Robert Gottlieb on ‘Garbo’ and ‘Babbitt’

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Book Review|Robert Gottlieb connected ‘Garbo’ and ‘Babbitt’

Gottlieb talks astir his ain caller biography and the enactment of Sinclair Lewis, and Carl Bernstein discusses “Chasing History.”

Hosted by Pamela Paul

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Jan. 14, 2022, 1:01 p.m. ET

The writer and exertion Robert Gottlieb does treble work connected this week’s podcast. He talks astir the beingness and vocation of Sinclair Lewis, connected the juncture of the 100th day of “Babbitt,” Lewis’s best-selling caller astir the narrow-mindedness and conformity of middle-class America successful the archetypal fractional of the 20th century. But first, helium talks astir his ain caller book, “Garbo,” a biography of the movie prima Greta Garbo, whose interaction connected the civilization was matched by the consciousness of enigma that surrounded her.

“I understood the powerfulness of the impact, but I didn’t truly recognize — due to the fact that I hadn’t been seeing her movies, I was excessively young — I didn’t truly recognize what she was connected the surface and however she got to the surface successful the archetypal place. So arsenic usual, it was curiosity that led maine to constitute astir her,” Gottlieb says. “No 1 had ever seemed similar her before, and nary 1 has ever seemed similar her since. So to hint what those qualities were became the taxable of the book.”

Carl Bernstein visits the podcast to sermon his caller memoir, “Chasing History.” The publication is astir a clip earlier Bernstein and Bob Woodward became household names for their Watergate reporting. Subtitled “A Kid successful the Newsroom,” Bernstein’s memoir focuses connected the years 1960-65, erstwhile helium worked astatine The Evening Star successful Washington, past the main rival of The Washington Post. He was archetypal hired arsenic a copyboy erstwhile helium was lone 16.

“I was spending a batch of clip astatine the excavation hall,” Bernstein says of his beingness earlier helium got the job. “I was getting unspeakable grades successful school. I was moving Saturdays astatine a low-rent section store successful a atrocious portion of town.” At the newspaper, helium saw a clearer future. “The top reporters of their time, galore of them were successful this newsroom. And I saw what they were doing, and I studied what they were doing and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Also connected this week’s episode, Elizabeth Harris has quality from the publishing world; and Jennifer Szalai and Molly Young speech astir the books they’ve precocious reviewed. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed by The Times’s critics this week:

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