City Room

City Room

Book - 2003
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When Arthur Gelb joinedThe New York Timesin 1944, manual typewriters, green eyeshades, spittoons, floors littered with cigarette butts, and two bookies were what he found in the city room. Gelb was twenty, his position the lowliest-night copy boy. When he retired forty-five years later, he was managing editor. On his way to the top, he exposed crooked cops and politicians; mentored a generation of our most talented journalists; was the first to praise such yet undiscovered talents as Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand; and brought Joe Papp public recognition. As metropolitan editor, Gelb reshaped the way the paper covered New York, and while assistant managing editor, he launched the paper's daily special sections. From D-Day to the liberation of the concentration camps; from the agony of Vietnam to the resignation of a President; from the fall of Joe McCarthy to the rise of the Woodstock Nation, Gelb's time at the Times reveals his intimate take on the great events of the past fifty years. The raffish early days are long gone, the hum of computers has replaced the clatter of typewriter keys, but the same ambition, passion, grandstanding, and courage Gelb found at twenty still fill the city room.
Publisher: New York : Putnam, c2003.
ISBN: 9780399150753
Branch Call Number: B Gelb
Characteristics: 664 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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SuzieQ1 Jul 29, 2013

Interesting book. However, it's so big, it killed my back to carry back and forth on the bus. Didn't finish it.

Vincent T Lombardo Jul 02, 2013

I LOVED this book! Gelb worked at The New York Times from 1944 to 1990, starting as a copy boy and working his way up to Managing Editor. The book focuses on his life at The Times and is replete with interesting and fascinating anecdotes about his experiences and the people that he worked with. But I would not recommend this book unless you are interested in the history and evolution of newspapers in general and The New York Times in particular. (I have been reading the Times for 40 years, so I was familiar with many of the people that he wrote about.) Also, like so many memoirs, this contains a lot of "score settling", so Gelb is not always objective. But, overall, I found this book riveting.


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