Justina's Reviews > Personal History

Personal History by Katharine Graham
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Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 27 to April 17, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, much more than I expected I would. I was prepared for it to be a bit of a slog, and to have to force myself to get through it, all 625 pages of it, or at least the first 50 or so until I was hooked. That didn't happen in the least. From the first few pages, I looked forward to picking it up. The writing was engaging, the subject matter fascinating. I don't quite know how the writing didn't come across as dense, or at least less engaging, because it occurred to me that her style had that potential, but it really didn't. It kept pulling me along.

I noticed a review with the complaint that there was too much name-dropping. I wasn't bothered by this - some names I recognized and some I didn't. But I wouldn't call it name-dropping, since she was just describing her life and real events. She happened to have a fascinating life, full of other well-known people.

In the beginning, I had a hard time identifying with her, due to the extreme privilege into which she was born. By the end, after reading her humble and sometimes painfully honest account of events and her own insecurities, she had won me over. I did begin to wonder, though, how she came across to others in real life. She mentioned several times how she was portrayed in the media as difficult to get along with - the media will certainly spin things how they like, but I've also found that sometimes people who are difficult to get along with don't realize this about themselves.

All around, an incredible story, WELL worth the time.
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