A CBS News national correspondent reassesses his priorities after 12 successful years in the ruthlessly competitive TV news business.
As this polished memoir opens, the 46-year-old author is covering the 2008 Democratic primaries and fighting to win the air time that will guarantee his continued rise in network news. At the time, however, he was beginning to feel ignored and marginalized by new bosses, and he was also reminded of his father’s race times at age 46 in the New York City marathon. So Axelrod decided to get in shape, run in the 2009 marathon and beat his father’s best time. In alternating chapters, the author describes his arduous training for the big race and his relationship with his successful trial-lawyer father, a troubled charmer with few friends who escaped the pressures of life, marriage, and fatherhood through running. Axelrod’s desire to outrun his father fits nicely with his driven ambition to provide handsomely for his family—a wife and three young children whom he rarely sees during months of constant travel. Following one of his workaholic father’s rules for success—“Never say no”—Axelrod accepted assignments to cover the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hoping that his bosses were finally coming around. But he failed to consult his pregnant wife, and his marriage became badly strained. The author eventually realized that his quest for fame and money was clouding the fact that he was obsessively focused on work that he did not really enjoy. He resolved to curb his ambition and settle down, in all respects, with his family.
A candid story that will resonate for many midlife readers.