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Dan Rather, Author
Dan Rather, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (220p) ISBN 978-0-688-16566-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 4 pages - 978-0-7871-2173-0
Hardcover - 978-1-56895-779-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-688-17905-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59040-011-1
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Like his rival anchors, Rather has been busy writing, but this book doesn't aim to rival Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation or Peter Jennings's The Century, let alone Rather's own engaging memoirs. This collection is based on Rather's syndicated weekly column and daily CBS radio program. While he claims to have tried ""to avoid mere commentary and to offer solid reporting,"" nearly all the pieces here are short, slight and predictable; often, they feel as dated as yesterday's headlines. The topics include many recent news events and personages: Ward Connerly, JonBenet Ramsay, the WNBA, Cuban baseball, Saddam Hussein. His columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, compiled before President Clinton was acquitted, are particularly stale. Better are his brief tributes to newsmen Charles Kuralt and Fred Friendly. In a few places, Rather offers longer and more thoughtful pieces: Malcolm X prompts the observation that ""there has never been a symbol without a need""; Disney's Beauty and the Beast strikes Rather as a metaphor for AIDS. But his section of ""Lighter Side"" pieces, like the book as a whole, is better suited to the ephemeral status of a newspaper column than to preservation between hard covers. (June)
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