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Guest For TUESDAY MAY 11, 2010

                  FREDRIK STANTON

          

                                Author:

                              

"Great Negotiations - Agreements that

          Changed the Modern World

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The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8QRC8Bh4R0 - FREDRIK STANTON

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Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

Review: Former New York Times editor Seymour Topping leaves nothing out in his memoir

By: RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press
03/22/10 5:20 AM PDT


"On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent's Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam" (LSU, 397 pages, $39.95), by Seymour Topping: A former editor of The New York Times sits down to write his memoir and the title alone runs 24 words. But what else, one might ask, was a reporter with Topping's breadth and depth of experience to do?

Topping, who retired as managing editor of the Times in 1987, needed a lot of words for a long-awaited personal account of the 4 1/2 decades he spent holding hands with history.

As suggested by the basic title, "On the Front Lines of the Cold War," Topping or "Top," as he is known to longtime associates was a witness to some of the most crucial events of the last half of the 20th century.

And not just a witness. At times he was so close to the events, leaders and others in the arena, he was virtually there himself, though conscious of the need to maintain the critical distance between himself and those he was covering.

Indeed, Topping describes being invited to sit in on one meeting of high-level administration officials, only to have them, at the end, turn to him for his views.

Over the years, Topping came in direct contact with Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Nikita Khruschev and Fidel Castro, along with soldiers, spies, diplomats, authors and fellow journalists.

While getting it all down for spot news dispatches, he clearly kept posterity in mind. Judging by the detail densely packed into 397 pages, he filed stories from every exotic dateline and never threw away a notebook.

Especially interesting is Topping's tale of being sent by his then-employer, The Associated Press, to become the first American correspondent based in French Indochina after World War II. Minutes after he and his wife, Audrey, arrived in Saigon in February 1950, a terrorist bomb exploded outside their hotel, killing and wounding dozens of French colonial soldiers.

The following year, Topping covered the arrival of a young U.S Congressman on a "study tour" visit. At the airport, the visitor asked to meet with Topping and the next day, John F. Kennedy climbed the stairs to the Toppings' small apartment, "seated himself in an easy chair near the bamboo bar" and peppered Topping with two hours of questions about "every aspect of the Vietnam conflict."

No one could imagine the visit would have a "profound impact" on U.S. policy in Indochina, Topping says; that a decade later, JFK as president would order 400 military advisers to help the shaky South Vietnamese regime fight a communist takeover.

Topping's writing conveys a passion for his craft, but his scrupulous concern for the minutiae of events might intimidate readers looking for a fast, exciting read. Even so, the book is a feast for students of history who want to know not just how things turned out, but also how it actually happened.

Born in the Bronx section of New York and seasoned as an infantry officer in World War II, Topping joined the Hearst-owned International News Service in China, jumped to the steadier AP there, and ultimately wound up as managing editor of The New York Times.

After his final departure from the Times in 1993, he taught journalism at Columbia University and served as its administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

There's plenty here for students of journalism history, including courtly accounts of the executive suite and newsroom intrigues for which the Times is noted, and such memorable controversies as Timesman Harrison Salisbury's disputed reports from Hanoi in late 1966 and the Pentagon Papers in 1971 both of which happened on Topping's watch as foreign editor.

At the end, Topping summarizes the failure of American policy not only in Vietnam but also, in his view, just about everywhere.

This gloomy record is one of "flawed government handling of national security issues" by successive administrations from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, he writes.

But he wraps it all up with a hopeful prediction: that today's financially beleaguered newspapers will meet the challenges of the digital age "if they retain the courage and quality of journalism" that made organizations such as the Times, The Washington Post



Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/review-former-new-york-times-editor-seymour-topping-leaves-nothing-out-in-his-memoir-88810417.html#ixzz0nyrP7an5
 

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