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压不倒的凯瑟琳——巾帼不让须眉

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小编摘要:面对白宫施加的压力或是个人悲剧性的经历,凯瑟琳·格雷厄姆从未退缩。

Facing down the White House or personal tragedy, Katharine Graham never flinched.

On that day in 1963 when she walked into the boardroom of The Washington Post to take over the company, Katharine Graham hardly knew what was in store for her. She assumed she would hover discreetly in the background while the business, including the newspaper and Newsweek magazine, more or less ran itself. The reality turned out to be far more complicated-and rewarding. “Ididn’t understand the immensity of what lay before me, how frightened I would be by much of it, how tough it was going to be,she wrote in her memoirs. “nor did I realize how much I was eventually going to enjoy it all.”

From that inauspicious beginning, Graham, who died at age 84, built one of the most remarkable and lasting careers in American journalism. She came out of the shadows and overcame her own fears to become one of the great publishers and businesswomen of our time,says longtime friend Barbara Walters.

Indeed, for all her achievements, Graham hardly led a charmed life. She was born Katharine Meyer in New York City, where her father, Eugene, was a successful banker and her mother, Agnes, a writer. Graham described her childhood as “retty lonely,”as she and her four siblings were attended to by a dozen servants while their parents were often out of town. In 1933, while Graham was enrolled in the exclusive Madeira School in Virginia, her father purchased the debt-ridden Post at auction for $ 825,000. After attending Vassar and graduating from the University of Chicago, young Kay took a job as a waterfront reporter for the now-defunct San Francisco News, but soon returned to Washington and the Post.

Within a year she fell in love with an ambitions young Harvard Law School graduate named Phil Graham. The couple married in 1940, and after World WarⅡ Phil accepted an offer from his father-in-law to become an executive with the Post. In 1948 Meyer gave outright control of the paper to Graham, on the theory that no man should have to work for his wife-kay accepted without complaint. At home the Grahams struggled with a host of family troubles. They suffered through the death of a newborn son in 1942 before having four more children.

By the late 1950s the marriage was unraveling because of Phil’ severe depression and unfaith-fulness. It ended tragically in 1963 when Phil, on a brief leave from a psychiatric institution, shot himself to death in the family home, leaving Kay to find the body.

Though by her own description “painfully shy,”Graham would grow to enjoy the social cachet that her new role entailed. Her greatest triumph was the stamp she put on the Post, especially during the Pentagon Papers episode in 1971 and the Post’s groundbreaking Watergate investigation a couple of years later. Despite enormous pressure from the White House in both cases, Graham never buckled under, spurring her staff to pursue both stories vigorously. Even so, she never forgot her social graces. “she’d call and say, ‘How about a movie?’”recalls Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon.

Though she had long ago ceded control of the Post to son Donald, Graham, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1997 memoirs, Personal History, remained passionate about the issues facing American journalism, which surprised no one who ever encountered her. “People who grow up without any hardships,she told People in a 1997 interview, “are the ones who go on to lead pretty unproductive lives.


面对白宫施加的压力或是个人悲剧性的经历,凯瑟琳·格雷厄姆从未退缩。

1963年,凯瑟琳·格雷厄姆走进《华盛顿邮报》(编者注:以下简称《邮报》)的董事会议室接管这个公司的那一天,她完全不清楚等待着她的是什么。她以为包括《邮报》和《新闻周刊》在内的这个公司或多或少可以自行运转,而自己将小心谨慎地在幕后关注着。然而现实来得复杂得多,但也更有回报。“我不了解有多少东西摆在我面前,我将对它们中的大部分有多恐惧,接下来的工作有多艰难。”她在回忆录中谈到,“我也没意识到自己最终将有多热爱这份事业。”

尽管开始接手时前景黯淡,享年84岁的格雷厄姆却成就了美国新闻业最出色最持久的事业之一。“她走出生活的阴影,克服自身的恐惧,终于成为我们这个时代其中一位伟大的出版商和商界女性。”她的老朋友芭芭拉·沃尔特斯说道。

事实上,相比她的巨大成就,格雷厄姆的生活毫无享受可言。她原名凯瑟琳·迈耶,在纽约出生,父亲尤金是一位成功的银行家,母亲艾格尼丝是作家。格雷厄姆自述童年“相当孤独”,由于父母经常不在镇上,她和4个兄弟姐妹由12个仆人照料。1933年,格雷厄姆被美国维吉尼亚州一流的马德拉女子中学录取的同时,她的父亲以825,000美元的价格在拍卖会上收购了负债累累的《邮报》。凯(编者注:Kay为Katharine的昵称)进入美国瓦萨尔学院念书,并从芝加哥大学毕业后,年轻的她在现已停办的《旧金山新闻报》担任码头区记者,但很快就回到了华盛顿,来到《邮报》工作。

不到一年后,她爱上了毕业于哈佛大学法学院的菲尔·格雷厄姆,一个雄心勃勃的年轻人。两人于1940年结婚。二战后,菲尔接受了岳父提供的工作,成为了《邮报》的一位行政人员。1948年,带有“没有哪个男人应该为妻子打工”思想的迈耶(编者注:凯的父亲)把报纸全权交给了格雷厄姆管理,对此,凯毫无怨言地接受了。在家里,格雷厄姆夫妇挣扎在一系列的家庭问题中。1942年,他们遭受了新生儿夭折的痛苦,后来才又生了4个孩子。

到20世纪50年代末,因为菲尔患上了严重的抑郁症并且对妻子不忠,这场婚姻日益分崩离析。1963年,菲尔离开了精神病院一小段时间,在家里开枪自尽,凯发现时他已经死了,两人的婚姻就这样悲剧性地结束了。

尽管格雷厄姆形容自己“羞怯得会给自己带来痛苦”,但她开始学会享受她承担的新角色带给她的社会声誉。格雷厄姆最大的成功在于她给《邮报》带来的荣誉,特别是1971年《五角大楼文件》事件以及几年后《邮报》破天荒地调查“水门事件”的这两个时期。尽管在两个事件上都受到了来自白宫的巨大压力,格雷厄姆从来没有屈服,她鼓励她的员工孜孜不倦地追查这两个事件。即使是这样,她也从未忘记过自己应有的社交礼节。“她会打电话来问我们:‘一起看场电影怎样?’”理查德·尼克松政府的国务卿亨利·基辛格回忆道。

格雷厄姆曾在1997年凭回忆录《个人历史》而获得普利策奖,尽管她早已把《邮报》的管理权交给了儿子唐纳德,但她依然对美国新闻业面临的问题充满热情。和她打过交道的人对此并不感到意外。“在成长中没有经历任何苦难的人,”她在1997年接受《人物》杂志采访时说道,“将会继续过着甚少建树的生活。”
标签:凯瑟琳 巾帼
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2011-02-17 13:12 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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