10 books to read if you loved The Post
Extra! Extra! Read all about ’em
Steven Spielberg’s star-studded, politically timely new film The Post is chasing Oscar glory and box office success. As viewers interested in a rousing story about a free press standing up to power continue to flock to theaters, EW has rounded up 10 books to keep that good feeling going. Check them out by clicking through.
Personal History, by Katharine Graham
This seems like a good place to start: Katharine Graham’s acclaimed autobiography provides plenty of fascinating insight into Meryl Streep’s award-winning portrayal of the woman who helmed the Washington Post and steered its decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. Buy it here.
Morning Miracle, by Dave Kindred
Dave Kindred digs into the behind-the-scenes chaos of The Washington Post in this important book. It’s a particularly valuable and timely read in the context of its focus on the vitality of a print newspaper, and of what it can accomplish. Buy it here.
Power, Privilege, and the Post, by Carol Felsenthal
Want more of the Katharine Graham story, but from someone else’s perspective? Carol Felsenthal paints a complex portrait of the Post publisher, from her volatile family history to her unexpected triumph in a role no one expected her to fill. Buy it here.
Katharine the Great, by Deborah Davis
Okay, so this one isn’t so inspirational. Graham and Post executive editor Ben Bradlee both tried to suppress publication of Katharine the Great way back in 1979, and perhaps for good reason: Deborah Davis alleges that Graham was aided by the CIA in her paper’s dramatic, earth-shaking reporting. The assertions here have yet to be disproven. The new paperback edition can be pre-ordered here before its Jan. 30 release.
A Good Life, by Ben Bradlee
Played by Tom Hanks in The Post, Ben Bradlee tells his side of the story in this uplifting memoir. Bradlee’s many intriguing stories are told from an editor’s perspective, shedding light on the wonky side of how the Post came to be such a crucial national newspaper. Buy it here.
The Pentagon Papers, by Neil Sheehan
This essential volume will tell you exactly what the fuss was about. The Pentagon Papers, now featuring a foreword by James L. Greenfield, reveals the most significant leak of classified information in American history. Buy it here.
Secrets, by Daniel Ellsberg
Daniel Ellsberg, played in The Post by Matthew Rhys, was the man to release the Pentagon Papers in 1971 while employed at the RAND Corporartion. He tells his incredible story in Secrets, which doubles as an essential critique of secret-keeping tendencies in government. Buy it here.
All the President’s Men, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
The Post notwithstanding, All the President’s Men was turned into what remains the most influential and well-known movie about journalism ever made. Woodward and Bernstein tell the remarkable story of how they broke the Watergate scandal, a series of events big enough to bring down a presidency. It’s worth reading even if you’ve seen the film. Buy it here.
Hack Attack, by Nick Davies
An exposé still less-known here in the U.S., the uncovering of Rupert Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal was among the most stunning works of journalism in the U.K. over the past decade. Guardian reporter Nick Davies recounts how one journalist revealed the billionaire’s culture of crime, cover-up, and favors as established in his company NewsCorp. Buy it here.
Dispatches, by Michael Herr
The story of The Post and the Pentagon Papers is fundamentally a political one, about a grand government cover-up. But it’s also, in its way, about the American relationship to war, and more obviously a primary document of the Vietnam War debacle. Michael Herr’s stunning Dispatches is the definitive book on what it meant to experience the war. It’s sensitive, heartbreaking, and blistering, comprised of astonishing retellings. Buy it here.