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Peter Stothard's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Peter Stothard recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Peter Stothard's favorite book recommendations of all time.


My Paper Chase

In My Paper Chase, Harold Evans recounts the wild and wonderful tale of newspapering life. His story stretches from the 1930s to his service in WWII, through towns big and off the map. He discusses his passion for the crusading style of reportage he championed, his clashes with Rupert Murdoch, and his struggle to use journalism to better the lives of those less fortunate. There's a star-studded cast and a tremendously vivid sense of what once was: the lead type, the smell of the presses, eccentrics throughout, and angry editors screaming over the intercoms. My Paper Chase... more
Recommended by Peter Stothard, and 1 others.

Peter StothardThis is mostly about investigation and communication and presentation and making your readers aware of what’s going on. It’s a rather inspirational book. (Source)

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Towards the End of the Morning

This tale is set in the crossword and nature-notes department of an obscure national newspaper during the declining years of Fleet Street. less
Recommended by Peter Stothard, Robert Cottrell, and 2 others.

Peter StothardThe beauty of Frayn’s account is the invisibility of the editor, which in some respects is probably the best model of all. (Source)

Robert CottrellThis novel is said to be based on Frayn’s experience of working at The Observer in the 1960s. All Fleet Street life is there, at least until the mid-1980s. (Source)

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"The first casualty when war comes, is truth," said American Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917. In his gripping, now-classic history of war journalism, Phillip Knightley shows just how right Johnson was. From William Howard Russell, who described the appalling conditions of the Crimean War in the Times of London, to the ranks of reporters, photographers, and cameramen who captured the realities of war in Vietnam, The First Casualty tells a fascinating story of heroism and collusion, censorship and suppression.

Since Vietnam, Knightley reveals, governments have become much...
Recommended by Peter Stothard, and 1 others.

Peter StothardIt’s a pretty terrifying book for an editor to read, but I think it’s essential reading for anyone sending reporters into war. (Source)

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The Warden

The first of Trollope’s popular Barsetshire novels, set in the fictional cathedral town of Barchester, The Warden centers on the honorable cleric Septimus Harding, one of Trollope’s most memorable characters. When Harding is accused of mismanaging church funds, his predicament lays bare the complexities of the Victorian world and of nineteenth-century provincial life. And, as Louis Auchincloss observes in his Introduction, “The theme of The Warden presents the kind of social problem that always fascinated Trollope: the inevitable clash of ancient privilege with modern social... more
Recommended by Peter Stothard, Kathleen Taylor, and 2 others.

Peter StothardIt is a nuanced book and a good one for any editor to read. (Source)

Kathleen TaylorThe Warden is interesting because, again, you don’t get that many books…that have an old man as the protagonist. (Source)

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The Spike

Recommended by Peter Stothard, and 1 others.

Peter StothardTo some extent it’s a novel of management with a romantic plot, but it does at least attempt to deal with the personal aspects of editing a newspaper. (Source)

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