This summary is based upon the advanced reader copy sent to me by the publisher.
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The Paris Herald tells the story of the world's most famous newspaper founded in 1887, but focuses on the key years when the fates of the newspaper and the regime of Charles de Gaulle became intertwined. Though most of the story takes place in Paris, in a sense, it is the story of any newspaper – its people, its pressures, its problems, its business, its fight for survival. People are interested in newspapers because they are so important to good society and good governance. The Paris Herald is the story of a newspaper in Paris. But it is also a newspaper story.
Former foreign journalist Goldsborough knew all the principals in this story where readers will get to see history come to life via Fritz Beebe, Kay Graham, Sydney Gruson, Walter Lippman, Punch Sulzberger, and Jock Whitney. The fictional characters added simply give the story a bit of spice, making it easier for the medicine to go down while the facts and events recounted in The Paris Herald are important to history and recall a time of intrigue and rivalry among the New York Herald Tribune, New York Times and Washington Post.
Vietnam, assassinations and racism, amongst affairs and riots, are the backdrop to this story while the business of buying and selling newspapers is the news of the day—for those behind the scenes. In 1966, the Times, which had started its own European Edition, intended to buy the Paris Herald, a paper that “belonged to Paris as much as did Zola or Proust.” This purchase would have given the Times victory in both Paris and New York. But when Jock Whitney joined instead with Katharine Graham and the upstart Washington Post, the Times was temporarily shut out. The Times neither forgave nor forgot its humiliation.
The Paris Herald is the best story of Americans in Paris since Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. It is riveting historical drama, as relevant today as yesterday.
Best part of story, including ending:
I am fascinated about the newspaper industry and how politics plays into that. Even though this is a work of fiction, it is based on actual key events.
Best scene in story:
There were so many. The one that most stands out, for whatever reason, is a short scene with James Baldwin, the writer. I never would have expected him to make an appearance in this story!
Opinion about the main character:
In reality, the main character was the newspaper, Paris Herald. I liked the fact that I learned about what goes in the business that readers don't usually get an opportunity to see.