Lesley's Reviews > Personal History

Personal History by Katharine Graham
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's review
Jun 12, 2009

it was amazing
Read in May, 2009

I'm so happy I read this book, and it tied in nicely after reading No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Mrs. Graham was frightfully honest and this is one of the only times that I can say it was truly necessary to the book. I was turned off at first by her description of her grandmother being "the most beautiful woman anyone had ever seen" (or something like that...) because oh, please, hasn't everyone said that about their grandmother in her heyday? And if this is how is starts, where will it go? Are there any limits to the self-flattery? But when you read the rest of the book, you notice how honest she is about the worst moments in her life and you realize, if this is the absolute bottom of the barrell and she is describing it in rich detail to relive it and recreate it for the world to see...I think I might just believe her about her grandmother, she deserves at least that.

She grew up in very fortunate circumstances, as her father was the definition of success and he eventually purchased the heart of the book: the Washington Post. When it was her turn to run the Post, she did not get any easy breaks and faced her adversity with admirable strength and self-possession.

There is so much that happens in this book, that I would love to go on and on about it, but I wouldn't possibly ruin it for you. nope. But do put this one on your list, it is a wonderful family story of success, surviving and thriving, and the Washington DC atmosphere and intimacy with the white house is fascinating.
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