Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead In San Bernardino

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in San Bernardino

By Ron Unz – May, 2024

Being a college town, Palo Alto once offered a multitude of excellent new and used bookstores, perhaps as many as a dozen or so. But the rise of Amazon produced a great extinction in that business sector, and I think only two now survive, probably still more than for most towns of comparable size.

Amazon and its rivals have obviously become hugely beneficial book-buying resources that I frequently use, but they fail to offer the benefit of randomly browsing shelves and occasionally stumbling across something serendipitous. So I regularly stop by the monthly used book sale put on by Friends of the Palo Alto Library, whose offerings are also very attractively priced, with good quality paperbacks often going for as little as a quarter.

While browsing that sale a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a hardcover copy of Newsroom Confidential, a short 2022 insider account of mainstream journalism by Margaret Sullivan, who had spent four years as the Public Editor of the New York Times. I’d occasionally read her columns in that paper and had seen one or two favorable reviews of the book, so despite its pricey cost—a full $3—I bought and read it, hoping to get a sense of what she’d observed during her term as the designed reader-advocate at our national newspaper of record.

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