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Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, Journalism's Legendary Editor

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
“I hope we’re as good friends when you finish your book as we are now,” Ben Bradlee, the legendary former executive editor of The Washington Post, told Jeff Himmelman in March 2010. “But I don’t give a [expletive deleted] what you write about me.”

So begins Ben, an intimate portrait of a fixture on the American scene for nearly half a century—close friend to John F. Kenne
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2012)
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Patrick Nichol
Jun 16, 2012 Patrick Nichol rated it it was amazing
Like many people, my perception of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee comes from Jason Robards' Oscar-winning performance in All The President's Men.
Jeff Himmelman deftly contrasts that view with the very-real personality conflicts between Bradlee and his top editors during the Watergate coverage.
He points out that Managing Editor Howard Simons'close friendship with Bradlee disintegrated following the movie, which marginalized Simons' critical role in managing carl Bernstein and Bob Wo
Jerry Delaney
Aug 21, 2012 Jerry Delaney rated it liked it
I received this book from the publisher as a Goodread's giveaway and before it arrived I read an article that was critical of the author for betraying friendships. Neither one of those circumstances should have any effect on my evaluation of the book, but they do, at least a little bit. I started the book a little prejudiced against the author, anticipating the parts that I might find unethical. At the same time the book was free, a gift. It's harder to criticize a gift. I tried to ignore what w ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Marion rated it liked it
"Yours in Truth" covers the career of Ben Bradlee, the legendary executive editor of the Washington Post. The span of Bradlee's career, which included the high of Watergate as well as the low of a scandal at the Post which occurred years later, provides a veritable seesaw of journalistic drama. Added to the mix are Bradlee's status in D.C. social circles, his complex personal life, his close friendship with JFK and Jackie, his professional dealings with reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, ...more
John Otto
Jul 07, 2012 John Otto rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Jeff Himmelman has raised a mini-storm in Washington and New York among the journalistic elites who can't believe he betrayed the two great icons of modern journalism, Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward by writing the truth. No one has claimed that Himmelman fudged the facts, only that he should have protected Bradlee (and Bradlee's wife, Sally Quinn) and Woodward by not including things that might make them look bad.

None of what Himmelman wrote is actually that negative about the great gods of journa
Mike Carey
Aug 16, 2012 Mike Carey rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. I loved the way it was written; very personal, rich in source material ( the author had access to boxes and boxes of Ben Bradlee's private correspondence) and was a house guest for months, which gave him another rare view of the subject.
Apparently the author, Jeff Himmelman has ruffled some feathers with some of the details that he provides in this book. Ben Bradlee was nothing if not a "truth teller" and encouraged Himmelman to go where the information took him.
Jul 19, 2012 LAWonder10 rated it it was ok
I want to thank those of Random House who donate books to giveaways. I am sincere in this.
I love biographies of interesting and great individuals. However this was not one of them.
If Ben Bradlee was such a great Journalist, why is his vocabulary so limited that he had to very frequently resort to profanity to express himself.
He was such a negative reporter! He seemed to degrade everyone and everything he could.
He couldn't speak civilly to many of those he responded to. True greatness gets the jo
First, I'll admit I did not know who Ben Bradlee was when I entered this giveaway. However, biographies and memoirs are my favorite genre of books. Himmelman's presentation of this prestigious, personable Washington Post Editor was certainly no disappointment. It was thrilling to get the underlying "scoop" about politics and Washington DC activities from such a knowledgable source. This culmination of Bradlee's professional life was well-documented with a variety of material types including inte ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Katherine rated it really liked it
Biographies often have a way of being very dry, but not Yours In Truth. Perhaps because the author inserts himself into the life of Bradlee, it reads more like a memoir and engages. I am not sure if that's because I've met many of the characters or that Watergate is still a relatively new subject for me since I was born after it happened. But this is a very, very well-written book.
I am not sure if as much length should have gone into what was being written. The controversy surrounding the book s
Jun 30, 2012 Kelley rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a long, tough read for me, not because the book was poorly written, but because I don't have enough background knowledge of Watergate or the Janet Cooke scandal. I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway and I'm very glad that I did. I found Ben Bradlee's life as editor of the Washington Post interesting and informative. I was a small child when Watergate happened; I clearly remember Nixon's wave from the door of the plane, but that's really all I remember. Because of this, I had a diffic ...more
Hank Stuever
Jul 05, 2013 Hank Stuever rated it really liked it
I have to say, as someone who has worked at the Washington Post for 14 years and counting, it sometimes feels like it's impossible to get out from under the legend and events recounted in this book. (My proximity to the people and dramas in "Yours in Truth" is minimal; I live and work several layers down from this part of the atmosphere.)

Curiosity pulled me in anyhow and I was pleasantly surprised by the honest and seeking nature of this book, the way it pulls back, the way the reader gets to d
Oct 26, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
This book, in combination with Bradlee's autobiography " A Good Life", provided me with a kind of reading experience that I particularly relish: the Rashomon-like ability to view certain events from more than one viewpoint. (Note: my first such experience was provided by a laudatory Ben Franklin bio and a muckraking one. Ooh, Ben, we hardly knew ye!)

Bradlee himself was quite forthcoming in a warts-and-all fashion; Himmelman gives us some extra information and some different emphases that expand
Mike McAdam
Jun 12, 2015 Mike McAdam rated it it was amazing
*I received this book free through a goodreads giveaway*

A long time ago. Not sure why I waited so long to read this book. I loved it! A fascinating portrait of Ben Bradlee and the Washington Post and what he went through over decades as editor. The Watergate time was fascinating. The Janet Cooke issue was fascinating. This is all a little bit before my time so it was kind of new to me (but not totally - I have seen All the President's Men). Very interesting man. My only gripe is that I thought t
Jul 15, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Although not a biography in the strictest sense of the word, this book does cover the most important events in Bradlee's professional life (i.e., the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and the Janet Cooke scandal) as well as his relationships with Katherine Graham, Woodward and Berstein, President and Mrs. Kennedy, and his third wife, Sally Quinn. I've been interested in Mr. Bradlee since seeing "All the President's Men" years ago - so if you're a fan of that movie, Watergate in general, journalism, or ...more
Greg Howard
Feb 16, 2015 Greg Howard rated it really liked it
I didn't think I could like a biography where the author is so clearly in awe of the subject. But this is probably my favorite book I've read this year. To start, Bradlee is one of the most interesting people you could write about, and his time at the Post is full of good episodes. He's easily quotable and there's lots of dialogue. But Himmelman doesn't pull his punches either, especially with Bob Woodward and Sally Quinn. So the book ends up being part conversation, part investigation, and part ...more
Carol Hassett
Jul 09, 2012 Carol Hassett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This was one of the free books I received thru Goodreads from Random House. I enjoy biographies but they are usually the type of books you can put down and get back to when you are in the mood. Surprisingly this book was one I couldn't stop reading. Bravo to Jeff Himmelman for giving us an
honest view of Ben Bradless and his history with the Washington Post. Having lived thru Watergate
and having watched it on television day after day it brought back a lot of memories. Best line in the book "The t
Sana Pirzada
Apr 26, 2014 Sana Pirzada rated it really liked it
Crystal Clifton
Jun 23, 2012 Crystal Clifton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I know this is going to sound crazy but I had no idea who Ben Bradlee was until I called my mom and asked. Once I got into the book I realized I did know who he was as the editor of The Washington Post and legendary journalist. This is an amazing account of his life and journeys within I am sending this book to my mom so she can read it also. I learned a lot about his personality and his I don't care what people think about me attitude. I won this copy here on Goodreads.
Jun 08, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: firstreads
I won this book through firstreads. I really wanted to read this book about Ben Bradlee because my son has the same syndrome (VCFS) as Mr. Bradlee's son, Quinn, has. However, I became facinated with learning about Watergate and Ben's life. This was also an interesting read because of all the insight about Mr. Bradlee through correspondence to and from him. I've also read Quinn Bradlee's book written by the same author and I really loved it as well.
Miriam Kalman Friedman
So far I love this book about Ben Bradlee. It captures the history of his time, and his amazingly powerful personality. Best of all, it's a unique narrative for a biography, incorporating the author's process, his relationship with Brandlee, and the story itself. I recommend for people who love biography, journalism, and memoir.
Maureen Flatley
Aug 12, 2012 Maureen Flatley rated it really liked it
A much more balanced view of Ben Bradlee than I was expecting and one that might surprise some family members who were expecting the worst. It tells the story of an important and groundbreaking time in journalism and of a man who had much to do w/ revolutionizing reporting and the newspaper business.
Jul 29, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
I won Yours In Truth on Goodreads first read giveaways and enjoy Jeff Himmelman look at Ben Bradlee
life,from the highs of Watergate, to the lows of Jimmy'S World. Mr. Himmelman shows us how Bradlee
is just human after all and how he was able to recover and keep the truth coming.
A good summer read.
Lynn Barth
Aug 29, 2012 Lynn Barth rated it really liked it
When I come back in my next life, I want to be Ben Bradlee. If you just collected his quotes from this book, you'd have words to live by. Very balanced book. Wonderful views of Katharine Graham. Great perspectives on Watergate from the inside of the Post. Really enjoyable reading!
John Lum
Mar 16, 2013 John Lum rated it it was amazing
Well worth reading just for the copies of Bradlee's personal letters that are sprinkled throughout the book: "Dear Asshole," etc. I love this guy--so crazily honest! Also has a pretty compelling juxtaposition of the Watergate story and the "Jimmy's World" debacle.
Destiny Esper
Jul 17, 2012 Destiny Esper rated it liked it
I won this book from a FirstReads giveaway.

As a journalist and media-savvy reader, I expected a bit more from this book. After all, Bradlee is a legend. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

It moves kind of slow at points.
A biography of Ben Bradlee and his time at the Washington Post. Highlighting the Watergate stories from documents filed away for years. This author had Ben Bradlee's permission to go through everything. Warts and all
Jul 25, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it
The book appears very well researched and is a good read. The author does a very good job bringing insight to newspaper icon behind many of greatest news stories of the late 20th century.
Glenn Harris
Aug 23, 2012 Glenn Harris rated it really liked it
An interesting and well-written "personal" view of Ben Bradlee. Also a fascinating documentation of hero-worship progressively leavened by disappointment--or at least reality.
Jul 15, 2012 Albert rated it liked it
A really interesting book about Ben Bradlee. It was really interesting to read about the Watergate scandel. Recommended.

First Reads Giveaway receipient.
Oct 06, 2013 Carissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So readable and enjoyable. Maybe it's because I went to j-school, but I ate the whole thing up with a spoon and was sorry when it ended.
David Bonbright
Nov 03, 2013 David Bonbright rated it it was amazing
Brilliant investigative biography. Original. Thoughtful. As interesting a book as i the topics it covers biographically.
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