Alexandra Jacobs
May 31, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Powerful People isn’t so much about powerful people as it is about the 50-year, helluva-ride journalistic career of its author, a thoroughly game international correspondent and editor for the Time-Life conglomerate who’s met more world leaders than Forrest Gump. Nor should one expect a comprehensive, ordered survey of world politics from chapters that nonetheless have the meaty detail of a history textbook. Rather, Roy Rowan uses thoughts about power as a general rubric under which to organize a staggeringly broad array of reporter’s anecdotes: dinner with Imelda Marcos during a popular uprising; clashes with anti-integrationists in Little Rock, Ark.; tense discussions with that unwitting chronicler of JFK’s assassination, Abraham Zapruder. However much Rowan protests to the contrary, this is a memoir above all else — but when your life features intimate brushes with billionaires, revolutionaries, and Presidents, it makes for an enviably memorable memoir. A-

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