Monday, October 1, 2007

Lipsky's favorite books about newspapering

Veteran reporter and editor Seth Lipsky selected a five best list of his "favorite books about newspapering" for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:

The Paris Edition by Waverley Root (North Point, 1987).

Between 1927 and 1934, the Chicago Tribune published an edition in Paris, a small sophisticated daily in a big city with a raging newspaper war. Never in the history of journalism, it was said, have so many men had such a wonderful time on so little money. In "The Paris Edition," Tribune reporter Waverley Root memorably evokes the era, not least with his classic account of Charles Lindbergh's Paris landing in 1927. The United Press hired goons to monopolize the phone booths at Le Bourget Airport, where Lindbergh was set to land; the Associated Press hired bruisers to attack them; all six phone booths were destroyed in the melee and reporters had to run their copy into town on foot. In this memoir, we also meet the Tribune's proprietor, Col. Robert McCormick, who, in a fit of pique, assigned his best correspondent, Floyd Gibbons, to a new beat: the Sahara. Gibbons set out to become the first person to cross the desert's expanse while carrying a fully unfurled American flag, which resulted not only in a newspaper series that gripped the world but also in an epic expense account.

Read about the other titles on Lipsky's list.

--Marshal Zeringue