Stacks, John F. 1942–
Stacks, John F. 1942–
(John Fultz Stacks)
PERSONAL: Born February 3, 1942, in Lancaster, PA; son of Harry F. (a newspaper editor) and Helena (Fultz) Stacks; married Dory Aungst, February 8, 1964 (divorced); married second wife, Carol; children: John F. Jr., Benjamin M. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1964.
CAREER: Associated with the Washington Evening Star, 1964–67; Time, Inc., New York, NY, worked in Washington, DC, office, 1967–71, Boston, MA, bureau chief, 1971–72, Washington news editor, 1973–74, Washington political correspondent, 1975–81, eastern regional bureau chief, beginning 1982, chief of correspondents, beginning c. late 1980s.
(With John Sirica) To Set the Record Straight, Norton (New York, NY), 1979.
Watershed: The Campaign for the Presidency, 1980, Times Books (New York, NY), 1982.
(With John E. Hocking) Essentials of Communication Research, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.
(With John E. Hocking) Communication Research, Longman (New York, NY), 1999.
Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: While working as a Washington correspondent for Time, Inc., journalist John F. Stacks compiled material for his book Watershed: The Campaign for the Presidency, 1980. Here, Stacks chronicles key issues of the election, including inflation, unemployment, and the crisis in Iran. In describing the defeat of President Jimmy Carter, Stacks notes that the Democratic party in 1980 was a party "holding on to its perquisites," as evidenced by the fact that more than forty percent of the delegates to the 1980 Democratic national convention were "public officeholders or government employees of one sort or another." Writing in the Washington Post Book World, Edwin M. Yoder stated that Stack's book "would be the ideal gift for a friend who spent the long election season of 1979–80 in Patagonia and wanted to catch up." Yoder called Stacks "an expert student of the election process" and Watershed a "spare, lucid summary." Stacks's more recent effort Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism is a biography of the man the author feels was "the best newspaper journalist to have ever worked in Washington," according to a brief autobiography on the Time Warner Bookmark Web site. Scotty chronicles the career of the New York Times's Washington correspondent whose status as a political insider made him one of the most powerful journalists of his time, but also led to his downfall. Though Reston was once so well respected that he won the Pulitzer Prize twice, Stacks writes that his blind faith in the government and its leaders is what later cost him his career. Douglas Harbrecht, writing for Business Week, called the biography "a rare and rich exploration of this encounter between journalism and power." In a review for the New York Times, Robert W. Merry remarked that Scotty is "a clear-eyed portrait of Reston's life and career."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Biography, spring, 2003, Charles Kaiser and Robert W. Merry, review of Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism, p. 382.
Business Week, December 23, 2002, Douglas Harbrecht, "The Seduction of Scotty Reston," review of Scotty, p. 16.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Scotty, p. 1453.
Library Journal, January, 2003, Judy Solberg, review of Scotty, p. 128.
Nation, March 24, 2003, Dusko Doder, review of Scotty, p. 26.
New York Times, December 1, 2002, Robert W. Merry, "The Times of His Life," review of Scotty, p. 9.
Publishers Weekly, October 28, 2002, review of Scotty, p. 60.
Time, January 13, 2003, James Fallows, "The Prince of Print: A Biography of the New York Times's James Reston," review of Scotty, p. 62.
Washington Post Book World, October 25, 1981, Edwin M. Yoder, review of Watershed: The Campaign for the Presidency, 1980, p. 6.
Charlotte Observer Online, http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/ (February 3, 2003), William W. Starr, "Scotty Reston: His Strength Was Also His Downfall," review of Scotty.
Houston Chronicle Online, http://www.chron.com/ (February 7, 2003), Elizabeth Bennett, "'Scotty' Reston's Story," review of Scotty.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette Online, http://www.postgazette.com/ (January 12, 2003), Bob Hoover, review of Scotty.
Time Warner Bookmark Web site, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (December 14, 2005), "The Authors," biography of John F. Stacks; "The Books," description of Scotty.