David Halberstam, “The Powers That Be,” might very well be the best structured, conceived, multi-layered historical novel I have ever read. There are enough climaxes and fascinating individuals for at least ten movies. 

Mr. Halberstam weaves four entities, CBS, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, into an enthralling narrative of how the media influences politics, and how politicians influence the media.

The climaxes involve the coverage of World War II, The Vietnam war, the political conventions, and finally Watergate and the disreputable administration of Richard Nixon, a paranoid nutjob whose only loyalty was to himself.

The Watergate cover up, and the investigation and groundbreaking reporting are mainly contributed to the Washington Post and its two young reporters, Bernstein and Woodward, but as Mr. Halberstam points out it was Walter Cronkite’s TV specials that brought Watergate into the American Living room, with help from Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the NY Times. Yet, it was the hardworking, tireless reporting of the Washington Post that made it all possible.

This is the book that is referenced when students of the media are writing essays on the evolution of TV and the importance of print media and the steadfast desire of reporters to inform and enlighten the American public about issues that expose the depths of corruption in our government.

This book is a masterpiece!!!!!!!

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