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My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times
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My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In My Paper Chase, Harold Evans recounts the wild and wonderful tale of newspapering life. His story stretches from the 1930s to his service in WWII, through towns big and off the map. He discusses his passion for the crusading style of reportage he championed, his clashes with Rupert Murdoch, and his struggle to use journalism to better the lives of those less fortunate. ...more
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Published November 5th 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2009)
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Gaby
Harold Evans' My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times appears a bit intimidating at first, if only because of the breadth, depth, and heft of it. But Harold Evans' writing flows, I found myself thoroughly engrossed. Born in 1928 from working class parents, Evans became a reporter at sixteen. His natural ability, drive, tenacity, and nose for a good story led him not just to excel in his field but to take on unrecognized and unpopular causes and to sway public opinion. One of the book's gr ...more
judy
It's tricky to rate this book. Evans is an editorial legend in journalistic and literary circles so, of course, he can write. He started in newspapers in hot type days and worked his way from small dailies in Northern England to editor of the Sunday and London Times. This is the bulk of the story. Although he came to the US around 1981 and became the publisher of Random House et. al., his time on this side of the pond is neglected. Bottom line--unless you're a journalist, very familiar with Brit ...more
Rebecca
I really need to stop picking up huge autobio tombs. While this book had many many many pages, at least the font was huge and the way the author wrote his story was very much like Chris Plummer, so the story flew. Man grew up in the UK to become editor of the countries biggest new papers and how things have changed since then. He lives in New York now (of course) and works for online media and oh how the times have changed! He talked a bit about his personal life as a child and his parents, but ...more
Cynthia
An amazing guy who presents his life story with grace and brevity and humility. I felt like I learned a lot about the newspaper industry that I can actually apply to my own job at my little dinky weekly community newspaper. I learned a lot about history and people (fascinating description of his complex relationship with Rupert Murdoch, and also an eyewitness description of the famous confrontation with the unions at Wapping, one of the all-time great journalism war stories). He dealt also with ...more
Bridget
I'm a huge fan of memoirs. I love to read about someone else's life. My Paper Chase tells the story of Howard Evans who ran a newspaper and the struggles he faced daily. He charged on even when there was a chance that the newspaper would lose it's place in the world.

This was a very interesting book that allows you to look back in time and understand that nothing comes easy and everything has a price.
Christy Stewart
A book about a man I don't know, a world I don't know, and an age I don't know; so, needless to say it was all news to me. Interesting book, even to one such as I who isn't interested in journalism. The problem was the book wasn't written like a story, or written like one was telling a story, but more like commentary on a story.
Susan
I recall Harold Evans from his early days on Granada TV and always found him so likeable. This memoir is impressive, taking us from growing up in Manchester (with a very obvious high regard for his hard working mother and father, an engine driver), his first job as a rookie reporter, first editorship on the "Northern Echo" in Darlington and his move to London on "The Times" and Sunday Times". This is a very detailed read, recounting issues such as the campaign to get compensation for thalidomide ...more
Kari
Journalist Harold Evans' memoir My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times sat on my bookshelf waiting to be read for months. And I've been mulling over its review for almost as long (meaning a few days). At first glance, this looks like an intimidating read—600 pages about journalism by a journalist...OH BOY. You think, "Is this going to put me to sleep? Is it going to be a political rant? Or is Evans just gonna ramble his way through the decades?" And if he sucks at writing, you might as w ...more
Kerry
After studying and working in journalism and media the last decade or so, this seemed to have a natural allure for me. If anything to see from the other side of the glass. In this day and age we're all becoming vastly more aware that the art of journalism has become cheapened. A mere battle of who releases it first, not with the truth and integrity of the story being at the forefront.

So, I pick this book up Mr. Evans with the hopes that you can remind me of what journalism at least was if its no
...more
Nina
My Paper Chase is a fascinating read. Evans’ rich detail provides the back-story to many of the key international events of the 20th century. His book is far more than a memoir; it is a chronicle of the evolution of journalism depicted through the lens of his career.

The era of handset metal type and stories filed without the aid of cell phones and computers comes alive through Evans’ skillful narration. He is a consummate storyteller who gives enough background to provide context, yet the book
...more
S2 Mc
Rags to riches story of British journalist who went from editing major paper in the UK to publications, including Random House, in the U.S. Insight into the Philby spy case, labor unions' perfidy, and changes in UK laws regarding journalism important role in uncovering real storylines when incidents become court cases. Liberal-leaning subject but principled journalist in keeping with ethics and guiding role of the press.
Lisa
FANTASTIC! This was one of the best books that I've ever read. It starts off slowly, but when Evans becomes editor of The Sunday Times, it becomes fasinating. This is because Evans tells the inside story of the thalidomide scoop, the story of Philby and Blunt, the fight at Wapping with the print unions, and his opinion of Rupert Murdoch. Even his love story with the brilliant Tina Brown was moving and beautifully recounted.

I also liked his excellent defence of the freedom of the press. This impo
...more
Tiffany
I really wanted to like this book but I had a hard time getting into it. I'm not sure if it was too historical or political or just talked about stuff that I don't really know anything about. I felt like there were a lot of references that had I known more about world or British history I would have gotten a lot more out of it. Harold Evans is a good writer but the book seemed to jump around too much to stick to any sort of cohesive story. I made it half way through in three months and decided t ...more
Christine
It was no surprise that a journalist and newspaper editor would write a fine book.

I liked the first half of the autobiography best, in which Evans describes his home life, struggles in wartime Britian, his battle to gain a university education and his rising career in newspapers. Many fascinating insights are given to the role of journalism in exposing such scandals as the treatment of thalidomide victims. Although the writing has plenty of pace, the book is dense with facts, names and dates to
...more
Converse
Memoir of a north English man from the working class who became London Times editor and now runs Random House. Married to Tina Brown. Evans began his career as a journalist during the Second World War. Shortly after the war, he was old enough to be drafted into the Royal Air Force. This military service allowed him the financial aid to attend university; but finding one that would let him in was a problem, as the high school (in American terms) he attended (due to results from a test he took at ...more
Adrian
Is there any life like it? Evans has spent better than fifty years of his life making newspapers and books. He was always after the main chance. His career really begins when he wangles a scholarship that leads to an insightful trip through the US in the early 50s and it ends as an editor at Random House. But the best parts are his years leading the Sunday Times Insight Team in the 60s and 70s. In the best tradition of crusader journalism the IT secured a pardon for wrongly executed Timothy Evan ...more
Janice  Durante
With newspapers threatened by decreased ad revenue, this is the perfect time to ponder their value in a democracy and in the world. Harold Evans has written a personal and often fascinating memoir, recounting his working-class childhood and his eventual climb to editor of both the famous Sunday Times and The Times of London. Why does hard-hitting, investigative journalism matter? Consider the crucial nature of cases cracked by reporters at those papers: from spy scandals to the true cause of one ...more
Catherine Woodman
I did not love this book, even though I wanted to. he is one of the legendary editors of a newspaper--a hero of his time, and belonging to a bygone era--and maybe what I should have done is read his book about that--but instead, in this one, he throws in his divorce (which he tells nothing about--why not skip it) and his post-Sunday Times life--which he tells us almost nothing about--just that it was grand--what? Hard to believe, and harder to believe given the rest of the book--so why go there? ...more
Kristennicole
Jun 28, 2012 Kristennicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, editors, publishers
I see a lot of (presumably non-Brit) readers are thrown off by Evans' political tales but this was his area of expertise and is integral to his bio. I enjoy learning about other cultures, especially their political impact, from firsthand stories such as Evans', and very much appreciate the lessons found in the book.

Besides that, it's a well-written memoir, especially for someone in the journalism field, or interested in learning the evolution of this communication medium over several generations
...more
Michelle
Almost gave this a 4, but couldn't convince myself. This was about a newspaperman. It's about what makes good journalism and a good newspaper. Evans had me totally involved in some chapters, and just skimming others. The news he's telling about is British, and none of it I remember personally, most from before the 80's. I did think it interesting in his many examples, how an editor and the journalists can influence public opinion, and set the wheels in motion for reform.
Barbara
The book was OK but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I were a Brit. I am not familiar with the workings of the British government and it's effect on journalism and I feel some background information would have been helpful prior to reading. I was also not familiar with some of the events recorded, so felt left in the dark. Of course, none of this is not the author's fault but it did affect my enjoyment of the book.
Studvet
Fascinating: what a great journalist and found it rivetingly interested. What different times where character, self-sufficiency and a strong moral code were endemic, and the sense of social interaction and lasting relationships/friendships were the norm.Less materialistic/narcissistic times. Seems a great man all told who has pushed himself to his limits and really lived life.Some of his campaigning journalism is very moving.
Jeroen Kraan
Quite long-winded, but mostly interesting. The earlier chapters on Evans' childhood could have been a lot more brief, to clear up more space for the interesting chapter on his issues with the print unions and Rupert Murdoch. As with most autobiographies, the author is obviously rather fond of himself, but you have to admire the marvellous things he did, especially as editor of the Sunday Times.
Kathryn
This book took a long time to read -- talk about hefty. The problems with the book were problems with my ignorance, not his writing. I don't know that much about British politics or what was happening during that timeperiod. But it was still intereting and engrossing. I especially liked learning how a newspaper used to run -- definitly not for the faint-hearted. I suppose it still isn't...
Katherine
This book is incredibly well-written and describes the ins and outs of the newspaper industry and investigative reporting at the time. There are also parts where the author chronicles most of his journey through life, which I found tremendously inspiring.
Esther
I enjoyed this book, primarily because as a fellow journalist, I'm always fascinated with stories about journalism as it used to be and yet sometimes it also makes me sad that it has changed so much.
Kjes
A loooong book, thick, looks like to much to read . . .but I found it completely interesting. The life of a British editor, whose newspapers cracked some amazing stories over the years.
Mark Chadwick
May 29, 2013 Mark Chadwick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Journalistic process.
A difficult read at times because of the very "Brit-centric" subject matter. Some of the references were tough for me, an unabashed Anglophile, to get.
Leslie
Harold Evans is a great writer with an engaging life story, but I could not stay interested in this book. I made it to page 175 and hung it up.
Olivia
Fabulous! A really engrossing memoir from Harold Evans, Sunday Times editor-in-chief and later Random House President and Publisher.

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Sir Harold Evans, is the author of The American Century (Knopf, 1998), 700 pages with 900 photographs. In 2004 he completed work on a history of 200 years of innovation entitled They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators. (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group USA). Thus 500-page book was the basis of a four-part PBS series, pr ...more
More about Harold Evans...
They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers The American Century Good Times, Bad Times Pictures On A Page: Photojournalism,Graphics and Picture Editing

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