Author: Mike Levine Category:


Three days a week for more than 20 years, Mike Levine wrote newspaper col­umns that stood up for the little guy, celebrated the lives of everyday people and shined a light on the darkness of corrupt and inept public servants. This book represents a distillation of some of the best of those columns.

Many knew Mike as a columnist for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., and later as executive editor of the newspaper. In life, Mike was a short guy, but in the world of journalism, he was a giant.

His columns were filled with stories of parenthood and family and of living in the Hudson Valley. He wrote about his work as an editor and columnist and served as a watchdog that challenged the arrogance of the powerful and held them accountable.

Equal parts preacher, mentor, comic and salesman, Mike sometimes talked about  Tikkun olam,  Hebrew for “repair of the world,” a concept that speaks to an aspiration to behave and act constructively and beneficially for the rest of the world. His work embraced that principle.Mike died in 2007 at the age of 54. He left this world too soon, but the legacy he left behind lives on in the hearts of many. This book is a tribute to that legacy.


“Mike Levine was a wonderful human being and a great community newspaper editor who used his intuitive understanding of other people’s struggles with the difficulties of life to help his readers cope with and understand the complexities of the world’s problems. His columns were full of human kindness.” — Jim Ottaway Jr., retired chairman of Ottaway Newspapers Inc.

“Mike was the ultimate newspaper guy, from his looks to his speech to his unwavering ambition to stick up for the little guy. Every newspaper should be so lucky to have a Mike Levine writing and editing for it. His passion for newspapers and the good that could come out of them was unmatched.”— Jeff Cohen, former editor of the Houston Chronicle

About the Editor: Christopher Mele is a veteran newsman who, growing up in the Bronx, knew at the age of 11 that he wanted to cover the news. Over more than three decades, he’s worked in newsrooms in New York and Pennsylvania and is currently a senior staff editor and weekend editor on the Express Team at The New York Times.