Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book Review

Personal History, Katharine Graham
originally published in 1997

Last year I read Warren Buffet's memoir and he spoke endlessly of Katharine Graham. I figured she'd be an interesting person to read about - and she was.

Graham survived the curse of living in extraordinary times. I found it endearing that she was so worried about whether she was up to the task - any task (dressing herself, picking out furniture, running The Washington Post). Admittedly, she grew up at a time when women raised the children and decorated the houses, so she didn't have many role models. However, she was whip smart and applied 100% of herself to everything she did.

She didn't sugar coat anything in this book. Her insecurities are completely on display as well as how she reacted when her husband left her and subsequently killed himself, leaving her to deal with the aftermath both personally and professionally.

I'll admit that once or twice her sense of privilege annoyed me, but that's really the only drawback I found. Graham came through as a woman who met her challenges head-on and usually came out the winner.

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