The prince of darkness : 50 years reporting in Washington

by Robert D. Novak

Hardcover, 2007




New York : Crown Forum, c2007.


" In this sweeping memoir, Novak offers a full account of his involvement in the Valerie Plame CIA leak affair, while also telling the story of his remarkable life and career, a singular journey through a half century of stories, scandals, and personal encounters with Washington's most powerful and colorful people. Novak has been a Washington insider since the days when the place was a sleepy southern town and journalism was built on shoe leather and the ability to cultivate and keep sources (not to mention the ability to hold one's liquor). He has covered every president since Truman, known (personally and professionally) virtually all the big movers and shakers in DC, and broken a number of the biggest stories. Here, he puts it all into perspective. He also reveals the extraordinary transformations that have fundamentally remade Washington, politics, and journalism--and his own role in those transformations.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Chris469
"The Prince of Darkness," is absolutely outstanding. I'm a bit of a "political junkie" and this book covers the entire gamut of my own personal period of political consciousness (first recollections in childhood of the Little Rock school crisis and my folks wearing "Adlai" pins).

I discovered that my own political views have undergone a similar evolution as Mr. Novak's -- from Democrat to Republican but with a sharp rejection of the G. W. Bush/Cheney policies.

This book is marked by excellent writing and painstaking detail. Mr. Novak obviously kept very good records throughout his career. I gave copies of his book to friends for Christmas.

Just to select one of a multitude of favorite passages, I loved the story of a very intoxicated Senator Patrick Moynihan doing the "Shakespeare on Shakespeare" recitation while helping himself to drinking Attorney General Meese's glass of wine (incidentally, I like to refer to the former A.G. as "Meester Ed.")
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LibraryThing member Schmerguls
5493. The Prince of Darkness 50 Years Reporting in Washington, by Robert D. Novak (read 16 Aug 2017) The author's politics tended to be repugnant to me though in his earlier years he was more open-minded, actually voting for JFK in 1960 and for LBJ in 1964. But he became steadily more right-wing as the years went by. In his book he has seldom good words for Democrats, bashing Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, Jimmy Carter, Alan Baron, the Clintons, John Kerry, and others but he also has disdainful words for Jerry Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole.and any Republican who is not far right-wing. But I found his account full of interest, as he tells how he worked to get his column newsworthy. He was a partner of Rowland Evans for years, though he often disagreed with him and frequently makes snide remarks about him in the book, though saying admiring words at times. It is more fun to read authors I agree with but it is educative to at times see what the people who are wrong say, and I have done that at times, For instance, I read (on 20 Jan 1963) read Nixon's Six Crises So I found reading Novak consistently interesting and while certainly not scintillating prose it is journalistically well-written.… (more)



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