Me and The Times

My Wild Ride from Elevator Operator to New York Times Editor, Columnist, and Change Agent (1967-97)

Non-Fiction - Memoir
252 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2024
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Robert Stock was born in Bridgeport CT in 1929. At age 19, with a wife and a baby and no job, by chance he landed a spot on a weekly newspaper. It was the unlikely start of an improbable career of highs and lows, in and out of journalism, that, in 1967, dropped him on the doorstep of The New York Times.
For the next 30 years, Stock served as an award-winning writer and editor at seven different Times Sunday sections including the Magazine, Week in Review, and Business & Financial. He also created and wrote a pioneering column about the elderly.
In 1955, after five years as a reporter and editor on the Sunday staff of the Bridgeport CT Post-Telegram, Stock was hired by the Lycoming Division of the Avco corporation as a publicist. Three years later, he moved on to the American Petroleum Institute, where he edited its consumer magazine, Petroleum Today.
After retiring from The Times, Stock became a freelance editor and writer, producing online essays and magazine articles, ghostwriting management books and biographies, and co-authoring medical books. He has had two wives and two children and has an abiding interest in sports and classical music. He resides in New York City.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Me and The Times is a thoroughly engaging and fascinating memoir from the pen of Robert W. Stock. Subtitled My Wild Ride from Elevator Operator to New York Times Editor, Columnist, and Change Agent (1967-97), the author presents the details of his life and his many fascinating work encounters through his long career at that paragon of journalistic virtue, The Grey Lady – The New York Times. As a married man with a child at just 19, earning a living for his family was the number one priority for the young Stock and it was through the fortuitous actions of Golda Meir’s sister that he found his first job in a local Bridgeport newspaper. So started a career that would culminate in the role of editor and columnist for the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Through anecdotes and memories of the many stories he covered in his time with the newspaper, the author entertains and enthralls with topics as diverse as covering the petroleum industry when it was in its exploratory heyday, right through to sensitive and relevant topics such as sex for seniors. There will be something here for everyone, especially nostalgia buffs who look back with rose-tinted glasses at the pre-social media and pre-cable news days when the daily newspapers provided the backbone of a citizenry’s information and opinion.

Me and The Times ranks right up there with the most fascinating books I’ve read this year. Having worked as a reporter for a small, bi-weekly newspaper in another life, I fully recognized and appreciated many of the issues and frustrations reporters felt with editors in general. I, like the author, was a notorious user of puns in my copy and could never understand why my editors insisted on removing or rewriting what I thought was incredibly clever wordsmithing. Author Robert W. Stock has led a fascinating and privileged work life as not only an editor and columnist for the most famous newspaper in the world but also at a time when newspapers and their contents were trusted and believed. I’m not sure the same trust and believability can be applied to “news” sources in general today. I agree, as the author points out, that part of the reason for the deep social schisms in society today can be directly laid at the feet of “click-bait” news and the partisanship of various news sources. This memoir is not only about the author’s work life as he is more than willing to delve into all aspects of his childhood as well as his marriages and personal life. This certainly gives the memoir the human touch. The stories and the people he met through his work are a veritable namedrop of many of the most important figures in business, politics, entertainment, and even sports, which no doubt will arouse envy amongst readers. Few books I have read have been as devoid of errors as this one is, clearly validating the author’s main claim to fame; that of being a first-class editor. I loved this book and highly recommend it.