Item description for A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite...
Overview The long-awaited memoirs of America's most trusted journalist describe Cronkite's youth, his early career as a reporter, his work as a war correspondent, and his rise to the pinnacle of television news, sharing his views on the media, news, and the American condition. 500,000 first printing. $500,000 ad/promo.
Publishers Description He has been called the most trusted man in America. His 60-year-long journalistic career has spanned the Great Depression, several wars, and the extraordinary changes that have engulfed our nation over the last two-thirds of the 20th century. When Walter Cronkite advised his television audience in 1968 that the war in Vietnam could not be won, President Lyndon B. Johnson said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America." Now, at the age of eighty, Cronkite has written his life story--the personal and professional odyssey of the original "anchorman" for whom that very word was coined. As a witness to the crucial events of this century--first for the Houston Press, then for the United Press wire service, and finally for CBS in the fledgling medium of television--Cronkite set a standard for integrity, objectivity, enthusiasm, compassion, and insight that is difficult to surpass. He is an overflowing vessel of history, and a direct link with the people and places that have defined our nation and established its unique role in the world. But Walter Cronkite is also the man who loved to drive race cars "for the same reason that others do exhibitionist, dangerous stunts. It sets us apart from the average man; puts us, in our own minds, on a level just a little above the chap who doesn't race." He is also the man whose "softheartedness knows no rational bounds" and who always had "great problems at the theater, tearing up at the slightest offense against animals and people, notably the very old or the very young." He is the man who could barely refrain from spitting on the defendants at the Nuremberg Trials, and who could barely announce President Kennedy's assassination over the air for the sobs in his throat. Walter Cronkite helped launch the juggernaut of television, and tried to imbue it with his own respect for quality and ethics; but now he occupies a ringside seat during the decline of his profession and the ascent of the lowest common denominator. As he aptly observes, "They'd rewrite Exodus to include a car chase." Still, the American people know the difference. They know that for decades they have had the privilege of getting their news from a gentleman of the highest caliber. And they will immensely enjoy A Reporter's Life.
Citations And Professional Reviews A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 969
Reviews - What do customers think about A Reporter's Life?
A decent work Mar 8, 2008
Walter Cronkite who at one time was among the most famous and celebrated Americans tells his life- story . He does this with the dry and clean prose of the good reporter. He tells of his childhood and early years in Kansas City and in Houston, of his work with UP and later on with CBS, his adventures as a war- correspondent. He traces his career in television including the dramatic coverage of what would be the most politically well- covered in his judgment convention of all, that of 1952. He also writes about his wife Betsy their three - children and his family. He in the end provides an analysis of TV journalism and where it has gone wrong, been replaced by considerations of entertainment. This is a decent book by a very decent and modest man. In his final chapter he says that he asked himself whether he could say he had really made a difference. Surprisingly and modestly his answer was 'no'. But for many Americans for many years he was the embodiment of the honest and reliable journalist.
Modern American History Through the Eyes of Walter Cronkite May 19, 2006
To live the life of Walter Cronkite is to live a thousand years. For nearly half a decade Walter Cronkite served as the voice of reason to millions of Americans who looked to his print, radio, and television reports for information and reassurance. This autobiography covers the life of Walter Cronkite from his early life as a lowly radio announcer to his ultimate stand at the pinnacle of journalism.
As usual, Cronkite's wit is second-to-none and comes through clearly in his prose. Still, he never pulls punches and minces no words regarding the multitude of famous and powerful men and women he met along the way. His engrained honesty and objectivity is a refreshing look to when journalism was an honest art, plagued not by corporate sponsorship.
Cronkite's work not only serves as an interesting look at "Cronkite, the man," but is a work of modern American history, written by the man who lived and reported it all. For a readable, enjoyable look at Cronkite's America, "A Reporter's Life" is one of the best.
"Revolutionary forces are already at work [outside the US] today, and they have man's dreams on their side." Apr 5, 2006
In a fascinating and thought-provoking autobiography (1996), Walter Cronkite reflects on his career in journalism, from the earliest days in which he listened to radio on a crystal set, through his own participation in world events as a television journalist. Without the ego one usually associates with newscaster-celebrities, Cronkite gives the history of journalism--radio, newspapers, news syndicates, and television--by giving anecdotes from his own long career, always showing what he learned from his mistakes (which he is remarkably candid and often humorous in describing), and giving ample credit to the people who helped him. His thoughtful observations about the impact of television and its negative effects on voting participation, along with his predictions for the future of this country, offer a broader perspective and warning about our national vision.
Cronkite's sense of excitement about journalism is obvious from the earliest days of his career, when he used brief, coded teletype messages to invent play-by-play accounts of football games for his radio audience. By career's end, he was participating in world events, his interview with Anwar Sadat and its follow-up bringing Sadat to Israel in a precedent-setting meeting with Menachim Begin and an eventual peace treaty. As he takes the reader step-by-step through this career, he describes his goals as a young man, his earliest jobs at local newspapers and radio stations, his work with United Press, his press responsibilities overseas during World War II, his work in Russia, and his early foray into television, when other serious journalists were avoiding this medium.
The landmark TV coverage of the 1952 political conventions opened the eyes of the country to how the political system worked in reality. The Nixon and Kennedy interviews in 1960 (and Theodore White's book, The Making of the President), show the power of television to affect outcomes. He gives candid, personal insights into various Presidents, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through George Bush Senior, including fascinating insights into Eisenhower (far more aware of issues than often thought), JFK (with whom he had mixed experiences), and Jimmy Carter (in his view, the most intelligent President).
It is Cronkite's candor and his ability to see himself as a facilitator of communication, rather than as an ego-driven reporter looking for the landmark "scoop," that makes this autobiography so compelling. When, in his conclusion, he modestly offers his own observations about the end of the twentieth century, based on his experience, the reader pays attention. Mincing no words, Cronkite describes the social, political, and economic evolutions taking place around the world and their potential as revolutions, warning, "They have man's dreams on their side. We don't want to be on the other side." Elegantly written, this is a landmark book in the history of journalism. n Mary Whipple
very good but could be better organized Feb 20, 2006
For me who watched Walter Cronkite almost every night from the 1960's to the 1980's when Dan Rather took over, this is most enlightening book. Behind the scene stories were given for a lot of news stories. Unlike Eric Sevaried, Cronkite never stated any of his personal feelings and comments on the air. Quite a lot of them were found in this book.
Two things bother me. None of the chapters in this book had a topic so the reader is completely unaware of what is in there when he/she starts reading a chapter. In addition, no index is avalable and locating a topic or name is very difficult and time-consuming
Fascinating Dec 9, 2005
This book contains the memoirs of Walter Cronkite, pioneering television journalist. Cronkite begins by describing his childhood briefly, noting that even as a youngster, he was pulled to journalism. He credits a volunteer journalism teacher in his high school for introducing him to the rigors of print journalism, but once started, he was hooked. It was this teacher who taught him the prime importance of getting the facts correct, a value that he would hold primary throughout his career. As a high school student, Cronkite competed in statewide journalistic writing tournaments, and won. After high school, he enrolled in college for a while, but decided that pulling in an income was more important than getting a degree (this was during the Great Depression), a decision which he later came to regret. On a lark, he landed a radio news announcer job in Oklahoma City. Later, he worked for UPI, where he honed his collating and rewriting skills under pressure of constant deadlines. The experience from all of these jobs was to prove invaluable later when he landed a job announcing the news on CBS television. Cronkite was not only one of the first early TV news broadcasters, but the word `news anchorman' was even invented just to describe what he did (or so he claims).
In this book, Cronkite reminisces not only about his career, but also about the big news stories of day. He discusses how television came to play a strong role in politics, starting with the 1952 party conventions, which were the first to be televised. He enumerates the presidents he has known, from Hoover through George Bush, senior, and he compares the effectiveness of each, as well as their relations with the media. He analyzes the forces behind the fateful American build-up in Vietnam, and the eventual pull-out. He also relates how he inadvertedly became involved in negotiating peace between Egypt and Israel. All in all, his tales are fascinating. I usually find political discussion hideously tiresome, but Cronkite manages to make even politics interesting.