One of the goals we set for ourselves to accomplish in 2019 was making a commitment to read, and a book a month is a pretty good place to start!
For the month of January, it’s “Personal History” by Katharine Graham. This Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir is an honest, insightful and generous (625 pages!) book by one of America’s most famous and admired women, the publisher who led her family’s newspaper, The Washington Post during its most famous period: the Watergate coverage that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
We learn the story of her parents: a multi-millionaire father who restored the dying Post, and a self-absorbed and overbearing mother known in time for her political and welfare work. When it was her time to run the Post, Katharine faced adversity with admirable strength and self-possession.
We also learn the story of Phil Graham – her brilliant, charismatic husband (he clerked for two Supreme Court justices), and his unfortunate battle with mental illness.
There is insight to world figures who effected world events, from the Kennedys and Kissinger to Nixon, Johnson and Reagan.
It’s a wonderful story of success, surviving and thriving, and the Washington, D.C. atmosphere and intimacy with the White House. She shares her flaws, mistakes and her regrets as lessons.
Few public figures have had the courage to expose themselves as openly as Graham did in her very personal history, and it’s a great tale of a fascinating life.
Find a copy here!