Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

Dan Rather with Digby Diehl. Grand Central, $29.90 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0241-7
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Anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, much-honored newsman Rather has been a working reporter for 64 years. He began his series of memoirs with The Camera Never Blinks (1977), a bestseller spanning his life from journalism study at Sam Houston State Teachers College to Watergate. He followed with I Remember (1991), recalling his Texas childhood, and The Camera Never Blinks Twice (1994) about TV journalism on location from Afghanistan to Vietnam. In this latest update to the series, his straight-arrow honesty is punctuated with occasional humor: “It was long said of me that I had the CBS Eye tattooed somewhere on my ass.” For a blistering opening chapter, he details the “absence of executive backbone” during CBS News’ investigation of Abu Ghraib: “The possibility that the financial and political interests of CBS corporate almost buried a story as compelling as Abu Ghraib was most unsettling.” He’s equally outspoken on the “journalistic meltdown” when CBS News was ordered to drop its investigation into Bush’s experience with the Texas Air National Guard. Throughout the book, he delivers strong punches at those who stood in his way, but he also has much praise for the co-workers who joined him in his quest for the truth. With his usual conversational writing style, he maintains a personal connection with his readers in this riveting and revelatory autobiography that can also serve as a valuable textbook for anyone studying journalism. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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