Books: Names That Make the News

THE POWERS THAT BE by David Halberstam; Knopf; 771 pages; $15

One day at the White House, President Franklin Roosevelt noticed a radio reporter named Robert Trout holding a microphone that bore unfamiliar initials. F.D.R. stopped and asked: "CBS? What's that?" Some 40 years later, President Richard Nixon believed that CBS and other news organizations were trying to drive him out of office. Clearly, a lot happened in between. What, precisely, forms the subject of The Powers That Be, a narrative that is long enough to be...

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