by Dan with Mickey Herskowitz Rather ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 17, 1994
The CBS anchorman tells of his globe-trotting moments -- good yarns, though they're not exactly representative of his usual daily work behind a desk. As in their previous book (The Camera Never Blinks, 1977), Rather and Herskowitz, in colloquial and sometimes glib style, tell how he got that story. Venturing into Afghanistan just after the Soviet invasion in 1980, Rather and his colleagues braved fearsome chiefs, questionable food (when in doubt, eat only the inside of bread, he recommends), and a firelight to bring home an important story. In China for the 1989 student revolt, the newsman and his team finessed on-site government officials to gain enough time to transmit their video back home before their news operation was shut down. After the Berlin Wall fell, he headed directly for soon-to-topple Prague on the prescient advice of Vernon Walters, ambassador to West Germany. And shortly before Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, he garnered a frank interview with Jordan's King Hussein that, with the help of producer Don Hewitt, was quickly broadcast on 60 Minutes. Rather intercuts his chapters with brief, often folksy ""outtakes"" and isn't above laughing at himself, as when reflecting on his youthful bravado and latter-day caution in covering hurricanes. He offers a credible account of the notorious 1987 episode in which the ""CBS Evening News"" ""went black"" for six minutes (when the preceding broadcast of a tennis game finished earlier than expected), as well as an unedited transcript of the subsequent interview with Vice President (and presidential candidate) George Bush, who dodged questions about his Iran-contra involvement by nastily chiding Rather about the gap. The book closes by recounting a much-publicized 1993 speech in which Rather upbraided TV news colleagues for not pursuing quality. But his book lacks sustained reflection on how to do that -- or for that matter, any mention of the struggles of Rather's nightly newscast, now third in the ratings. Enjoyable anecdotes, not much insight or history.
Pub Date: Oct. 17, 1994
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994
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