“In this timely and insightful book, veteran journalist and editor Norman Pearlstine uses the Valerie Plame affair to illustrate the urgent need for passage of a federal shield law to protect journalists and their confidential sources. He forcefully argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, reporters can serve two masters – they can serve the public interest while honoring the rule of law. Off the Record should be read by all those interested in the press, the government, and the often chaotic dynamic that results from the relationship between the two.”
—Judge Kenneth W. Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's School of Law.
"This is a brutally honest, tough, savvy, and absolutely riveting book. Norman Pearlstine gives us the behind-the-scenes narrative of the Valerie Plame case and uses it to reexamine the rules of engagement between reporters and sources. With his deep knowledge of journalism and the law, he is the perfect person to write such a book. The result is a gripping and surprisingly candid narrative as well as a provocative analysis of a topic critical to the future of journalism and democracy."
—Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of Einstein
"Norman Pearlstine pulls no punches on either journalism or law in this fascinating book. He tells us what really happened in the Valerie Plame-Scooter Libby imbroglio, and the lessons for freedom of the press."
—Anthony Lewis, longtime New York Times columnist and author of Gideon's Trumpet
"Off the Record is a masterful blend of gripping personal narrative and profound public issues. This no-holds barred account from a top media executive is the closest thing Ive ever read to actually being at the center of a major news organization, not to mention one locked in a historic and potentially devastating battle with the Bush administration and the courts. After a career editing The Wall Street Journal and leading Time Inc., Norman Pearlstine has demonstrated that a legendary editor is also a great writer."
—James Stewart, author of Den of Thieves and Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder
“If you want to know how Washington really works, this book is indispensable reading. Norman Pearlstine does far more than explain his own controversial and courageous decision to comply with court orders in the Valerie Plame leak affair; he also gives us a vividly written insight into the larger incestuous world of Washington. This book should make journalists and government officials alike reexamine their responsibilities to, respectively, their readers and the American public. All students or practitioners of journalism should be required to read it.”