Books: Pages Stalked By Legends the Paper: the Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune

New York Herald Tribune by Richard Kluger; Knopf; 801 pages; $24.95

Even people who dislike the press seem susceptible to the romance of journalism. The image of the reporter as a nicotine-stained Quixote, slugging back Scotch while skewering city hall with an expose ripped out of a typewriter on the crack of deadline, persists despite munificent evidence to the contrary. Newsrooms have provided electric settings for popular entertainments: in the theater, The Front Page; Citizen Kane at the movies; Lou Grant on the tube. The public has even proved curious about the facts of the matter. The Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese's anecdotal book about the New York Times, was a...

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