cover image Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life

Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life

Nicholas D. Kristof. Knopf, $32 (480p) ISBN 978-0-593-53656-8

In this impassioned memoir, New York Times journalist Kristof (coauthor with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, of Tightrope) looks back on a career spent exposing injustice. Kristof recaps his experiences covering 40 years of conflicts, social movements, and civil rights abuses, including reporting on communist Poland’s 1981 crackdown on Solidarity protests; the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, for which he and his wife won a Pulitzer Prize; the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq; the plights of child sex slaves in Cambodia; and the genocide committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur, for which he won another Pulitzer. Along the way, Kristof referees Times office politics and drolly considers the paper’s editorial whims (“If an editor’s dog is diagnosed with cancer, then prepare for a series about the scandalous cost of veterinary care”). The tone can slip into self-regard: Kristof preens over a college term paper that a professor called “extraordinarily well-written,” and is sure to mention that cider from his Oregon apple orchard has won gold medals. Still, Kristof’s powerful reportage makes for a gripping look at both the craft of journalism and the humanitarian disasters he’s witnessed. Photos. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (May)