Saturday, December 01, 2007

Brokaw on journalism: five best books

Tom Brokaw, a former anchorman of NBC Nightly News and the author, most recently, of Boom! Voices of the Sixties, named a five best list of books which "reflect my own attitudes about the craft I've practiced for 45 years now" for Opinion Journal.

The one work of fiction on his list:
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (Little, Brown, 1938).

"Scoop" is Evelyn Waugh's hilarious take on a mythical British press lord; his tabloid, the Daily Beast; and the fortunes of a nature writer, William Boot, who is mistakenly sent to East Africa as a war correspondent in the 1930s. It's all here--the pomposity and boorishness of publishers, the devious ways of preening, world-weary reporters, the wild improbability of many dispatches from the front. Whenever I reread "Scoop," I find myself cringing, laughing out loud and cheering on the hapless Boot. I try to keep him in mind whenever I step off a plane in, say, Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan.
Read about Number One on Brokaw's list:

--Marshal Zeringue