cover image Rachel Maddow: A Biography

Rachel Maddow: A Biography

Lisa Rogak. Thomas Dunne, $28.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-62055-2

Rogak (Hillary Clinton in Her Own Words) delivers a flattering if light biography of cable news anchor Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. Rogak pieces together third-party interviews—with Maddow, her family, and her colleagues—to help tell the story. She covers Maddow’s early work as an activist for HIV/AIDS organizations; coming out at Stanford University (which she announced by posting fliers in a bathroom); receiving a Rhodes Scholarship and studying at Oxford; her relationship with her partner, Susan; and her radio work, including on Air America, which, in 2008, led to her getting the MSNBC talk show. The Rachel Maddow Show occupies the book’s second half, in which Rogak marvels at Maddow’s work ethic (her schedule “would break lesser mortals inside of a week”) and reports that Maddow favors doing her own research and writing for the show. Along the way, Rogak touches on Maddow’s personal interests (sports, specialty cocktails) and discusses her struggles with cyclical depression. This is a pleasant though by-the-numbers profile: thoroughly researched but not especially revelatory. (Jan.)