Contrarian – A Life Journey

February 10, 2009

            I am a former newspaper reporter, television producer and commentator, campaign aide and participant in 16 national political conventions. I recently released Contrarian, a fast-paced memoir detailing my 55 years in politics and reporting. I recall these extraordinary slice-of-histories to readers in a wry, straight-forward manner as an objective observer and commentator.

            I grew up in the Great Depression and served in both World War II and Korea. In Contrarian, I describe major events from the bombing of Pearl Harbor to Richard Nixon’s participation in the Watergate scandal. I have observed panoramic changes in America during my career, helping me guide reader through my remarkable journey, from wartime food rationing during World War II to the early days of the U.S. space program and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I detail my time as a seaman and soldier in Korea, and how I subsequently received a Jefferson Fellowship to study East-West relations at the University of Hawaii, which eventually took me to Beijing. From my perspective as campaign aide and press secretary, I relate personal anecdotes about such giants as Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Pete Wilson. Filled with celebrities, politicians and newsmen, Contrarian is a moving portrait to a remarkable 80 years.

            What began as a memoir for my family evolved into an eyewitness history of the 20th Century from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall — the Korean War, assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Watergate. I also provide a contrarian’s somewhat jaundiced account of the people and politics that shaped postwar San Diego and California.

            “Believe it or not, political crooks aside, Americans actually used to like and trust reporters and this book makes it clear why. Peter Kaye, the true reporter’s reporter, gives us the authentic voice of journalism before it caught the cable news disease of hyperventilation and remorseless self-promotion,” said Robert MacNeil, former PBS anchor and author of “Breaking News. “His voice is proud but modest, fiercely honest and wickedly funny about the whole messy porridge of politics and public life. I loved this book, as I admire the guy who wrote it.”

            “The reporting skills of Peter Kaye have been fine tuned in this autobiography of a man who has been an eyewitness to history for 50 years,” said Herbert G. Klein, editor and former White House Communications Director. “This is a book that is fascinating reading for all, but should be a must-read in journalism schools.”

            Bill Boyarsky, author, political writer and former city editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote on the LAObserved Blog:”In all, Kaye tells an enlightening story of the politics of the last century. The book deserves a place in collections of important California literature.”

            Contrarian is available at Please check it out. It is a wonderful story that I know you will enjoy.