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Editor: A Memoir Hardcover – 11 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First Edition edition (11 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333908376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333908372
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 882,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library's $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI's Westminster Medal for his international best-seller 'All Hell Let Loose'.

Product Description

Review

'An important as well as an enjoyable book' Roy Hattersley, Daily Mail 'Much excellent gossip, some of it wildly indiscreet...Hastings is a brilliant reporter' Sunday Telegraph "The acuity of his insights make this book a wholly compelling read' Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'An important as well as an enjoyable book' - Roy Hattersley, Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Hatty on 31 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a rollicking good read. It is also immensely informative. Max Hastings was editor of the Daily Telegraph for almost 10 years and his memoirs show just how a national newspaper gets it together each day (the words "seat" and "pants" spring to mind). He also provides a fresh perspective on events that shook the UK and the world in the late 1980s and 1990s: the collapse of communism in eastern Europe and of apartheid in South Africa, German reunification, Mrs Thatcher's demise and much else.
Of course, we take the results of these events for granted now. But, Max Hastings shows how much they were resisted in certain quarters at the time.
Perhaps the most endearing quality of the book is Hastings' ability to laugh at himself. One obvious example of this is an unflattering photograph of the great editor "leering unbecomingly" at the Princess of Wales. There are many others.
Hastings' pen portraits of colleagues and foes are equally irresistible. Frequently, there are no lengthy descriptions and he lets the subjects' words speak for themselves. Niall Ferguson, when asked by Hastings at an interview what he imagined he would be doing five years hence, responds: "I want to be the A. J. P. Taylor de nos jours".
Conrad Black, when visiting Hastings after the latter's departure from the Daily Telegraph, pronounces: "Nice house you've got here, Max - but it would have been twice the size if you'd stayed with us!"
There are also some piquant observations on the leading politicians of the day, including Mrs T, John Major and Tony Blair.
This is a book which manages to be gossipy without being malicious and hugely entertaining without being light-weight.
Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Hooper on 30 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Max Hastings occupied an enviable / terrifying position (depending on your view) during his stint as the highly successful editor of the Daily Telegraph. Pressured from his hard-right wing boss Conrad Black as well as the loony-right faction of the Tory party, Hastings fought to keep a centrist editorial policy in what has always been seen to be the mouthpiece of the Conservative party. Most would crack under the pressure, but Hastings admits to being not a man of overwhelming convictions, and it seems to be this ability to remain aloof from the dogma that ultimately saved him and the paper.

His style is as engaging as his other written work, and he retains a refreshing candour about his errors and predjudices. His historians eye now has the ability to look back at the late 1980's with no little perspective, and a fine job he does too. There is plent6y of meat to chew over too, the fall of Margaret Thatcher, the Tories inability to find their way forward post-Thatcher (plus ca change?) The almighty mess that is the House of Windsor comes in for especially close inspection and is found wanting, especially the Prince of Wales (although Hastings cheerfully admits to being smitten by Diana!)

A fine, pacy revue of an era in British history that appears to be creating ripples still, and thus an essential read. There is an equally fascinating book to be written about the enigmatic, and frankly terrifying Conrad Black, but that will have to wait.

One minor criticism - Max Hastings is surely erudite enough to know that 'chronic' does not mean extreme, but rather continuous over time - a mistake he makes at regular and annoying intervals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Smith on 3 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
There's a lot of betting 'penny blind' in this book and you do get the impression of a load of card-sharps saying, "dear boy," to each other quite a lot: nonetheless, vanity aside, Editor is written with certain panache and a patrician energy that will get you places.

Scraping out the cheese of Fleet Street can't have been easy - look at the BBC - but Hastings had a good go and probably brought The Telegraph to a more businesslike conclusion; though it was a journey of swash-buckling rather than anything else.

Editor is very much a state of the nation book, and despite being over ten years' old, Editor still holds fairly true as a yardstick on Britain: young people are still clamouring to get into the media, rather than Public Service, and there is still a fairly solid culture of eating and drinking on the tables of London.

You'll need a fairly strong stomach when Mohamed Al Fayed and Tiny Lohnro go at each others' throats, but there are some winning turns of phrase: "a batsqueak" for John Major's loneliness in the 90's, scored points with me.

Hastings is absolutely wicked about The Royal Family. It is very cruel but utterly delightful.

A good book- not for the left of centre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy M on 7 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Max Hastings is well known for his military history books. However his account of his years as editor of The Daily Telegraph will appeal to quite a different reading audience. It's rare to have such a detailed account of newspaper publishing from an insider. It's frank, well written and very entertaining. One wonders how Max Hastings must feel about the events which later engulfed the then-proprietor Conrad Black. Since he relinquished the DT position, newspaper publishing has faced a whole new set of economic pressures; nevertheless his book should be read by anyone with ambitions in the journalism profession. I found it fascinating and would strongly recommend it for anyone interested in publishing.
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