Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

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This memoir by Dan Rather is told in a straightforward and conversational voice, and covers all the important moments of his journalistic career, including a frank accounting of his dismissal from CBS, the Abu Ghraib story, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, new insights on the JFK assassination, the origin of "Hurricane Dan" as well as inside stories about all the U.S. Presidents he covered and all the top personalities Dan has either interviewed or worked with over his distinguished career.

The book will also include Dan's thoughts on the state of journalism today and what he sees for its future, as well as never-before-revealed personal observations and commentary.
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About the author

Dan Rather is an award winning journalist who anchored CBS Evening News for decades. He is one of America's most decorated news journalists of all time.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grand Central Publishing
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Published on
May 1, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781455502424
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Editors, Journalists, Publishers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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During my half a century in public life, my image and reputation have had more ups and downs than the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island. I have been called savior and sinner, fool and wise man, crusader and exploiter, hothead and dope. I am routinely scorned, admired, beloved, and belittled—which one is usually based on when the viewer tuned in. Were you around for my early days as a crusading local newsman? Did you waste an evening with me inside Al Capone’s empty vault? Were you watching when the bombs dropped in Afghanistan or Iraq, or did you tune in to the raucous talk show when my nose was broken in the best television studio brawl ever caught on tape?

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and my employment by the conservative rabble-rousers of Fox News—and, more recently, with the coming of the Age of Trump—my professional life has been even more difficult to define. How could a sincerely progressive native-born Jew-Rican New Yorker like me ever work for an outfit better suited to the vibes of Orange County, California, the Dixie, Appalachia, or the Mountain West? How could I not condemn and obstruct a wrecking ball like Donald Trump?

Over five decades, I have met most of the era’s good and bad guys, from Ronald Reagan to Charles Manson, Fidel Castro to Yasser Arafat, Muhammad Ali to John Lennon, and Elvis Presley to Michael Jackson. Two figure heavily in this book, both longtime friends: Roger Ailes, the disgraced yet undeniably brilliant creator of Fox News; and Donald Trump, once a flamboyant playboy, billionaire businessman, and now 45th President of the United States.

At the vigorous twilight of a long and largely improvised life lived in plain sight, I have little left to prove. Faced with a series of random chances, for better and worse, what I made of my life is what I made of those chances. Time has enlightened and humbled me.

Sincerely,

Geraldo Rivera

Over the last two decades, before his death in 2008 at the age of 58, Tim Russert had become one of the most trusted and admired figures in American television journalism. Throughout his career he spent time with presidents and popes, world leaders and newsmakers, celebrities and sports heroes, but one person stood out to him in terms of his strength of character, modest grace and simple decency—Russert's dad, Big Russ.

In this warm, engaging memoir, a #1 New York Times bestseller upon its initial release in 2004, Russert casts a fond look back to the 1950s Buffalo neighborhood of his youth. In the close-knit Irish-Catholic community where grew up, doors were left unlocked at night; backyard ponds became makeshift ice hockey rinks in winter; and streets were commandeered as touch football fields in the fall. And he recalls the extraordinary example of his father, a WWII veteran who worked two jobs without complaint for thirty years and taught his children to appreciate the values of self-discipline, of respect, of loyalty to friends.

These deep roots stayed with Russert as he forged a remarkable career, first in government and then in media, and finally in his 16 years at Meet the Press as one of the most recognized and trusted face in television news. As Russert explains, his fundamental values sprung from that small house on Woodside Avenue and the special bond he shared with his father—values he passed down to his own son, Luke. As Tim Russert celebrates the indelible connection between fathers and sons, readers everywhere will laugh and cry in identification with the life lessons of Big Russ and in mourning of Tim Russert, a big American voice in his own right.

For this special 10th anniversary trade paperback edition of Big Russ & Me, Tim's son Luke will contribute an extensive introduction, commenting on his father's legacy, and on how these lessons passed down from his grandfather impact the third generation. Luke had just graduated from college in 2008 when his father passed away. Since then, he has followed in his father's footsteps, working as a special correspondent and congressional reporter for NBC news and contributing frequently to various NBC and MSNBC outlets. Despite his youth, Luke has already shown that the ideals promoted by Big Russ in midcentury Buffalo still apply in 21st century New York, and that these lessons are as relevant for us as ever.
The Washington Post hailed Roger Rosenblatt's Making Toast as "a textbook on what constitutes perfect writing," and People lauded Kayak Morning as "intimate, expansive and profoundly moving." Classic tales of love and grief, the New York Times bestselling memoirs are also original literary works that carve out new territory at the intersection of poetry and prose. Now comes The Boy Detective, a story of the author's childhood in New York City, suffused with the same mixture of acute observation and bracing humor, lyricism and wit.

Resisting the deadening silence of his family home in the elegant yet stiflingly safe neighborhood of Gramercy Park, nine-year-old Roger imagines himself a private eye in pursuit of criminals. With the dreamlike mystery of the city before him, he sets off alone, out into the streets of Manhattan, thrilling to a life of unsolved cases.

Six decades later, Rosenblatt finds himself again patrolling the territory of his youth: The writing class he teaches has just wrapped up, releasing him into the winter night and the very neighborhood in which he grew up. A grown man now, he investigates his own life and the life of the city as he walks, exploring the New York of the 1950s; the lives of the writers who walked these streets before him, such as Poe and Melville; the great detectives of fiction and the essence of detective work; and the monuments of his childhood, such as the New York Public Library, once the site of an immense reservoir that nourished the city with water before it nourished it with books, and the Empire State Building, which, in Rosenblatt's imagination, vibrates sympathetically with the oversize loneliness of King Kong: "If you must fall, fall from me."

As he walks, he is returned to himself, the boy detective on the case. Just as Rosenblatt invented a world for himself as a child, he creates one on this night—the writer a detective still, the chief suspect in the case of his own life, a case that discloses the shared mysteries of all our lives. A masterly evocation of the city and a meditation on memory as an act of faith, The Boy Detective treads the line between a novel and a poem, displaying a world at once dangerous and beautiful.

A riveting account of how the public's right to know is being attacked by an unholy alliance among politicians, news organizations and corporate America

For twenty five years, Mary Mapes has been an award-winning television producer and reporter -- the last fifteen of them for CBS News, principally for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes. She had the bedrock of respect of her peers -- in 2003 alone, she broke the story of the Abu Ghraib prison tortures (which won CBS The Peabody Award) and the existence of Strom Thurmond's illegitimate bi-racial daughter Essie Mae Washington.

But it was Dan Rather's lightning rod of a story on George W. Bush's National Guard Service that brought Mapes into an unwanted limelight. The firestorm that followed the broadcast led not only to Mapes' firing and Rather's stepping down from his anchor chair a year early, but to an unprecedented "internal" inquiry into the story -- chaired by former Reagan Attorney General Richard Thornburgh.

Peopled with an historic and colorful cast of characters—from Karl Rove to Summer Redstone to John Kerry to Col. Bobby Hodges -- this groundbreaking book about how the television news is made (and unmade) made headlines itself when first published. But this, it turns out, is only part of the story. Mapes talks for the first time about the riveting behind-the-scenes action at CBS during this frenzied period and exposes some of the largest political and social controversies that have broken in this new age of dissonance.

Truth and Duty was made into the 2015 film Truth, starring Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace and Elizabeth Moss.

National Bestseller 

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself.

This updated edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy.  "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.

In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters--a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."  According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.  His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."
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