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The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune;
Richard Kluger; Alfred A. Knopf.

By Alan Clanton
Thursday Review Contributing Editor

This book is 25 years old but still resonates for its retelling of the fall of genuine newspaper competition. Once the only true mainstream daily competitor to the iconic New York Times, the Herald Tribune was also an innovator, developing over the years a template that became the gold-standard of clean design and crisp writing for hundreds of other American newspapers. In its heyday, the Herald Tribune pulled in close to three quarters of the total readership of its famous rival Times.

But in the early and middle years of the newspaper industry's long fight to survive television, the Herald Tribune—like hundreds of other big city competitors—faced a series of financial setbacks, eventually dying a slow death in the late 1960s despite valiant attempts by its last owner, Jock Whitney, to keep the paper relevant and financially afloat.

The great paper was home to Walter Lippman, Robert Donovan, Jimmy Breslin and Tom Wolfe.