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.
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.
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 us.penguingroup.com.-Ed.]
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.