From Kristallnacht to Watergate

Memoirs of a Newspaperman by Harry Rosenfeld

“What an American journey! Harry Rosenfeld rises from a nine-year-old Jewish refugee kid...to become a pivotal Washington Post editor in charge of the Watergate story and overseeing Woodward and Bernstein...His story is America‘s story in the last half century.”
—Joseph E. Persico

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“A great and moving tale.”
—Carl Bernstein

“A terrific memoir by one of the great newspapermen of the era.”
—Bob Woodward

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“A great American story... [an] inspiring saga.” -Tom Brokaw

Paul Grondahl Wrote a Nice Article on What It's Like to Edit Me

October 10, 2013

Tags: Newspaper Article, Paul Grondahl

Paul Grondahl, an excellent journalist (I've regretted some hiring decisions, but never that one -- Paul developed into one of the finest reporters I've ever worked with) and gifted book author, served as editor for my memoir. He wrote about the experience for the Albany Times Union last month. His description of how we worked together is accurate:

"Hour after hour, night after night, I sat next to Harry Rosenfeld in front of his home computer and we wrestled with words. We sat shoulder to shoulder and brawled over syntax. I advocated for simple declarative sentences. He complained that I was cutting too much meat off the bone of his thoughts. He gritted his teeth and pounded the keys the way a carpenter drives nails.

"Sometimes, I seized control of the mouse and did a quick cut-and-paste to move a paragraph. He threw up his hands and relented. I reached for a thesaurus after we spent five minutes debating the merits of a particular word.

"We pined for late-night breaks and his wife Annie's delicious homemade brownies, warm from the oven. Between bites and sips of coffee, we bemoaned the declining stature of newspapers.

"Back at the computer keyboard, we argued. We laughed. We cursed."

To see the whole thing, go to the Time Union's website.,

This part, near the end of the article, sounds right, too:

"But my favorite part in the entire 359 pages is how Harry met Annie. It is a beautiful love story.

"As we worked, if doubt arose when double-checking a recollection, Harry's voice pierced the still house and he went straight to the source: "Annie! Annie!" Harry shouted out a question about something that happened one-half century ago. Annie yelled back an answer.

"Harry dedicated his book to Annie."

Which, of course, is true. It couldn't have been dedicated to anyone else.