Personal History by Katharine Graham (Knopf, 1997).
Kay Graham's story is the gold standard for anyone in politics, business or the public arena who wants to recount life's lessons in autobiographical form. Though she was born into privilege and achieved renown on her own, she recounts her youth, her family life and her days running the Washington Post in a modest, at times even humble, manner. She is bracingly candid about the suicide in 1963 of her husband, Philip, who had been in charge of her family's paper, and about her resulting struggle to embark on a late career in the male-dominated realm of newspapering. And she is fascinating when describing the decisions that went into publishing the Pentagon Papers and investigating Watergate. "Personal History" is essential reading for anyone who loves a life story wonderfully told, particularly one as consequential in the culture and politics of our times as this one.
Read about all five titles on Black's list.