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A Reporter's Life
ISBN 0679774149 / 9780679774143 / 0-679-77414-9
Publisher Random House Large Print
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If you're looking for something in between Charles Dickens and James Thurber, try Walter Cronkite's A Reporter's Life. This humble but very exciting autobiography is full of interesting characters and lightly told anecdotes. (Early on in the narrative, young Cronkite recalls running from a cigar store, where he has surreptitiously memorized box scores, down the street to the radio station where he can report them over his daily news broadcast.) The full, even tones of Cronkite's voice rise to describe the best fight he'd ever seen on a movie screen and fall to recall the day John Kennedy died. A hundred years of American history are offered with refreshing color and candor, a tale many may only know as a semester-long drone in high school. The audio version of A Reporter's Life has the advantage of Cronkite's famously unassuming voice, perfectly suited to the weight and manner of prose that delights with understatement. Cronkite's affections, both for his wife and for his own success, are tempered with charming modesty. He delivers keen and respectful observations of U.S. presidents and other heads of state that he has worked with, as though they were simply colleagues he has known through the years. For example, when Walter Cronkite returned from Vietnam after the Tet Offensive, he announced on national television that he deemed the war to be a stalemate, after which President Johnson is said to have turned off the set and said, "Well, we've lost middle America." [via]