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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

April 21, 1991|Chris Goodrich

WINNING PULITZERS: The Stories Behind Some of the Best News Coverage of Our Time by Karen Rothmyer (Columbia University Press: $29; 211 pp.). Journalists rarely are forthcoming about the inner workings of their profession, except when it comes to describing how they covered a major story. Fifteen such personal accounts by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters--including Harrison Salisbury, David Halberstam and Edna Buchanan, as well as political cartoonist Paul Conrad--are given in this volume, and many of them capture the excitement of the chase. Oddly enough, however, Columbia University journalism professor Karen Rothmyer extracts only very short passages from the award-winning reportage, which makes an already thin book seem even thinner. Some of the now-lost-to-history articles are truly compelling--for instance William Burke Miller's 1925 account of the failed 17-day effort to rescue a cave explorer--and it's a shame to read them in abbreviated form.

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