About the Book
About the Book
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Katharine Graham's Personal History. We hope that they will aid your discussion of this autobiography by one of America's most remarkable and accomplished women. Graham recounts her sheltered girlhood as the daughter of a self-made millionaire and his formidable, egotistical wife; her education at Vassar at the University of Chicago; her early work at a San Francisco newspaper; and her marriage to the brilliant and politically ambitious Philip Graham, at the time a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. After her husband's suicide, which followed his harrowing descent into manic-depressive illness, Katharine Graham stepped abruptly out of her supporting role as wife and mother to take over as publisher of The Washington Post.
This is the story of a woman's life framed against, and actively involved in, Washington's changing political culture over four decades. It is also the story of The Washington Post, an ailing newspaper acquired by Katharine Graham's father at public auction in 1933 and brought, under her own stewardship, to national prominence with such epoch-making media events as the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. Told with striking honesty, intelligence, and level-headedness, Personal History is the account of an extraordinary life.