The kingdom and the power : behind the scenes at The New York Times : the institution that influences the world

by Gay Talese

Hardcover, 1969




New York : World Publishing, 1969


"Beautifully documented . . . no less than a landmark in the field of writing and journalism."--The Nation "Fascinating . . . Seldom has anyone been so successful in making a newspaper come alive as a human institution."--The New York Times In this century and the last, most of history's important news stories have been broken to a waiting nation by The New York Times. In The Kingdom and the Power, former Times correspondent and bestselling author Gay Talese lays bare the secret internal intrigues at the daily, revealing the stories behind the personalities, rivalries, and scopes at the most influential paper in the world. In gripping detail, Talese examines the private and public lives of the famed Ochs family, along with their direct descendants, the Sulzbergers, and their hobnobbing with presidents, kings, ambassadors, and cabinet members; the vicious struggles for power and control at the paper; and the amazing story of how a bankrupt newspaper turned itself around and grew to Olympian heights.  Regarded as a classic piece of journalism, The Kingdom and the Power is as gripping as a work of fiction and as relevant as today's headlines. Praise for The Kingdom and the Power "I know of no book about a great institution which is so detailed, so intensely personalized, or so dramatized as this volume about The New York Times."--The Christian Science Monitor "A serious and important account of one of the few genuinely powerful institutions in our society."--The New Leader "A superb study of people and power."--Women's Wear Daily… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member NewsieQ
When Adolph Ochs bought The New York Times in the 1890s, it was struggling to stay alive. He resuscitated it and made it into what many consider the finest daily newspaper in America. The Times, even to this day, is guided by a descendant of Adolph Ochs, and many other of his kin have contributed to it along the way as reporters, editors and columnists. Gay Talese brings the Ochsian era alive, and tells the story of the some of the people who made it what it is today.

City Room, Arthur Gelb’s memoir, was about those who actually produced The Times -- reporters and editors – during the period from the mid-1940s through the late-1980s. The Kingdom and the Power focuses more on those who have set the newspaper’s course from the publisher’s office – and covers the years after Ochs purchased the Times through 1969, when the book was published.

I’ve always been fascinated by books about newspapers and their people – and The Kingdom and the
Power is a classic newspaper history. The author’s writing style is far from journalistic – with long sentences and great descriptive paragraphs – and non-linear, moving back and forth in time, always coming back to a time in the 1960s when Clifton Daniel was managing editor. (Before reading this book, I had known the name Clifton Daniel only as the husband of Margaret Truman.)

The Kingdom and the Power was a fascinating read. It’s the third book I’ve read recently about The Times (City Room and Scotty were the others) and it whetted my appetite further for reading about the newspaper from other viewpoints.
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LibraryThing member nmele
Talese caught the New York Times in the late Sixties at a time of transition for it and the entire news community. His book also functions as a history of the "paper of record" from its inception up to about 1968 and is fascinating as such, but for me the real value was the account of how The Times handled change forty years ago.… (more)



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