For most of three decades, Drew Pearson was the most well-known journalist in the United States. In his daily newspaper column—the most widely syndicated in the nation—and on radio and television broadcasts, he chronicled the political and public policy news of the nation. At the same time, he worked his way into the inner circles of policy makers in the White House and Congress, lobbying for issues he believed would promote better government and world peace.
Pearson, however, still found time to record his thoughts and observations in his personal diary. Published here for the first time, Washington Merry-Go-Round presents Pearson’s private impressions of life inside the Beltway from 1960 to 1969, revealing how he held the confidence of presidents—especially Lyndon B. Johnson—congressional leaders, media moguls, political insiders, and dozens of otherwise unknown sources of information. His direct interactions with the DC glitterati, including Bobby Kennedy and Douglas MacArthur, are featured throughout his diary, drawing the reader into the compelling political intrigues of 1960s Washington and providing the mysterious backstory on the famous and the notorious of the era.
Drew Pearson (1897–1969) was an active journalist for nearly fifty years. At the time of his death, his column Washington Merry-Go-Round was carried by 650 newspapers. He was well known for his extensive use of investigative journalism. Peter Hannaford (1932–2015) had a long career in public affairs consulting, centered in Washington DC. He is the author of eleven books, including Reagan’s Roots: The People and Places That Shaped His Character and Presidential Retreats: Where the Presidents Went and Why They Went There. Richard Norton Smith is an authority on the U.S. presidency and the author of acclaimed books about George Washington, Herbert Hoover, and Thomas Dewey.