Press: The Power at the Kingdom

A harsh new biography looks at ex-Times editor A.M. Rosenthal

Newspaper newsrooms are often unhappy places, but few are regularly likened to Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. Such were the favored metaphors among staffers of the New York Times under the iron grip of the paper's former executive editor A.M. Rosenthal. With a hair-trigger temper and skin as thin as a sheet of newsprint, Rosenthal was known to be convivial one moment, then, at the slightest miscue, fly into a rage. Those who unquestioningly did his bidding thrived; many of those who crossed him made their careers outside the hallowed offices at Times Square.

Nevertheless, during his reign, from 1969 to...

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