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Personal History is the autobiography of Katharine Graham
Katharine Meyer Graham was an American publisher. She led her family's newspaper, The Washington Post, for more than two decades, overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon...
. It was published in 1997 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author.-1910s:* 1917: Julia Ward Howe by Laura E...
in 1998. The book received widespread critical acclaim for its candour in dealing with her husband's mental illness, and the challenges she faced in a male-dominated working environment.
The main themes of the book include:
- Graham's complex and often difficult relationship with her mother;
- her family's involvement with The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...
from 1933 onwards;
- her relationship with her husband Philip Graham
Philip Leslie Graham was an American publisher and businessman. He was the publisher and co-owner of The Washington Post...
- Graham and Phil's relationships with John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....
and Lyndon Johnson, especially Johnson's appointment as Kennedy's running-mate;
- Phil's mental illness and eventual suicide;
- Graham's evolution from a housewife to the chairman of a major publishing company;
- her growing awareness of feminist issues;
- the legal battle over the Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...
- The Posts coverage of Watergate; and
- the 1975 - 1976 pressmen's strike at the Post.