Shepard, Alicia C. 1953–
Shepard, Alicia C. 1953–
Born 1953; daughter of Whiting Newton (a sales executive) and Florence (a store manager) Shepard; married Paul Robert Hodierne, 1984; children: Cutter (son). Education: George Washington University, B.A., 1978; University of Maryland, M.A., 2002.
Journalist and educator. San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, CA, reporter, 1982-87; sailed around the world and taught English in Japan, 1987-89; American Journalism Review, senior writer, for ten years; American University, Washington, DC, adjunct professor of journalism. Visiting professor at University of Texas at Austin, 2005-06.
Three National Press Club awards for media criticism; Foster Distinguished Writer award, Penn State University, 2003.
(With Cathy Trost) Running toward Danger: Stories behind the Breaking News of 9/11, with foreword by Tom Brokaw, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Lanham, MD), 2002.
Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate, John Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2007.
Journalism professor Alicia C. Shepard is the author of Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate, a dual biography of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal that later brought down the administration of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon. Their account of the investigation was detailed in the best-selling book All the President's Men, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. "After Watergate—possibly the most important event for journalism, politics, and the presidency in the last one hundred years—Woodward and Bernstein became living legends," Shepard noted on her Web site. "They left an indelible high-water mark that every American journalist has had to confront since." According to Greg Wyshynski in the Connection Newspapers, Shepard's "is the first book to follow the duo through their Watergate work, the multimedia mania and cult of celebrity that surrounded them in its All the President's Men aftermath, and their professional triumphs and tragedies over the next three decades."
Woodward and Bernstein had its roots in an oral history Shepard wrote for Washingtonian magazine in 2003. While researching the article, Shepard conducted extensive interviews with both men; for her book, she combined that information with archival material from the University of Texas, historian and author David Halberstam, and film director Alan J. Pakula, as well as some 200 additional interviews. "What floored me in my research in Texas were the scores and scores of fan letters people wrote Woodward and Bernstein," Shepard told News Hounds interviewer Marie Therese. "They were only Metro reporters and still only about 30, and yet, so many Americans felt that they were like Batman and Robin (not saying which is which!). People had a lot of faith in them." "It's amazing to remember how young and unempowered they were (each earning less than 20,000 dollars a year as metro reporters with Bernstein on the verge of losing his job) when fame and fortune hit them like a tidal wave," noted Marjorie Kehe in the Christian Science Monitor. "Both almost immediately made second marriages that didn't last (and then shared a divorce lawyer) and were forced—in their different ways—to learn to navigate the strange new landscape of life as a famous person."
In addition to recounting Woodward and Bernstein's work on the Watergate story, Shepard "does an even more admirable job of digging into their personalities, exposing their foibles and tracing the paths their lives have taken in the more than thirty years since Watergate entered the nation's vocabulary," wrote Lee Cop- pola in the Buffalo News. Though the men remain close friends, their careers have diverged greatly; Woodward, an assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, has written a number of best-selling books about national politics, while the less prolific Bernstein made an ill-fated move to network news. "Mr. Woodward has been so much more productive than Mr. Bernstein that it seems inevitable that his work should dominate a dual biography," wrote Carl Rollyson in the New York Sun. "It is to Ms. Shepard's credit, however, that interest in Mr. Bernstein never flags. She treats his marital and professional failures sympathetically without excusing his bad behavior or injudicious career moves." "It's probably inevitable that someone should write a biography of these two American folk heroes," commented Market Watch contributor Jon Friedman. "A biographer's work is even more complicated when the subjects are still alive and evolving—and frequently making headlines. Woodward and Bernstein are lucky that an observer as sensitive and careful as Shepard accepted the challenge."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Boston Globe, December 17, 2006, Jan Gardner, "Whence WoodStein," review of Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate.
Buffalo News, December 10, 2006, Lee Coppola, "The Personal Side of Watergate Authors," review of Woodward and Bernstein.
Christian Science Monitor, November 7, 2006, Marjorie Kehe, "Two Lives Ever Defined by Watergate," review of Woodward and Bernstein, p. 14.
Editor & Publisher, August 2, 2006, Joe Strupp, "Upcoming Book Takes Sharp Look at Woodward and Bernstein"; October 18, 2006, Joe Strupp and Greg Mitchell, "New Bio of Woodward and Bernstein Is ‘No Love Letter.’"
Library Journal, October 1, 2002, Audrey Snowden, review of Running toward Danger: Stories behind the Breaking News of 9/11, p. 109.
New Yorker, December 4, 2006, review of Woodward and Bernstein.
New York Sun, October 25, 2006, Carl Rollyson, "The Outsiders with the Ultimate Inside Scoop," review of Woodward and Bernstein.
Oregonian, November 26, 2006, Steve Weinberg, "After Watergate—Fame, Wealth and Bitterness," review of Woodward and Bernstein.
Waco Tribune-Herald, February 3, 2006, Carl Hoover, "Pop Culture Made Woodward, Bernstein into Superheroes."
Alicia C. Shepard Home Page,http://www.woodwardandbernstein.net (August 20, 2007).
Blog Critics,http://blogcritics.org/ (November 11, 2006), Nancy Gail, review of Woodward and Bernstein.
Connection Newspapers,http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/ (November 30, 2006), Greg Wyshynski, "Notes on a Scandal," review of Woodward and Bernstein.
Creative Ink,http://creativeink.blogspot.com/ (October 18, 2006), Wendy Hoke, "What Watergate Did for Journalism."
Market Watch,http://www.marketwatch.com (November 29, 2006), Jon Friedman, "Lifting the Veil on Woodward and Bernstein," review of Woodward and Bernstein.
News Hounds,http://www.newshounds.us/ (November 13, 2006), Marie Therese, review of Woodward and Bernstein and interview with Alicia C. Shepard.
Poynter Online,http://www.poynter.org/ (October 3, 2003), Bill Mitchell, "Mainline Those Quotes: A Story Form That Works," interview with Alicia C. Shepard.
Washington Post,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/politics/special/watergate/index.html (October 27, 2006), "Q&A: Author Alicia Shepard."