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All About the Story

All About the Story

News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post

At a time when the role of journalism is especially critical, the former executive editor of the Washington Post writes about his nearly 50 years at the newspaper and the importance of getting at the truth.

In 1964, as a 22-year-old Ohio State graduate with working-class Cleveland roots and a family to support, Len Downie landed an internship with the Washington Post. He would become a pioneering investigative reporter, news editor, foreign correspondent, and managing editor, before succeeding the legendary Ben Bradlee as executive editor.

Downie’s leadership style differed from Bradlee’s, but he played an equally important role over more than four decades in making the Post one of the world’s leading news organizations. He was one of the editors on the historic Watergate story and drove coverage of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He wrestled with the Unabomber’s threat to kill more people unless the Post published a rambling 30,000-word manifesto and he published important national security stories in defiance of presidents and top officials. He managed the Post‘s ascendency to the pinnacle of influence, circulation, and profitability, producing prizewinning investigative reporting with deep impact on American life, before the digital transformation of news media threatened the Post‘s future.

At a dangerous time, when health and economic crises and partisanship are challenging the news media, Downie’s judgment, fairness, and commitment to truth will inspire anyone who wants to know how journalism, at its best, works.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Editors, Journalists, Publishers

On Sale: September 22nd 2020

Price: $17.99 / $22.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 400

ISBN-13: 9781541742260


What's Inside

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Meet The Author: Leonard Downie

Leonard Downie, Jr. was the Executive Editor of the Washington Post . Downie has spent his entire journalistic career at the paper, where he started as a summer intern reporter in 1965. He soon became a prize-winning investigative reporter on the paper’s Metro desk. In 1974, when he was Assistant Managing Editor for Metropolitan News, Downie oversaw the paper’s Watergate coverage. Downie has also served as the Post ‘s London correspondent before becoming National Editor in 1982. In 1984, he was named Managing Editor of the Washington Post , a position he held until 1991, when he was named Executive Editor. Under Downie’s leadership, the paper won 25 Pulitzer Prizes including three Pulitzer gold medals for public service.

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"An absorbing career memoir and an illuminating history of the Post's news coverage during the last 50 years."—Kirkus Starred Review
"Elegiac.... At a time when the news media itself is increasingly becoming part of the story, this insider take on newsroom culture resonates."—Publishers Weekly
"As befitting a master editor, Downie's memoir is both tight and revelatory....At a time when the press is under relentless attack from the Trump administration, Downie's engrossing memoir reminds readers of the personal sacrifices journalists make in pursuit of a story and the rigorous criteria they apply in delivering the news."—Booklist
"Leonard Downie's colorful and insightful account of a career dedicated to producing honest journalism is exactly what we need in this era when fury and fiction have distorted our politics and even our response to pandemics. His stories provide a great guide not only for a return to better journalism but also to a better society."—Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs
"More than any journalist I've known, Len Downie is what his title states - All About the Story. His book teems with captivating chapters taking us inside the Washington Post as it covers the most important events of our times. But above all else, it serves as a powerful testament to the essential role a free press plays in the American democracy."—David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
"Len Downie, the tough and fearless editor of the legendary Washington Post, has always had the scoop and now takes us inside the tense showdowns at the CIA and Oval Office to give us the story behind those stories, many of which changed history. At a moment when autocrats around the world including inside the U.S. are trying to destroy the credibility of the mainstream media, Downey's account is an indispensible and eye-opening defense of the truth, and the journalists who tell it."—Jane Mayer, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Dark Money
"One of the great editors in the history of American journalism tells his own compelling story of rising to the top of The Washington Post newsroom."—
Kevin Merida, Editor-in-Chief of ESPN's The Undefeated and former Managing Editor of The Washington Post

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