his column “The Life and Times” Geoffrey C. Ward reviews No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt—The Homefront in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, 768 pages, $30.00, CODE: SAS-9 ), which follows the years from 1940 to 1945.

As Ward explains in another article in this issue, his newest collaboration with the filmmaker Ken Burns has produced both an epic-length PBS film on the history of baseball and a richly illustrated companion volume, Baseball: An Illustrated History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Knopf, 468 pages, $60.00, CODE: RAN-24 ). The game’s stars and rogues—from King Kelly to Babe Ruth to Roger Clemens—make the contentions of baseball’s modern era seem tame by comparison.

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