An Editor's Family Life

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photoJoseph Lelyveld retired as executive editor of the New York Times in 2001, after seven years at the post and 40 years at the Times. He had climbed the Times' ladder right from the bottom rung, from copy boy, to local and national reporter, to foreign correspondent, managing editor, and then the very top.

When Lelyveld stepped down from the Times, he turned his attention back to his own irregular childhood in Brooklyn and Cleveland and Nebraska. He found a past full of selective memories, uncertain facts, and lost truths.

Employing the journalistic reporting techniques of his career as an author and editor, Lelyveld unravels the tangled stories of his rabbi father and his mother, a Shakespeare scholar whose passion for independence led her to recoil from her roles as a clergyman's wife and, for a time, as a mother.

Hear a conversation with Joseph Lelyveld about life, memory, and the American news media.


Joseph Lelyveld, former executive editor at the New York Times, author of the new memoir, "Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop."

This program aired on April 4, 2005.


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