79 books like The Paper

By Richard Kluger,

Here are 79 books that The Paper fans have personally recommended if you like The Paper. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism

Robert W. Merry Author Of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

From my list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my early teens I aspired to a career in journalism and publishing, manifest in my being editor of my junior high newspaper, my high school paper, and my college paper. After the army and grad school, I pursued my dream, covering Washington, D.C., for the Wall Street Journal for a dozen years and becoming an executive at Congressional Quarterly for 22 years, including 12 years as CEO. The great triumphs and struggles of the news business as it grew and evolved have stirred my consciousness throughout my life, and these five books provide some of the best narrative treatments on the topic that I have encountered throughout a lifetime in the publishing business.

Robert's book list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism

Robert W. Merry Why did Robert love this book?

Burns brilliantly tells the story of those first potent American journalists, the pamphleteers, who brought to their craft lively, probing, acerbic, and often angry commentary and reporting. Some ripped into George Washington and the Federalists, thus establishing a tradition of journalism that extends to our own time. Others went after Jefferson and the fledgling Democratic-Republicans. And one, James Callender, broke the story of the now-famous Jefferson dalliance with his slave Sally Hemmings. 

By Ric Burns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Infamous Scribblers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Infamous Scribblers is a perceptive and witty exploration of the most volatile period in the history of the American press. News correspondent and renonwned media historian Eric Burns tells of Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Sam Adams,the leading journalists among the Founding Fathers of George Washington and John Adams, the leading disdainers of journalists and Thomas Jefferson, the leading manipulator of journalists. These men and the writers who abused and praised them in print (there was, at the time, no job description of "journalist") included the incendiary James Franklin, Ben's brother and one of the first muckrakers the high minded…


Book cover of The Great American Magazine: An Inside History of LIFE

Robert W. Merry Author Of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

From my list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my early teens I aspired to a career in journalism and publishing, manifest in my being editor of my junior high newspaper, my high school paper, and my college paper. After the army and grad school, I pursued my dream, covering Washington, D.C., for the Wall Street Journal for a dozen years and becoming an executive at Congressional Quarterly for 22 years, including 12 years as CEO. The great triumphs and struggles of the news business as it grew and evolved have stirred my consciousness throughout my life, and these five books provide some of the best narrative treatments on the topic that I have encountered throughout a lifetime in the publishing business.

Robert's book list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism

Robert W. Merry Why did Robert love this book?

No other magazine ever burst upon the national scene with as much financial and editorial force as Life, founded by Henry Luce in 1936 to exploit the new technology of high-shutter-speed cameras that could capture events and activities like never before. Luce’s vision (actually, it came initially from his future wife, Clare Boothe Luce) was to stir the human spirit with photos of sports stars in action, the magnitude of huge structures such as the Grand Coulee Dam, a baby being born, the agony of war. With such photography mixed with probing and discursive long-form journalism, Luce transformed American magazine journalism--and got very, very rich in the process.

By Loudon Wainwright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great American Magazine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The well-known columnist blends personal reminiscence, historical reportage, interviews, and social analysis in an authoritative history of "Life" magazine and its unique thirty-six-year history


Book cover of Decline and Fall: The struggle for power at a great American magazine: The Saturday Evening Post

Robert W. Merry Author Of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

From my list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my early teens I aspired to a career in journalism and publishing, manifest in my being editor of my junior high newspaper, my high school paper, and my college paper. After the army and grad school, I pursued my dream, covering Washington, D.C., for the Wall Street Journal for a dozen years and becoming an executive at Congressional Quarterly for 22 years, including 12 years as CEO. The great triumphs and struggles of the news business as it grew and evolved have stirred my consciousness throughout my life, and these five books provide some of the best narrative treatments on the topic that I have encountered throughout a lifetime in the publishing business.

Robert's book list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism

Robert W. Merry Why did Robert love this book?

Before Life there was the Saturday Evening Post, a roaring success capturing the spirit of Middle America at a time when Middle America defined the cultural ethos of the nation. But by the late 1950s the potent reach of television advertising undermined the general-interest magazine business model, and the Post slipped into an inexorable spiral of decline that its top executives could never quite handle or even understand. There’s plenty of pathos and human drama as they struggle with forces beyond their control. 

By Otto Friedrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Decline and Fall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Uncorrected Proof Copy


Book cover of Paper Losses: A Modern Epic of Greed and Betrayal at America's Two Largest Newspaper Companies

Robert W. Merry Author Of A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

From my list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my early teens I aspired to a career in journalism and publishing, manifest in my being editor of my junior high newspaper, my high school paper, and my college paper. After the army and grad school, I pursued my dream, covering Washington, D.C., for the Wall Street Journal for a dozen years and becoming an executive at Congressional Quarterly for 22 years, including 12 years as CEO. The great triumphs and struggles of the news business as it grew and evolved have stirred my consciousness throughout my life, and these five books provide some of the best narrative treatments on the topic that I have encountered throughout a lifetime in the publishing business.

Robert's book list on the triumphs and struggles of American journalism

Robert W. Merry Why did Robert love this book?

The big Detroit newspaper market eventually narrowed down to two newspapers--the News and Free Press--neither of which could knock out the other while neither could turn a profit in a competitive market. This is the story of the struggle of the two greatest newspaper chains--Gannett and Knight-Ridder--to forge a “joint operating agreement” allowing them to merge production and business efforts while retaining separate newsrooms. Few participants cared much about editorial standards as the rush for huge profits drove the process. In the end, it all came a cropper. It’s a sordid tale in many ways but a riveting one.

By Bryan Gruley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paper Losses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gruley writes of the 25-year struggle between the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press--two proud, family-owned newspapers that became pawns in the hands of the largest newspaper chains of our time, Gannett and Knight-Ridder. A tale of greed and power, of Wall Street and the courts.


Book cover of Washington

Kimberly Voss Author Of Women Politicking Politely: Advancing Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s

From my list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am driven to tell the stories of important but often forgotten women journalists from the 1940s through the 1970s. They were pioneers who also created deep connections in their communities. Over the past few years, I have published several books about women in mass media. My 2014 book documented the history of newspaper food editors– an often powerful and political position held almost exclusively by women. My third book, Women Politicking Politely looked at the experiences of pioneering women’s editors and women in politics which allows for a better perspective of women in journalism today and adds to women’s history scholarship.

Kimberly's book list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism

Kimberly Voss Why did Kimberly love this book?

The book Washington chronicles the significant career of Meg Greenfield, an editorial page editor of The Washington Post. Greenfield, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, wrote the book during the last two years of her life. Greenfield’s boss and close friend Katharine Graham contributed the foreword which provides context. Greenfield came to Washington in 1961 and was hired by the Post a few years later. Her editorials at the Post and her columns in Newsweek were witty and smart. Her stories provide a political picture of Washington, D.C. at the end of the American century. She was often at the place where change happened and tells the stories well. Greenfield’s book is a fascinating read about politics, journalism, and history.

By Meg Greenfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With Washington , the illustrious longtime editorial page editor of The Washington Post wrote an instant classic, a sociology of Washington, D.C., that is as wise as it is wry. Greenfield, a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, wrote the book secretly in the final two years of her life. She told her literary executor, presidential historian Michael Beschloss, of her work and he has written an afterword telling the story of how the book came into being. Greenfield's close friend and employer, the late Katharine Graham, contributed a moving and personal foreword. Greenfield came to Washington in 1961,…


Book cover of Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space

Kimberly Voss Author Of Women Politicking Politely: Advancing Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s

From my list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am driven to tell the stories of important but often forgotten women journalists from the 1940s through the 1970s. They were pioneers who also created deep connections in their communities. Over the past few years, I have published several books about women in mass media. My 2014 book documented the history of newspaper food editors– an often powerful and political position held almost exclusively by women. My third book, Women Politicking Politely looked at the experiences of pioneering women’s editors and women in politics which allows for a better perspective of women in journalism today and adds to women’s history scholarship.

Kimberly's book list on post-World War II women, politics and journalism

Kimberly Voss Why did Kimberly love this book?

The book Out on Assignment examines the careers of overlooked women who wrote for major metropolitan newspapers at the beginning of the twentieth century. Using archival materials, Alice Fahs describes a community of female journalists from numerous American cities. These newspaper women were part of a wave of women seeking a journalism career although their options were often limited. Although a few female journalists found hard-news reporting jobs in stunt work and undercover assignments, most found work in the women’s pages.

In these sections, they interviewed celebrities, advice columns, and suffrage news. Very little research has been done on women’s page journalism; this book provides an excellent foundation.

By Alice Fahs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Out on Assignment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Out on Assignment illuminates the lives and writings of a lost world of women who wrote for major metropolitan newspapers at the start of the twentieth century. Using extraordinary archival research, Alice Fahs unearths a richly networked community of female journalists drawn by the hundreds to major cities--especially New York--from all parts of the United States.

Newspaper women were part of a wave of women seeking new, independent, urban lives, but they struggled to obtain the newspaper work of their dreams. Although some female journalists embraced more adventurous reporting, including stunt work and undercover assignments, many were relegated to the…


Book cover of The View from the Ground

Sara Wheeler Author Of Glowing Still: A Woman's Life on the Road

From my list on travel by women to inspire a journey of your own.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over the course of my so-called career as a travel writer, the ‘I’ve-Got-A Big-One’ school favoured by the male of the species has ceded ground. Women, less interested in ‘conquering,’ have pioneered a kind of creative non-fiction that suits the travel genre. I prefer it to the blokeish business of seeing how dead you can get. It notices more. As the decades unfurled – Pole to Pole, via Poland – I realised, more and more, the debt I owe to the other women who not only set sail but also unsparingly observed the world that turns within each self. 

Sara's book list on travel by women to inspire a journey of your own

Sara Wheeler Why did Sara love this book?

Martha Gellhorn’s blend of reportage and imagination ensnared me when I was barely out of my teens, and her preferred form has come of age in my working life.

Not only do I think Gellhorn is a marvellous writer – at her best, one of the best – but I also identify with Gellhorn the woman. "The open road," she wrote, was "my first, oldest and strongest love." She lived from 1908 to 1998 and was writing the fighting for six decades, and although each conflict was different, her message remained the same: ‘There is neither victory nor defeat; there is only catastrophe." 

Book cover of The Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks

Amy B. Scher Author Of How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can: A Total Self-Healing Approach for Mind, Body, and Spirit

From my list on to break your reading lull.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the award-winning and bestselling author of four books about human-ing and healing. I’ve been featured in Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, GMA. CNN, CBS, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and more. My books have been translated into sixteen languages and endorsed by notable authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert; Vikas Swarup; and Sanjiv Chopra, MD, Harvard Medical School. As a writing mentor, I work closely with authors to help them get their own words into books. I live with my beautiful wife and bad cat in New York City, where we all spend most of our time planning our next meals and next adventures.

Amy's book list on to break your reading lull

Amy B. Scher Why did Amy love this book?

For creatives, this book is the move. Many writers who find themselves in reading lulls, also find themselves in writing lulls. Over the last two decades, writing professor Susan Shapiro has taught more than 25,000 students of all ages and backgrounds at NYU, Columbia, Temple, The New School, and Harvard University. And now the content from her wildly popular course “Instant Gratification Takes Too Long” is in this book for everyone who wants to get published fast, and with all the best secrets of the trade.

Byline Bible is full of advice for writers on how to break into publishing, but also includes tons of essays and pieces published by Susan Shapiro’s students, which make for great reading in and of themselves. 

By Susan Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Byline Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Newspaper, magazine, and web editors are desperate for new voices and anyone, in any field, can break in. So why not you?

Over the last two decades, writing professor Susan Shapiro has taught more than 25,000 students of all ages and backgrounds at NYU, Columbia, Temple, The New School, and Harvard University. Now in The Byline Bible she reveals the wildly popular "Instant Gratification Takes Too Long" technique she's perfected, sharing how to land impressive clips to start or re-launch your career.

In frank and funny prose, the bestselling author of 12 books walks you through every stage of crafting…


Book cover of Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

James Meese Author Of Digital Platforms and the Press

From my list on news and the impact of technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the news media and technology for as long as I can remember. I successfully campaigned for a VCR as a five-year-old, and watched multiple news programs with my grandfather growing up. Alongside these interests, I managed to read as many books as I possibly could. I’ve managed to somehow parlay that into a job as a researcher, where I study the news media sector and technological transformation. I read everything on this list while I was writing my latest book, and hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

James' book list on news and the impact of technology

James Meese Why did James love this book?

I had the privilege of talking with Angèle at an event and discussing our different book projects.

The wonderful thing about this book it is reveals that the interaction between technology and journalism is incredibly culturally specific. We tend to think that every newsroom engages with technology in the same way, but Angèle shows that long-standing national journalistic cultures influence how technologies are adopted and used.

The book is also an ethnography, which means that it offers a wonderful insight into the day-to-day practices of the newsroom.

By Angele Christin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Metrics at Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The starkly different ways that American and French online news companies respond to audience analytics and what this means for the future of news

When the news moved online, journalists suddenly learned what their audiences actually liked, through algorithmic technologies that scrutinize web traffic and activity. Has this advent of audience metrics changed journalists' work practices and professional identities? In Metrics at Work, Angele Christin documents the ways that journalists grapple with audience data in the form of clicks, and analyzes how new forms of clickbait journalism travel across national borders.

Drawing on four years of fieldwork in web newsrooms…


Book cover of The Journalist and the Murderer

David Wilson Author Of A History Of British Serial Killing: The Shocking Account of Jack the Ripper, Harold Shipman and Beyond

From my list on true crime about murder and serial murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former Prison Governor who has had to work with a number of murderers and serial murderers – and who now writes about them as Emeritus Professor of Criminology – my professional life has inevitably been dominated by violent men. As they might say in the United States, I have “walked the walk” before doing my talking and I try and bring this applied dimension into my written and more academic work.

David's book list on true crime about murder and serial murder

David Wilson Why did David love this book?

First published in 1990 – based on a series of articles originally written for The New Yorker, this book is a warning to true crime authors the world over about the morality of reaching out and writing with and about murderers. 

The journalist in question is Joe McGinniss and the murderer is the former Special Forces Captain Dr Jeffrey MacDonald who became the subject of McGinniss’s 1983 book Fatal Vision. Is it ethical to collaborate with someone who has been accused of murder? What are the pitfalls that need to be managed? And, at the end of the day, who is conning who – the journalist or the murderer?

By Janet Malcolm,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Journalist and the Murderer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible'

In equal measure famous and infamous, Janet Malcolm's book charts the true story of a lawsuit between Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, and Joe McGinniss, the author of a book about the crime. Lauded as one of the Modern Libraries "100 Best Works of Nonfiction", The Journalist and the Murderer is fascinating and controversial, a contemporary classic of reportage.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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