- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
In his four decades as the front man for 60 Minutes, the most successful show in television history, Mike Wallace earned the distinction of being hyperaggressive, self-assured, and unflinching in his riveting exposés of injustice and corruption. His unrivaled career includes ...
In his four decades as the front man for 60 Minutes, the most successful show in television history, Mike Wallace earned the distinction of being hyperaggressive, self-assured, and unflinching in his riveting exposés of injustice and corruption. His unrivaled career includes interviews with every major newsmaker of the late twentieth century, from Martin Luther King to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Behind this intimidating facade, however, Wallace was profoundly depressed and haunted by demons that nearly drove him to suicide. Despite reaching the pinnacle of his profession, Wallace harbored deep insecurities about his credentials as a journalist. For half his life, he was more “TV Personality” than reporter, dabbling as a quiz show emcee, commercial pitchman, and actor. But in the wake of a life-changing personal tragedy, Wallace transformed himself, against all odds, into the most talked-about newsman in America.
Peter Rader's Mike Wallace: A Life tells the story of a courageous man who triumphed over personal adversity and redefined the landscape of television news.
“In his earliest broadcasting days, Myron "Mike" Wallace would've given Regis Philbin a run for his money. Long before the Massachusetts-born Wallace (who died in April) became synonymous with hard-edge TV journalism on"60 Minutes," he was a TV personality and host of variety shows. In fact, Peter Rader explains in his recent biography, Wallace was a "breezy raconteur who hosted chat shows, quiz shows and the like … a pitchman for Parliament Cigarettes and Fluffo shortening...."
So how did his broadcasting transformation take place? That's what Rader's book explores as it traces his long career, his encounters with politicians, Ku Klux Klan leaders and plenty of celebrities (who can forget his sparring with Barbra Streisand?). And all the while, Rader shows, Wallace fought bouts of despair and depression that tormented him even when "he was at the top of his game … [and] commanded a movie-star salary as well as the accompanying fame and mystique."
Rader's book does a fine job of tracing Wallace's life and times, but it does an even greater service in showing us the unexpected, private side that nearly capsized — but didn't — his celebrated career.”
—Los Angeles Times
“During four decades on 60 Minutes, Wallace was famous for his tough interviews of major newsmakers, including Malcolm X, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Vladimir Putin, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But behind his assertive and self-confident facade was a man troubled by anguish and selfdoubt since childhood. Filmmaker Rader examines the twists and turns of Wallace’s career that landed him in the position of esteemed television reporter and the messy personal life he lead. Wallace began his career as a showman, a game-show host, a past he fought for years to shake off in his desire to be taken seriously as a journalist. He’s been married four times, including in a tempestuous union with a Hollywood starlet who prodded him into the new medium of television. Rader chronicles Wallace’s slow climb out of entertainment into serious journalism, his hard-charging work ethic, and his fractious relationships with his wives and children. He also chronicles Wallace’s emotional ups and downs as he struggled with depression. Fans of Wallace will enjoy this revealing look at a complicated man and respected news reporter.” —Booklist
"Bold, well-crafted biography of a long-elusive and controversial public figure."—Kirkus Reviews
“It’s not widely known that 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace started in Chicago radio-television of the 1940s as actor Myron Wallace, appearing in Ma Perkins and other soap operas. And earlier, as Rader reminds readers in this colorful biography, Wallace was The Green Hornet’s announcer. With Night Beat in the late 1950s, after having moved to New York, the ambitious Wallace became an “overnight celebrity” because of his aggressive, rapid-fire interviews: “Night after night, Mike eviscerated them like a matador.” Abrasive bulldog tactics became his signature style, and when 60 Minutes began in 1968, Wallace’s investigative reporting and “ambush interviews” eventually brought him both controversy but also acclaim as one of the best broadcast journalists. Wallace has written his own memoirs more than once (Close Encounters in 1984; Between You and Me, 2005), which spliced in memorable interviews. Rader fills in the gaps with comprehensive coverage that includes accusations of “juvenile” sexual antics, self-doubts, lawsuits, the 1962 accidental death of his son, failed marriages, bouts with depression, a suicide attempt, and his “Jekyll and Hyde personality—sometimes magnanimous and charming, other times almost sadistic.” Influenced by his screenwriting, Rader (Waterworld) employs a cinematic writing style for this vivid portrait of Wallace set against a backdrop of technological television innovations.”—Publishers Weekly
“Mike Wallace was a television pioneer who transformed the news interview. In his quest to make news reporting less deferential and more hard-hitting, he also helped blur the lines between factual program making and entertainment. This makes him a controversial figure in the history of popular culture – and Peter Rader has done an excellent job of putting him in the context of a fast changing America. Rader’s greatest accomplishment is to show how the drama of Wallace’s private life reflected...the complex revolution going on in television journalism. Full of repressed desires, ambition, foolishness and regret, this book is a fine example of how one life can represent the triumphs and tribulations of an entire generation.”—Timothy Stanley, author of The Crusader: the Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan
“Mike Wallace as a groundbreaking, tough-minded journalist and Mike Wallace as a thin-skinned, self-doubting bully. While the broad outlines of Wallace's trajectory have been told before, no one has probed as deeply, or with as much intelligence, insight and good judgment, as Peter Rader. This is a first-rate biography that captures the life of a man who has shaped his profession and embodies all of its myriad strengths and weaknesses.”—Timothy L. O'Brien, Executive Editor, The Huffington Post
“Mike Wallace, whose probing TV interviews with everyone from Malcolm X to Barbara Streisand to Richard Nixon made him, too, a household name – was both a journalist and an entertainer: a career-split which exacerbated the personal insecurities of an over-achiever prone to crippling bouts of depression. Peter Rader neither dwells on nor ignores his hard-charging subject’s less attractive traits, in a swift and cinematic narrative that earns a verdict Wallace once suggested for his own epitaph: ‘Tough But Fair.’”—Tom Nolan, author of Artie Shaw, King of the Clarinet: His Life and Times
“If you think you know Mike Wallace, think again. Peter Rader’s thought-provoking biography draws a nuanced portrait of a man bursting with ambition who was fearless in the face of fame and power, yet also one who loathed his looks and throughout his life battled his inner darkness. Rader goes deep to reveal the journey Mike Wallace took to the top, describing in detail how the path was littered with broken hearts, broken promises and broken spirits – often Wallace's own.”—Nancie Clare, Editor, LA Times Magazine
“A spellbinding narrative about broadcast journalism; the amazing, personal story of one fascinating icon in our business, writ large across this current, tortured media landscape. A terrific read that makes vivid the ironies of the 60 Minutes legend, and chronicles the central debate in TV journalism for the past 40 years. What a story!”—Kathy O'Hearn, The Daily Beast
Excerpted from Mike Wallace by Peter Rader Copyright © 2012 by Peter Rader. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Introduction: The Two Faces of Mike Wallace 9
Chapter 1 A Boy Named Chinky 19
Chapter 2 False Starts 32
Chapter 3 Life Imitates Art 57
Chapter 4 Enter the Muse 86
Chapter 5 The Inquisitor Finds His Beat 108
Chapter 6 Two Lawsuits and a Nemesis 124
Chapter 7 Floundering 148
Chapter 8 Death & Rebirth 171
Chapter 9 Network News 189
Chapter 10 Blood Looks Very Red on Color TV 213
Chapter 11 Good Cop3 Bad Cop 229
Chapter 12 Rough Beginnings 242
Chapter 13 To Hell with Wallace 261
Chapter 14 Lacing Up the Gloves 275
Chapter 15 Abuse of Power 291
Chapter 16 Nowhere to Hide 308
Chapter 17 Sickeningly Happy? 326
Chapter 18 A Life Beyond Reproach 340
Chapter 19 Mike Wallace Is Here 358
Chapter 20 Three Strikes 372
Chapter 21 The Trial of His Life 383
Chapter 22 A Call for Help 396
Chapter 23 Tabloid Satori 411
Chapter 24 Oh, Shit. He's Dead! 425
Chapter 25 Journalistic Malpractice 437
Chapter 26 Shifting Sands 454
Chapter 27 The Old Man Has Lost It 467
Chapter 28 Tough but Fair 486
Author's Note 501
Selected References 541
Posted April 14, 2012
For those of us who are fascinated by complex, high powered individuals, like Steve Jobs and Mike Wallace, this is the must-read biography of 2012. What Isaacson did for Jobs, Peter Rader does for Wallace, and then some, taking us into those inner aspects of his life that fueled his outer persona.Both men--brilliant, tortured, difficult characters, who abused those closest to them in their dogged pursuit of what they felt was truth-- lived dramatic lives that keep us glued to the edge of our seats. Just as Jobs ushered us into the digital information age, Wallace was at the forefront of all the major changes in broadcast journalism in the 20th century. In Wallace's youth, there wasn't even radio! Rader has done an excellent job gaining access to those closest to Wallace, including colleagues and family. Perhaps his most revealing interview is with Wallace's most accomplished female producer, Marion Goldin, who drops some bombshells about the rampant sexism that surrounded 60 Minutes, which are not to be missed. Unlike some biographies, this book gets better and better the further you get into it. I simply could not put it down.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2013
Posted July 17, 2012
There's just something about this well-written story about Mike (Myron) Wallace that touched my soul. Maybe it was his personal struggles with his own appearance, or the loss of his son or the downright tenacity of his approach to his brand of journalism. I have always enjoyed his interviews because I knew there was never going to be soft-ball questions. Peter Rader paints an imposing yet important portrait of one of the most recognized faces on television. While Wallace gave the impression of a man who seemed to have no issues with self-esteem his personal and professional life was filled with challenges. This is a sad story at times but I have a greater appreciation for what Wallace did and I believe he will be missed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2012
Posted July 12, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted May 17, 2012
No text was provided for this review.