Bob Schieffer's America

( 4 )


The Face the Nation commentator delivers 'a fitting companion to his career memoir, This Just In' (Texas Monthly).

Bob Schieffer's America brings together 171 of his smart, humorous, and pitch-perfect essays: from today's hard issues to the human stories that show readers who they are; from politics and presidents and tragedy to the things that touch them, make them laugh, or record the small shifts in culture that just creep up. In addition, Schieffer has written 'commentaries ...

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The Face the Nation commentator delivers 'a fitting companion to his career memoir, This Just In' (Texas Monthly).

Bob Schieffer's America brings together 171 of his smart, humorous, and pitch-perfect essays: from today's hard issues to the human stories that show readers who they are; from politics and presidents and tragedy to the things that touch them, make them laugh, or record the small shifts in culture that just creep up. In addition, Schieffer has written 'commentaries on my commentaries' that run throughout the book, offering further anecdotes, reflections, updates, and insights.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bob Schieffer has been in the news business for 45 years (he covered the JFK assassination for a Fort Worth paper) and a CBS news journalist since 1969, but it took a major event (the 1994 death of Richard Nixon) to make him a Face the Nation commentator. Since then, Schieffer's measured opinions and reflections have added new depth and perspective to that famous show. This collection of 168 commentaries brings together stories of human courage and mass tragedy, hometown fervor and far-flung crises. A graceful follow-up to Schieffer's popular memoir, This Just In.
Publishers Weekly

Veteran CBS newsman and Frontline anchor Schieffer (This Just In) compiles 168 essays spanning his career from the Nixon administration to the present day. He reminisces about the pretelevision era when politicians "had to be entertaining to hold a crowd"; with tongue-in-cheek rhetoric, the author creates his own exploratory committee because "everyone else seems to be doing it.... and people for some reason send them million of dollars." In a critique of the current administration, Schieffer laments that "we had elected an administration that feared the future." The hypocrisy of American foreign policy is brought to the forefront in a discussion about democracy, war and the loss of humanity in politics. As an ardent fan of human interest journalism, comic personal writing and America, Schieffer portrays citizens optimistically while harshly criticizing the current policies in Washington. Schieffer's ruminations are appealing (though hardly groundbreaking), but a choppy organization and a tendency toward repetition and overemphasis on a few themes detract from an otherwise humorous, albeit simple, collection of essays. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

EmmyA Award-winning CBS newsman Schieffer has witnessed many of our nation's greatest and saddest moments. In this collection of brief essays and commentary, he shares what he considers to be his most relevant and timeless writings. Some are poignant; others call forth grins (a self-identified "independent," Schieffer unhesitatingly attacks both parties while also scrutinizing the current state of political affairs). With its hint of rasp, Schieffer's mature voice simultaneously evokes a bit of crotchetiness, hope, and bemusement. But his habit of ending at a soft volume may render the last word or two of his sentences inaudible for some listeners. Nonetheless, many are sure to agree with his take on America. [Audio clip available through]
—Lance Eaton

Kirkus Reviews
Broadcast journalist Schieffer (This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV, 2002, etc.) collects his Sunday commentaries from Face the Nation. A few sentences about the death of Richard Nixon in 1994 launched this popular feature, which has been a fixture of the program ever since. Culled from the many hundreds written by Schieffer, 170 essays cover politics, family, history and prominent people. They have more meat than a sound bite yet remain short and pithy. Occasionally the author will come out of left field with some pleasing illumination a la Andy Rooney. At other times, he turns up the acerbity in the mode of his mentor Eric Sevareid. "Congress ran to the airport Friday," he snaps. "They're taking two weeks this year for Thanksgiving. I wouldn't ask how many days you're taking because that would be a digression." But mostly Schieffer displays an avuncular progressivism, wondering where the good, old-fangled virtues of decency, honesty and doing no harm to the innocent have gone in our political life, while finding these values still vigorous in the nation's citizenry. He gives credit where it is due, appreciatively noting Ronald Reagan's understanding "that winning an argument does not have to mean destroying your opponent," and he admits to doubts and remorse, as in his evolving opinion about the course and conduct of the Iraq war. Sometimes he simply shares his love for something, a good book, perhaps, or gently serves some advice worth the minute it takes to tell: "when I think of the stories I've missed, it was usually because I wasn't listening when someone was trying to tell me something."Insightful nuggets that express a worldview, an ethical system and a newsman'scode of conduct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425229583
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,521,417
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Schieffer

Bob Schieffer has been covering the news for forty-five years, first as a newspaper reporter and, since 1969, as a correspondent for CBS News. At CBS, he is one of the very few correspondents who have covered all four major Washington beats: the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and Capitol Hill. He has been CBS's chief Washington correspondent since 1982, and became the anchor and moderator of Face the Nation in 1991. For twenty years he anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News and, for a year and a half, the weekday broadcasts. He has won six Emmy awards, and in 2002 was named Broadcaster of the Year by the National Press Foundation.

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Table of Contents

I How Washington Works - and Doesn't 1

II Vote For...Never Mind 27

III The Best Politicians Money Can Buy 49

IV Hail to the Chief 65

V Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of News 91

VI War and Peace 115

VII Seasons 145

VIII Who We Are 165

IX Human Interests 197

X The Lives We Led 215

XI The Unthinkable 233

Afterword 269

Acknowledgements 277

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Bob Schieffer recalls history

    I found this book to be a refreshing look at history during the last forty years. His commentaries at the end of "Face the Nation" are something I look forward to each week and reading some of them brought back memories of hearing them. There were times when I could visualize his face when I first heard them. Some times he is deadly serious and others there is a twinkle in his eye as he delivers his thought. He is not afraid to admit that on review that he was wrong when the original piece was broadcast. This is refreshing. The background on his family during these times is interesting. His wife, Pat, sounds like someone I would enjoy meeting. This is a book that should be read over time so the information can be digested. Reading this is like inviting an old friend into your home.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bob Schieffer's America- a collection of well written essays.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this well written collection of Mr. Schieffer's essays. I don't think that I let many Sunday mornings pass by without listening to Mr. Schieffer, and I have always enjoyed his commentaries and outlook on situations. This book provides a well balanced collection of his essays on every subject. Some will make you laugh, some will bring a tear to your eye. All in all, it is America.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great entertainment and wit as only Bob Schieffer can supply

    Mr. Schieffer has always been my favorite journalist; his plainspoken demeanor, thorough knowledge of politics, and fair reporting make him a trusted figure. In this book he lays out many of his best commentaries for us, resulting in a work that makes you smile while informing and entertaining. As I read it I could almost hear his Texas accent reading it to me in the characteristic way only Bob does.<BR/><BR/>You will not be disappointed if you buy or read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2008

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