by Douglas Brinkley


by Douglas Brinkley


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Douglas Brinkley presents the definitive, revealing biography of an American legend: renowned news anchor Walter Cronkite.

An acclaimed author and historian, Brinkley has drawn upon recently disclosed letters, diaries, and other artifacts at the recently opened Cronkite Archive to bring detail and depth to this deeply personal portrait.

He also interviewed nearly two hundred of Cronkite’s closest friends and colleagues, including Andy Rooney, Leslie Stahl, Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Les Moonves, Christiane Amanpour, Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Ted Turner, Jimmy Buffett, and Morley Safer, using their voices to instill dignity and humanity in this study of one of America’s most beloved and trusted public figures.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061374272
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Pages: 819
Sales rank: 548,887
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, presidential historian for the New-York Historical Society, trustee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” He is the recipient of such distinguished environmental leadership prizes as the Frances K. Hutchison Medal (Garden Club of America), Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks (National Parks Conservation Association), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lifetime Heritage Award. His book The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He was awarded a Grammy for Presidential Suite and is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates in American studies. His two-volume, annotated Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link–Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I The Making of a Reporter

1 Missouri Boy 15

2 Houston Youth 33

3 Learning a Trade 55

4 Making of a Unipresser 87

Part II The Second World War

5 Gearing Up for Europe 111

6 The Writing Sixty-Ninth 140

7 Dean of the Air War 171

8 Gliding to V-E Day 192

9 From the Nuremberg Trials to Russia 219

Part III Cold War Broadcaster

10 Infancy of TV News 237

11 Election Night and UNIVAC 262

12 Mr. CBS Utility Man 285

13 The Huntley and Brinkley Challenge 302

14 Torch Is Passed 331

15 New Space Frontier on CBS 367

Part IV Anchorman

16 Anchorman of Camelot 399

17 The Kennedy Assassination 438

18 Who's Afraid of the Nielsen Ratings? 475

19 Paley's Attempted Smackdown 506

20 Civil Rights and Project Gemini 540

21 What to Do About Vietnam? 568

22 The Tet Offensive 614

Part V Top Game

23 Calm and Chaos of 1968 651

24 Mr. Moon Shot 684

25 Avatar of Earth Day 713

26 The Nixon-versus-CBS War 740

27 Reportable Truth in the Age of Nixon 769

28 Fan Clubs, Stalkers, and Political Good-byes 812

29 A Time to Heal 851

30 Live with Jimmy Carter 880

Part VI The Spokesperson

31 Retirement Blues 921

32 Struggling Elder Statesman 959

33 Defiant Liberal 993

34 "The World's Oldest Reporter" 1033

35 The New Millennium 1069

Epilogue: Electronic Uncle Sam 1107

Acknowledgments 1127

Biographical Glossary 1150

Notes 1171

Author's Interviews 1404

What People are Saying About This

Ronald Steel

“In this absorbing and sensitively-written biography, Douglas Brinkley has captured not only the life and momentous decades of a uniquely American legend, but also the heartbeat of a nation in its times of both triumph and tragedy.”

Walter Isaacson

“Walter Cronkite exemplified the glorious age of trusted journalism. In this deeply researched and brilliantly analytic biography, Douglas Brinkley captures his essence. He treats Cronkite as not just an icon, but as a real human with passions, loves, and occasional enmities. It’s a fascinating and valuable tale.”

Michael Beschloss

“Douglas Brinkley’s absorbing and well-researched book recaptures the high solstice of American television journalism and the man who most exemplified that moment. It also illuminates, behind the scenes, a Walter Cronkite that millions of Americans thought they knew, but, as Brinkley’s book now shows us, didn’t.”

Debby Applegate

“Exhaustively researched and beautifully written, Cronkite is a classic. Douglas Brinkley has written his best book yet. This is a fascinating story that will be read for years to come.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin

“This sweeping narrative of Walter Cronkite’s life is irresistibly told, beautifully written, and deeply researched. Douglas Brinkley has produced one trustworthy biography after another, each one commanding widespread respect and admiration. And this is one of the very best.”

Tom Brokaw

“The personal and professional life of Walter Cronkite is an American treasure - and we should all be grateful to Douglas Brinkley for telling it so well.”

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