In more than five decades as a reporter, editor, and publisher, Peter Osnos has had an especially good view of momentous events and relationships with some of the most influential personalities of our time.
As a young journalist for I.F. Stone's Weekly, one of the leading publications of the turbulent 1960s and in 18 years at The Washington Post, he covered the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Soviet Union at the height of Kremlin power, Washington D.C. as National Editor, "Swinging London" in the '60s, and Thatcher's Britain in the 1980s.
At Random House and the company he founded, PublicAffairs, he was responsible for books by four presidents - Carter, Clinton, Obama, and Trump; celebrated Washington figures including Robert McNamara, House Speaker Tip O'Neill, and Vernon Jordan, first ladies Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan, the billionaire George Soros, basketball superstars Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson, legendary spies, political dissidents and the writers, Molly Ivins and Peggy Noonan, among many others.
In this unusually wide-ranging memoir, Osnos uses a reporter's skills to portray historic events and encounters beginning with his parents' extraordinary World War II experiences escaping Europe to India, where he was born, to the present day. He shares unique portraits of the famous people he worked with and an insider's perspective of the news and publishing businesses. As he charts the evolution of his career and recent history, he also explores the influence and impact of family, character, curiosity, luck, resilience, a well-pressed suit and some unexpected wrinkles.
"To Peter Osnos: It's all your fault." (Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Chair, in his memoir Keeping At It)
"[It's been a] four-decade criminal conspiracy.... One arrest, one near arrest, stacks of KGB files, and now four books." (Natan Shransky, acknowledgement to Peter Osnos in Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People)
"To Peter Osnos: Our publisher, editor, referee, and friend." (Jimmy Carter, inscription in his book Always a Reckoning and Other Poems)