Recently, I had the opportunity to see the movie “The Post,“ with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I was intrigued not particularly by the central theme of the Pentagon Papers, but more by the life and personality of Katherine Graham, the daughter of the founder of The Washington Post and the person who took over the helm at the paper after her husband committed suicide.
After the movie, my friends and I discussed some of the more poignant aspects of the movie for us, including the whole idea of a woman being in charge of a major company back in that era. One woman in our group talked about how she had read the autobiography of Katherine Graham and how interesting it was looking at her entire life and seeing how Hollywood portrayed the snippet of her life that involved the Pentagon papers. My curiosity was piqued by what she said and I seemed to remember that my father-in-law had given me a book from his collection a few years back that was about her. I resolved to go home and look for it, and if I didn’t have it, I’d find it at the library. Sure enough, the book was on my shelf, neatly placed in between Cokie Roberts’ Ladies of Liberty and The Real George Washington.
These three books have been displayed in the bookcase in our family room for who knows how many years now without being read. So, as a belated New Year’s resolution, I decided to read these three books by the end of the year, starting with a Personal History: Katherine Graham. After pulling the book off the shelf, I remembered why my father-in-law had given it to me in the first place: it was because I was a journalist in my pre-married, pre-kid life and he thought I would find it interesting.
I’ll admit, the read is a bit daunting. The book is about two inches thick and tops out at 625 pages, but so far it has kept me captivated. I look forward to learning more about Katherine Graham and maybe in the near future having a fun discussion with my father-in-law, who has incidentally read ALL of the books in his bookcase.
K. K. Hatch is the author of “Silent No More,” a work of historical fiction set in the world of Nazi Germany during the waning years of World War Two. She is a busy wife and mother of three teenage girls and little bunny boy named Coco. Up until recently, she and her family called Colorado home, but now she lives in Northern Virginia, opening a new chapter of their lives.