Telling the Untold Story by Steve Weinberg

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Telling the Untold Story

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Weinberg, author of an unauthorized biography of Armand Hammer, suggests that investigative reporters have opened up new avenues of truth in biography by aggressively questioning the historical record, conducting exhaustive interviews, and submitting the received opinions on their subjects to ruthless cross examination. The champion of this emerging form of investigative biography is Robert Caro, whose biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson are treated in a chapter-length discussion.

Weinberg observes that journalists differ from most academic biographers in having a stronger sense of narrative and a vision of their subjects which tends to be less laudatory. Historian, however, have taken issue with Caro’s methods, and Weinberg concedes that Caro is too sanguine about his ability to obtain the truth, not realizing how significantly his own biases can skew his story.

Other journalists turned...

(The entire section is 270 words.)