Faculty Library Spotlight: Steve Kraske

Now through August 30, 2019

This month, we're partnering with Steve Kraske, UMKC Journalism Professor and host of KCUR’s “Up To Date,” to display written works and media he loves. His recommendations explore the worlds of journalism and politics, and his interest in getting “behind the curtain.” 

Visit the display on the library’s first floor between the service desk and café. Every item is available for checkout, so grab whatever looks best!

A Note from Professor Kraske

I wanted to be a political writer from the time I was in high school and poured through Teddy White's seminal The Making of a President, 1960. Now, here was something interesting: A peek behind the curtains in the race for the presidency of the United States.

I was hooked, and I spent most of a career at The Kansas City Star as the newspaper's political correspondent trying to understand what was really going on in the back rooms as candidates vied for the presidency, governor, the U.S. Senate, a seat in Congress or even the Kansas City mayor's office.

Image of Steve Kraske with quote "I wanted to be a political writer from the time I was in high school..."

I've selected a batch of books from the worlds of journalism and politics that I found inspiring, insightful and hugely entertaining. Most were written by big-time journalists covering the big races. The Caro books rank as the best ever written on the exercise of political power.  The Ernie Pyle collection is simply great journalism combined with his legendary writing style: simple, clear, direct.

Also, I'm deep into books by Joseph Mitchell, the great New Yorker writer who chronicled the lives of ordinary city dwellers. These stories are described as the best in the New Yorker's long history. I can't put them down.

Recommendations: The World of Journalism and Politics

The Making of the President, 1960, Theodore H. White (and 1964, 1968, 1972)

The Death of a President, William Manchester

The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington, Robert D. Novak

Fat Man in a Middle Seat, Jack W. Germond

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Call the Briefing!, Marlin Fitzwater

Double Down: Game Change 2012, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing, Robert A. Caro

The Years of Lyndon Johnson, (Series) Robert A. Caro

The Nightmare  Years, 1930-1940, William L. Shirer

City Room, Arthur Gelb

Ernie's America: The Best of Ernie Pyle's 1930s Travel Dispatches, Ernie Pyle

Up in the Old Hotel, Joseph Mitchell

Bottom of the Harbor, Joseph Mitchell

My Ears Are Bent, Joseph Mitchell

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, William Zinsser


"All the President's Men" (1976)

"Spotlight" (2015)

"Good Night, and Good Luck" (2005)

"Page One: Inside The New York Times" (2011)

"The Post" (2017) 

Posted: August 01, 2019

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