Lone star: the extraordinary life and times of Dan Rather
"Alan Weisman has come as close as anyone to unraveling one of the big mysteries of the television age: who is the real Dan Rather? Weisman has devoted much time, energy, and talent to that question, and this book is a fascinating read."
--Robert Pierpoint, former CBS News correspondent
"There is no career in modern television journalism that is more fascinating, complicated, controversial, or accomplished than that of Dan Rather, and there is no one who has focused the attention of colleagues, TV writers, competitors, and, of course, critics to a similar degree over the last twenty-five years. Alan Weisman's lively account of this remarkable life explains why the quest to understand Rather has remained so vital and important."
--Verne Gay, television critic, Newsday
"This book is an attempt to take a few steps back from Memogate and examine the whole picture -- the scope and breadth of Dan Rather's life, career, and times. If he mattered enough to be watched by untold millions of people for fifty years on television, then his story matters enough to be told as fully as possible."
--From Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather
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Lone star: the extraordinary life and times of Dan RatherUser Review - Book Verdict
Drawing on some eighty interviews, Weisman, a former CBS newsman himself, presents an insider view of how Rather evolved into one of the most polarizing figures in American news media. Many different personalities emerge along the way (hard-working reporter becomes lazy anchor; loyal and hospitable gives way to vindictive and paranoid), but one trait runs consistent throughout: the Texas native's "penchant for going with his gut." From his frontline reports in Vietnam to his famously direct questioning of Richard Nixon, Rather's instincts delivered him the most prestigious post in television news, and an unprecedented salary to go with it. Those same instincts, unfortunately, also led to his inexcusable walk-out during a telecast from Miami, his embarrassingly combative 1988 interview with Bush I, and, ultimately, his career-killing involvement with a 60 Minutes segment about Bush II's alleged transgressions as a National Guardsman. Weisman never doubts his subject's commitment to CBS, but again and again his work demonstrates how Rather's personal affect, ambition and, yes, salary, steered the network's once-vaunted news division in the wrong direction. This clear-eyed biography should satisfy anyone interested in the legacy of TV news.