BOOK REVIEW: Inside The Industry Standard's life

"About 5% to 10% of the PR people I've worked with have always behaved decently, and I don't mind calling them my friends. Unfortunately, the incidents that stick in my head involve the other 90%."

"About 5% to 10% of the PR people I've worked with have always behaved decently, and I don't mind calling them my friends. Unfortunately, the incidents that stick in my head involve the other 90%."

So writes James Ledbetter in his chronicle of the rise and fall of the bible of tech journalism - The Industry Standard - a tale in which PR pros play no small role. Their part, to the detriment of the profession's reputation, is typically to provide comic relief or, worse, alarming examples of obfuscation or outright lying in this detailed look at how the title got some of its biggest stories. Written by an almost insider - the author was an editor in New York and London while much of the drama was unfolding in San Francisco - Ledbetter makes up for geographic distance with insightful post-mortem interviews with the main players. He leaves an overall impression of a magazine that was a hotbed for ambitious journalism, even if it was a chilly place for meaningful business planning. ----- Title Starving to Death on $200 Million: The Short, Absurd Life of The Industry Standard Author James Ledbetter Publisher Public Affairs, 291 pages

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