Customer Reviews for

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    A Short Review of How We Got Here From There

    As a person who grew up watching CBS News every evening, Rather's story is a trip down memory lane--complete with background. Future generations will scarcely believe it was possible to do as much as they did with as little security and interference from government, but with major backup from the Supreme Court. Like so many of us, Dan Rather is surprised and shocked at the replacement of the search for truth with outlets that resemble what we were told the Soviet Pravda was like.

    Harry Truman used to say that the test of the truth was how it thrived in the marketplace of ideas. But Harry Truman never had to deal with a billion dollar false advertising campaign. Rather does a good job of documenting the flight from reality. But history shows that reality will make a frightful comeback. We just don't know how soon.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Good read

    Great insight into a simply complex individual who fights the good fight still today.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Insightful

    This was very insightful, very well thought out. Great stories.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Great

    Five stars

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dan Rather has been a news reporter for over 50 years and in all

    Dan Rather has been a news reporter for over 50 years and in all those years he has made a few enemies, from the KKK during the civil rights movement to President Nixon to members of George W. Bush's administration. He covers the reasons why in Rather Outspoken- My Life in the News, co-written with Digby Diehl.

    There are several events in Rather's life that had a lasting impact on him, beginning with a bad case of rheumatic fever when he was a child that left him trapped in his home, unable to play with his friends or even attend school. The radio became his best friend and he grew up listening to reporters like Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid and Charles Collingwood in the run-up to WWII.

    When he was a child, a few teachers took an interest in Rather, encouraging him in his love of writing. Although Rather acknowledges that he is not the best writer (and in fact a bad speller), or the smartest man in the room, he credits his dogged determination for much of his success.

    One of his biggest strengths is his ability to ad-lib, which he learned working at a Houston radio station. He had a lot of air-time to fill, and he also covered play-by-play in high school sports, which gave him a leg up when it came time to move into television.

    He got his dream job of working for CBS News, one of the most prestigious news organizations in the world. On his first day, one of his idols, Charles Collingwood offered to show him around and invited him for a drink.

    The book gives a terrific overview of Rather's career, and he covered many of the most important stories of the last fifty years. He spent a lot of time covering the civil right movement, and that section of the book is fascinating, especially for those who were too young to remember that period.

    He covered Vietnam, and I liked his analysis of the difference between reporters working in Vietnam, where they could just tag along and grab a ride with a helicopter pilot to cover whatever story they wanted, to today's embedded reporters, who can only go where the US military allows them.

    His chapter on Afghanistan, which Rather covered back in the 1980s by sneaking into the country then at war with Russia, is very interesting. I can remember watching Rather on CBS at this time, never imagining how important that country would become to our nation twenty years later.

    The best chapters in the book cover the end of Rather's career with CBS News. He and his news team did a story on President George W. Bush's National Guard service during the Vietnam War. They found evidence that Bush went AWOL from his unit for more than a year, and when they tried to run the story, they were stymied at every point by corporate executives at CBS.

    Rather's most important point in the book, and one that I think he makes very well, is how the corporatization of the news has changed what news the American people get. The big three networks are now owned by huge corporations- ABC by Disney, NBC by Comcast/Universal and General Electric and CBS by Viacom.

    All of these corporations have vast holdings, and as such, they are constantly lobbying government for legislation favorable to their companies. Because of that, the news divisions are pressured to not report on anything that may hurt their lobbying efforts. The days of the news divisions having the freedom to cover the stories they think are important to the American people sadly seem to be over.

    Rather ends the book describing his new job at HDNet, owned by billionaire Mark Cuban. Rather and his news team create 42 hours of investigative reports per year (unheard of!), and he lists some of their most honored reports, including a story on a British bank that launders money for Iran, the horror of underage sex trafficking in Portland, Oregon, and a problem with Boeing's new Dreamliner plane that endangered lives. I definitely will be checking out HDNet and Rather Reports, they are doing the reporting I want to watch.

    Rather Outspoken is a fascinating look not only at an interesting man, but also at the most important news stories of the last fifty years. The book is really written in Rather's distinctive voice, with many of his Texas-isms, like his description of the very small office for Dan Rather Reports, running it as a "Hong King hot-pillow joint."

    He is a somewhat polarizing person with a big ego, and those who do not like Rather will probably not have their minds changed by this book, but for those looking for one man's story of his place covering the history of the past fifty years, this is an enlightening book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    Highly recommended - you must check it out!!!

    Great book. Easy to read and well written. Held my interest throughout. I learned a lot about how the news is handled. Must read for all enlightened citizens.

    Clifton P. Lewis
    Bartow, Florida

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2012

    Surprisingly godo!

    I heard about this book when Mr. Rather promoted it on The Daily Show and I thought to myself, "Man, this guy probably has some great stories to tell." And he really does. I didn't know much about Dan Rather going into the book, but I finished it with a newfound respect for the man. I learned a lot of things about how the news used to be filmed and the corruption that's taking place within it today. I learned a lot of things, actually. The book is very well-written and interesting and I found myself not able to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    Enlightening

    A very enlightening look at our media landscape from a man with a lot of experience in it. I enjoyed this very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Look down on people

    Dont care for him

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Excellent

    Terrific read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Rather bland

    Just another made up story by Kennith.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    Very Insightful

    This is a great read from a very insightful man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Anonymous

    I was not a fan of Dan Rather. I thought he came across as some what egotistical as he sat on his throne reporting the news. Even in his book he comes across with the same trait. Example, the huge picture of himself in the front page. Come on Mr. Rather we know what you look like, you don't have to remind us. I don't think I have ever come across a book where the author had a HUGE picture of themselves in the front page. He keeps saying he knew the consequences of uncovering the truth, but when it all came out he seemed completely unaware. I think his ego forged him ahead. He is not a great author, his writing lacks sophistication.

    0 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

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