Janeway, Michael 1940–

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Janeway, Michael 1940–

PERSONAL: Born May 31, 1940, in New York, NY; son of Eliot and Elizabeth Ames (Hall) Janeway; married Mary Struthers Pinkham, December 18, 1965 (divorced); married Barbara Sudler Maltby, June 25, 1994; children: (first marriage) Samuel Struthers, Mary Warwick. Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1962.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Journalism, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027-6902. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer, journalist, and educator. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Shaw traveling fellow, 1962–63; Newsday, New York, NY, reporter, 1963–64; Newsweek, New York, writer and editor, 1964; New Leader, associate editor, 1965; Atlantic Monthly, editor, 1966–70, managing editor, executive editor, 1970–76; Department of State, Washington, DC, special assistant to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, 1977–78; Boston Globe, Boston, MA, editor of Sunday Magazine, 1978–81, assistant managing editor, 1981–82, managing editor, 1982–85, editor, 1985–86; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, executive editor, trade and reference division, 1987–89. Harvard University, Cambridge, fellow of the Institute of Politics, 1986–87; Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, professor and dean, Medill School of Journalism, 1989–; Columbia University, professor of journalism and the arts and director, National Arts Journalism Program. Trustee, WTTW-TV, 1991–. Military service: U.S. Army, 1963–64.

MEMBER: American Antiquarian Society, Phi Beta Kappa.


(Editor, with Robert Manning) Who We Are: An Atlantic Chronicle of the United States and Vietnam, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1969.

Reporting the Arts: Arts and Cultural News Coverage in America, National Arts Journalism Program (New York, NY), 1999.

Republic of Denial: Press, Politics, and Public Life, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1999.

The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Also coeditor of and contributor to A Story of Our Time: American Politics and Press in an Era of Loss, 1999.

SIDELIGHTS: Michael Janeway, who briefly replaced longtime editor Thomas Winship as head of the Boston Globe in 1985, examines the intersecting worlds of politics and journalism in his works. His Republic of Denial: Press, Politics, and Public Life tackles issues surrounding American politics and journalism. As a reviewer for Publishers Weekly asserted: "He argues that a confluence of forces in both the news business and politics has plunged America into a dark night of the soul, from which we are unlikely to awaken anytime soon." Jeff Greenfield, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commented on Janeway's ability to condense a variety of information into a concise and readable form: "Janeway clearly has the gift of synthesis: while there is virtually no original reporting in Republic of Denial, he brings to bear everything from market research to novels in support of his thesis. He can also summarize fundamental questions crisply." Gregg Easterbrook in Washington Monthly, though complimenting Janeway's writing style, questioned the author's basic argument. "Janeway's book is erudite and well-written, but the author seems not to have been able to resolve whether he was producing a treatise or a memoir. He spends considerable time reminding us that the news business is a business, and that is something every reviewer and reader ought to bear in mind. But Janeway treats this as a sinister fact, never answering the obvious question: Well, what's wrong with being a business" However, in her review for Library Journal, Jill Ortner offered: "Readable and well documented, this work is recommended for public libraries and highly recommended for political science and communication collections in academic libraries."

In The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ, Janeway offers a "wide-ranging, well-considered, deeply researched, and engaging study of Democratic Party developments in the FDR years and succeeding regencies," noted John S. Monagan in the World and I. Janeway also has a personal connection to the Roosevelt coalition and its eventual decline: his father, Eliot Janeway, served as a financial advisor to Roosevelt during the time span covered by the book, and to other democratic leaders through the end of the twentieth century. He mixes stories of his father's service to Roosevelt and the Democratic party through the New Deal and the Great Society, and also offers private glimpses of Eliot Jan-eway's personal life during that time.

Janeway explores in detail the richness of the older political system that relied on qualified experts and advisors to help create policy, and how that system faltered and began to decline in the 1960s. During the heyday from Roosevelt's election in 1932 and the coalition's fall from prominence, politics and political activism were seen by Roosevelt's people as being positive elements dedicated to the greater good. They also believed that politics had a greater and more relevant place in the average person's daily life. With the dramatic shift of ideas in the 1960s, politics became more divisive, tainted in the public eye by arrogance and scandal. Changes continued until the modern political reliance on media image, spin-doctors, and shallowness created a political climate drastically removed from the days of Roosevelt and his supporters. Relying on primary source material from archives, presidential libraries, collections of personal papers, and other sources, Janeway "recalls those days in a personal and insightful narrative," observed Library Journal reviewer Jill Ortner. The Roosevelt coalition "made mistakes and were flawed in various ways, but, in various ways, they were effective—and, as Janeway persuasively asserts, they succeeded," commented Monagan. Booklist reviewer Jay Freeman concluded that this "well-written and valuable examination of the evolution of our body politic is very worthwhile."



Booklist, March 15, 2004, Jay Freeman, review of The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ, p. 1248.

Library Journal, October 1, 1999, Jill Ortner, review of Republic of Denial: Press, Politics, and Public Life, p. 114; March 15, 2004, Jill Ortner, review of The Fall of the House of Roosevelt, p. 88.

New Leader, December 13, 1999, Roger Starr, review of Republic of Denial, p. 12.

Newspaper Research Journal, spring, 2000, Joseph P. Bernt, review of Republic of Denial, p. 111.

New York Times Book Review, November 7, 1999, Jeff Greenfield, "Film at 11: A Study of the Relation between the Press and Politics in America," p. 44.

Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1999, review of Republic of Denial.

Time, March 31, 1986, James Kelly and Robert Ajemian, "A Matter of Newsroom Style," p. 59.

Washington Monthly, October, 1999, Gregg Easter-brook, review of Republic of Denial, p. 40.

World and I, August, 2004, John S. Monagan, "Roosevelt's Reformers: How Democrats Changed During FDR Years," review of The Fall of the House of Roosevelt.


Columbia School of Journalism Web site, http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/ (April 8, 2006), biography of Michael Janeway.