Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Book Review

It used to be that if someone wanted to keep educated with current events, a person would read THE NEW YORK TIMES. That paper used to be the paradigm of all the news that was “fit to print.” Unfortunately, THE N.Y. TIMES isn’t the paper that it used to be, has lost its objectivity, and has largely become a paper filled with little more than left-leaning political banter. Thank goodness for the NEW YORK POST! Started in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton the paper has gone through numerous shifts in ownership, but still exists not only as a newspaper, but also as one of the most amusing, interesting, and sensational papers in the country. I know that there are some that find the direction the Post has taken in recent years to be negative, but personally I find it refreshing compared to some of the more bland and completely uninformative writing in many large market newspapers.

HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR is a collection of famous and infamous headlines taken directly from the Post. The book is divided into seven chapters: general news, politics, interior headlines, celebrities, sports, mafia, and international news. There is a preface to the book from the Copy Desk of Robert Walsh. There’s also an introduction that provides a short history of the newspaper and ends in a lambasting of former owner Abe Hirschfeld, who nearly drove the paper into the ground. Some of the Post’s headlines became newsworthy in and of themselves, such as the Thursday, March 24, 1983 headline that named President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative “Star Wars”. Others are just amusing such as the cover story that gives the book its title, “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” The book is mostly composed of copies of front pages with an occasional background about some of the headlines.

I enjoyed reading through the book. My only complaint is that the NEW YORK POST is a newspaper over 200 years-old, but all of the covers are from 30-35 years, with most from the past 5-10 years.

Overall, HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR is an entertaining book that fans of the POST and newsjunkies in particular will probably find amusing.