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Synopsis: For over four decades, the legendary reporter Jack W. Germond has made national politics his beat. He is a journalist whose incisive, honest, no-nonsense reporting--and tremendous wit--are hallmarks of a singular career in punditry. Germond is one of our best political writers, and in this hugely entertaining memoir he serves up his inimitable views on politicians and elections across the country and recounts the daily trials of being a political reporter on the road--including often returning home on a late-Friday-night standby flight, a fat man in a middle seat.
Germond vividly recalls the races and personalities of the past forty years in politics: the great New York governors Averell Harriman and Nelson Rockefeller; the ever-present Richard Nixon; and Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He writes about the politics of race relations and how George Wallace "wrote the book on playing the race card." He discusses Watergate and what a nightmare it was for other reporters that two "unknown punks" had all the sources locked up. Germond is fascinating on the subject of reporting, notably on ethics and graft, and on the colleagues and bosses who didn't think he looked the part of a bureau chief. He writes about countless late nights in bars, rides on campaign planes, and off-the-record briefings and strategy sessions--the real stuff of politics. Germond is perceptive, honest, and bitingly funny (especially when writing about the enormous ego of John McLaughlin).
In an age when the media have become their own worst enemy, Jack Germond reminds us what great reporting is. Fat Man in a Middle Seat is an essential book for political junkies, followers of current affairs and journalism, and anyone interested in how the country is really governed.
Review: It's impossible not to like Jack W. Germond, the veteran journalist who became a household name for political junkies during his 15 years on The McLaughlin Group. He's a reporter's reporter, the kind of fellow who knows that for every good story "you spend two or three rainy Friday nights at the airport in Atlanta trying to fly standby and ending up as the fat man in the middle seat." Germond cut his teeth at a small newspaper in Michigan, where he began to master his trade: "Once you learned to deal with Carlos Gastambide, the business agent for the largest UAW local at the Monroe Auto Equipment Company, you would not likely be intimidated again by any source at any level, up to and including the White House." He later rubbed elbows with some of the best-known journalists of his generation, and his memoir contains plenty of anecdotes about these colleagues (David Broder, Tom Brokaw, Robert Novak) as well as the people they covered. His chapter on The McLaughlin Group, which he abruptly quit in 1996, is a real highlight, revealing both his disdain for television's "lowest common denominator" programming and the medium's awesome financial temptations. Like most reporters, Germond is a conventional liberal by temperament--yet readers of all political stripes will enjoy his fast-paced recollections. --John J. Miller
Title: Fat Man in a Middle Seat: Forty Years of ...
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Random House, 1999. Book Condition: Good. 1st ed. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP7801933
Book Description Random House, 1999. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st ed. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP89021093
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2701774999
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2792203335
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0375500987I3N10
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0375500987I3N01
Book Description Random House Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0375500987I3N00
Book Description Random House Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0375500987I3N00
Book Description Random House. Book Condition: Good. . Good dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # H10D-00248
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 0375500987 Ships promptly. Bookseller Inventory # HGT1316RMKG110116H0101A