"The best thing you can say about the New York Times Book Review is that each decade's product makes that of the previous decade seem less terrible," Hagerman said.."The second best thing about the New York Times Book Review was its absence because of the newspaper strike of 1962. It made four literary people realize how little they missed it, and those four -- Jason and Barbara Epstein, Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick -- started the New York Review of Books."
Like it or hate it, the NY Times Book Review is probably the last stand-alone Sunday book supplement in the country. But it will soon have competition, and readers who used to revel in the Washington Post Book World or the Los Angeles Times Book Review will be eager to see what the Wall Street Journal does with this assignment. The birth of a new book review is a textbook example of counter-intuitive thinking. Everyone else is closing shop, the whole enterprise is failing, so why don't we try our hand at it?
For the full story read the New York Observer piece here.