Synopses & Reviews
When Arthur Gelb joinedThe New York Times
in 1944, manual typewriters, green eyeshades, spittoons, floors littered with cigarette butts, and two bookies were what he found in the city room. Gelb was twenty, his position the lowliest-night copy boy.
When he retired forty-five years later, he was managing editor. On his way to the top, he exposed crooked cops and politicians; mentored a generation of our most talented journalists; was the first to praise such yet undiscovered talents as Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand; and brought Joe Papp public recognition. As metropolitan editor, Gelb reshaped the way the paper covered New York, and while assistant managing editor, he launched the paper's daily special sections.
From D-Day to the liberation of the concentration camps; from the agony of Vietnam to the resignation of a President; from the fall of Joe McCarthy to the rise of the Woodstock Nation, Gelb's time at the Times reveals his intimate take on the great events of the past fifty years.
The raffish early days are long gone, the hum of computers has replaced the clatter of typewriter keys, but the same ambition, passion, grandstanding, and courage Gelb found at twenty still fill the city room.
"[E]nthralling....[Gelb] has a wealth of terrific stories....Although there are plenty of amazing scoops and delicious gossip, Gelb devotes equally passionate attention to the evolution of the Times as a workplace." Publishers Weekly
"A loving, extremely guarded memoir....The company line from a protective organization man: readers will learn little more than they would by reviewing the microfiche." Kirkus Reviews
"Arthur Gelb's exuberant memoirs prove to be keenly observed social history, full of fascinating tales and details." A. Scott Berg
"[A] fascinating insider's look at the editorial and political quakes that have swept the city room of The Times." Mike Wallace
"[T]he chronicler of the ups and downs of America's greatest journalistic institution...his new book is always interesting, insightful, and fair-minded." Gay Talese
"Anyone yearning for the romance, energy, and integrity of journalism should read this book." Wendy Wasserstein
"City Room gives us all the news that was fit to print and some of the stories that weren't." Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara
About the Author
Arthur Gelb became the president of The New York Times Company Foundation after retiring and is now the director of The New York Times College Scholarship Program. He is the author, with Barbara Gelb, of O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo.