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Battling Editor, The Albany Years by Harry Rosenfeld

Battling Editor: The Albany Years is the story of one newsman's struggle to get the truest version of the news attainable into the pages of his newspapers in New York, Washington, Albany and Los Angeles. His memoir recounts his work in Albany, heading two newspapers, and illustrates what it took to attain accuracy, quality and consistency, and to focus hard-hitting, critical reporting on the powerful agencies, public and private, that dominate public life. And he did this in the face of increasing existential challenges from a growing digital competitor that eventually seriously undermined the viabilities of the printed press.


This memoir is a second installment, following publication of From Kristallnacht to Watergate which detailed his career at the New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post, where he directed the daily coverage unearthing the Watergate scandal that forced the resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency.


In its description of how quality journalism is inculcated and embedded, BATTLING rebuts the peddlers of fake news ALLEGATIONS whose purpose is to destroy the critical free press to prevent it from speaking truth to power. The book is dedicated to all who labor in America's newsrooms and thereby help to guard America's liberty.


Pulitzer Prize winner, novelist and former reporter William Kennedy wrote that the memoir "is often about tough decisions, and stands out as a handbook on how to live an ethical life."

Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said: "the kind of local reporting Harry lived for has all but disappeared…"

You can read all about it and you should.


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Praise for Battling Editor: The Albany Years

"Harry's book is often about tough decisions, and it stands out as a handbook on how to live an ethical life in the news business right now. Is it possible to tell the truth all the time? Sometimes. But this is an instructive narrative—especially today when the truth is such a rare commodity in the White House and Congress, and the financially beleaguered press is itself under threat as an enemy of the people. Harry and his family lived in Nazi Germany and escaped it in 1939. A large part of his subsequent life has been an ongoing war against fascism, racism, and political criminals. This book explains how he waged that war on a daily basis in the newsrooms he managed so well, and for so long."

— from the Foreword by William Kennedy

"Harry Rosenfeld made a choice. He left an exciting job at the Washington Post for the chance to do what so many editors

dream of—become the guy in charge of two vibrant regional newspapers. What fun he had as a boss—being responsible for

stories about local heroes, crooked politicians, and the day-to-day doings of a capital city. There also is a tinge of nostalgia in Harry's memoir, for the kind of local reporting Harry lived for, hasall but disappeared in today's newspaper world. Local coverage has been stripped away in newspaper after newspaper as allare facing dwindling readership and disappearing income."

— Seymour M. Hersh

Links for Battling Editor Radio and Video Interviews

Amy Biancolli, arts writer & columnist, Times Union, wrote: It's a paean to the free press in an era of shrinkage, struggles, digital transformation and demonization from all corners."


New York Now

Harry Rosenfeld: The Battling Editor

Season 2019 Episode 17 | 26m 46s

Veteran journalist Harry Rosenfeld sits down for an interview about his new book "Battling Editor: The Albany Years." Also, NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango discusses the criticism against the state tests given to children in Grades 3-8.



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Harry Rosenfeld: The Battling Editor

More Interviews

The Roundtable and The Book Show


Colonie Library  Harry spoke to an attentive audience at local library about the problems facing the country and press today and how his work relates to them.



Library Author Talk: Battling Editor: The Albany Years with Harry Rosenfeld from Colonie Library on Vimeo.

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From Kristallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman

An insider's account of how The Washington Post broke the Watergate story, depicting the tensions, challenges, and personal conflicts that were overcome as it laid bare the criminal wrongdoings of the Nixon administration.


In this powerful memoir, Harry Rosenfeld describes his years as an editor at The New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post, two of the greatest American newspapers in the second half of the turbulent twentieth century. After playing key roles at the Herald Tribune as it battled fiercely for its survival, he joined the Post under the leadership of Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham as they were building the paper's national reputation. As the Post's Metropolitan editor, Rosenfeld managed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they broke the Watergate story, overseeing the paper's standard-setting coverage that eventually earned it the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. In describing his complicated relationship with Bradlee and offering an insider's perspective on the unlikely partnership of Woodward and Bernstein, Rosenfeld depicts the tensions and challenges, triumphs and setbacks that accompanied the Post's key role in Watergate, the most potent political scandal in America's history.


Rosenfeld also tells the gripping story of growing up in Hitler's Berlin. He saw his father taken away by the Gestapo in the middle of the night, and on Kristallnacht, the prelude to the Holocaust, he witnessed the burning of his synagogue and walked through streets littered with the shattered glass of Jewish businesses. After his family found refuge in America, his childhood experiences stayed with him and ultimately influenced his decision to make journalism his life's work.


At a time when newspapers and other media are under financial pressure to cut back on investigative reporting, From Kristallnacht to Watergate reminds us why journalism matters, and why good journalism is essential to our democracy.

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Praise for From Kirstallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman

"A great American story...(an) inspiring saga."

–Tom Brokaw



"A terrific memoir by one of the great newspapermen of the era."

–Bob Woodward

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NYT's Sam Roberts: "You'll be fascinated"

In his New York Times Bookshelf column today Sam Roberts writes: "If you liked the hard-driving Jack Warden character in 'All the President's Men,'  Read More 
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Dec. 7: Standing Room Only at D.C.'s Newseum with Len Downie

Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, interviews Harry Rosenfeld for Inside Media.

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PBS's New York Now with Casey Seiler

Casey Seiler interviewed me on October 4th. It starts at about 8 minutes, 10 seconds into the program:

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