Hugh Pearson, writing in

The Washington Post:

“Burning Down My Masters' House is more than a catalogue of alleged line-blurring or worse in the Times's legendary newsroom. It is also a play-by-play narrative of this youngman's self-destructive chain smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction and undiagnosed manic depression … Blair 's account of what happened to him at the New York Times, and the inside dope he provides to readers about what allegedly goes on there, are anything but a boring read.”



Nicholas Lehman, writing in

The New Yorker:

"Vivid, wired, serviceably written and paced, and, in a way, more interesting for its artlessness. Here, you feel, is the real Blair , not a Lillian Hellman-like fully imagined and realized character who happens to share the memoirist's name ... He has that familiar addict's quality of being bracingly honest and aware of his faults but nonetheless incapable of behaving decently ... Blair evidently does not have the ability to lie to himself about himself, and the gravamen of "Burning Down My Masters' House" doesn't have to do with the Times at all but with Blair's psychological condition, which he diagnoses, persuasively."


Jamal E. Watson, writing in

The Amsterdam News:

"In his much-publicized memoir, the self-professed fabricator and plagiarist Jayson Blair cuts right to the chase. He bypasses excuses, and holds only himself responsible for the journalistic fiasco that he created after he falsified and fabricated events and quotes in several dozen New York Times articles ... The 27-year-old former journalist has written a candid book telling readers how he tricked them into believing that he was writing stories from places that he had never visited ... an apologetic Blair comes clean, helping the readers to understand the rationale for his deceptions ... While reading the page-turning memoir, it becomes immediately clear that he can write, and he can write well."


Publishers' Weekly:

“His prose is clean and forceful as that of the average Times dispatch … Blair 's chronicle of his Times years brims with the inside gossip newshounds love, and he names names while dishing it. Throughout, he levels serious (albeit generally unsubstantiated) charges at the newspaper … It is Blair 's notoriety that will first draw attention to the book, and it is his charges against the Times that should push it onto bestseller lists … As for the charges, in spite of Blair 's reputation for lying, the Times must respond to them …”



Bob Kohn, author of Journalistic Fraud, writing in

The Weekly Standard:

“ Burning Down My Masters' House contains some of the most poignant and moving passages ever to appear in a book of its kind. Compared with the serilized Times histories of generated by sycophants of the paper's dynastic, Sulzberger-family owners, Blair's book reads like classic literature,”

Daily Variety:

“A gossipy tale of self-immolation .. Never has a former insider presented so deeply unromantic a portrait of the New York Times. Blair 's book is a surreal counterpart to Arthur Gelb's recent “City Room,” a magisterial account of Times history, and a generation of reporters who viewed their work for the paper as a higher calling,”


Black Issues Book Review:

Blair writes convincingly as a young, black man who has the privlege to observe and participate in the office politics of what is often considered the best newspaper in America ... I can recognize the newsroom, its people and dynamics in Burning Down My Masters' House . The facade of the building is familar, but the foundation is rotten,



USA Today:

“Critics are supposed to keep their minds open until they close the books they're reviewing. I confess, however, I was prepared to trash the memoir by Jayson Blair , the former New York Times reporter caught in lies and plagiarism ... The surprise buried in Burning Down My Masters' House is that Blair has a story tell ... The Blair scandal forced newspapers, including USA TODAY, to rethink their reporting and editing practices. Blair's sad and troubling book offers a warning,”


Karen Grant, host of the Karen Grant Show:

“I am just amazed by the book, the writing has a gripping pace and its just amazing that these things are still going on … This has been a very good read, I would recommend this book.”


Chris Matthews:

"Such a damn good writer, a creative force. You have fluency and life … Pick it up and read a couple of pages. It moves. It's got air. It's got oxygen, the thing you are always looking for in writing.”



Larry King:

"Finally we hear from Jayson Blair himself about the scandal that rocked the world of journalism. In this compelling memoir Blair reports the toughest story of his life: how a young reporter could fall so far. A riverting and cautionary tale."  


Eye on Books:

“Some people have been criticized for saying that your book is well written and that you are a good storyteller. I am going to have to put myself in that same category. This is very well written. I have not seen what the critics have said about blaming others for your problems …"