Century's Witness: The Extraordinary Life of Journalist Wallace Carroll


Product Details

$22.95  $21.34
Whaler Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.86 inches | 1.08 pounds

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About the Author

Mary Llewellyn McNeil, a student of Wallace Carroll's, is a former editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly and the primary author of Environment and Health, Reagan's First Year, and The Nuclear Age. She has worked as an editor at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, and as a journalist at the Winston-Salem Journal. During a twenty-eight-year career at the World Bank, she launched two global publications, The Urban Age and Development Outreach, and wrote Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she resides in Washington DC with her husband and three daughters. This is her first full-length biography.


More praise for Century's Witness:

"This perceptive biography shows how one self-effacing editor set the standard for quality coverage in WWII-and through the 1950s and 1960s. The Wallace Carroll playbook, with its insistence on thoroughness and fairness, continues to inform generations of journalists."

-Norman Pearlstine

"I marvel at the prodigious research Mary McNeil engaged in to produce this important chronicle....She has that important capacity to put the reader right in the center of the action, whether it's stories about the bombing in London or the newsroom of the Winston-Salem Journal when the Pulitzer Prize announcement was made. I hope this magnificent book finds its way into the marketplace, where people who care about American journalism see what McNeil has produced-it's a real gift!"

-Garrett Mitchell, The Mitchell Report

"In my first two newspaper jobs, I worked for Wally Carroll, once at the Washington Bureau of the New York Times and again at the Winston-Salem Journal. He was universally revered in both places, though reverence is in short supply in newsrooms. How I wish I had asked him about reporting from London on the Blitz, or about being one of the first American reporters with the Russian army in World War II. He could be wrong-and McNeil is frank about the two big mistakes of his career. But at his best-and he was mostly at his best-he stood for the greatest values of daily newspapers, as reporter, editor, and publisher. I feel lucky to have read McNeil's wonderful book."

-Donald Graham, former publisher, The Washington Post

"Wallace Carroll was a man of great charm and intelligence as well as a great twentieth-century journalist reporting on some of the most critical moments in American history-during World War II as a United Press reporter on the rooftops of London as German bombs exploded all around him to serving as publisher of a newspaper in a southern city bursting with provincial pride and economic and racial disparities. Wally brought the same impeccable standards to local issues, which were also American in scope-the arts, school desegregation, the Vietnam War, and the environment. Carroll's life is a model for our time as we search for our own local heroes. McNeil, one of Carroll's students at Wake Forest University, has done her homework well: she shows us what mattered in his life, and what should matter in ours."

-Edwin G. Wilson, former Provost, Wake Forest University

"To today's journalists, Wallace is less well-known that his son, John, who became the editor of the Los Angeles Times, but he is no less worthy of recognition. McNeil's thoughtful and well-executed study should go a long way toward giving this exemplary journalist his due."

-Margaret Sullivan, media columnist, The Washington Post

"Carroll's story is the kind of romance that persuades many of us to be drawn to journalism as a profession. As a globe-trotting, unflappable observer and interpreter, he had a nose for what was important, and he somehow managed to be on the scene of some of history's major turning points. As we struggle to maintain democracy and high-quality, independent journalism, this detailed examination of the role that a journalist can play should inform us as we try to refashion and preserve this important profession."

-Mark Nelson, former reporter Wall Street Journal and head, Center for International Media Assistance