Sunday, November 11, 2007

Talking Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels by Andrea Mitchell

Overview: Andrea Mitchell's first foreign posting was covering the Jonestown massacre in Guyana - after her predecessor had been murdered. She's gone on to become on of the most respected reporters on TV, present as the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the funeral of Yasser Arafat and extracting unexpected answers from interviewees ranging from Fidel Castro to Hillary Clinton. In this riveting memoir, Mitchell tells the story behind those stories, candidly discussing the professional challenges of her marriage to Alan Greenspan and explaining what it's like to be in the news as well as cover it.

My review: This book was very up and down for me. Quite honestly I probably wouldn't have finished it I hadn't been reading it for "Go Review That Book!" on I found the first half of the book very slow going and not much to keep up my interest level. I'll admit that I find the politics of the Middle East very messy and confusing and all most of her introduction is spent covering Condi Rice and the Middle East mess. If the book had continued down that route I was done.

But fortunately she moves on and that is where the interest level for me picked up some. This isn't a book for telling the juicy details and spreading gossip but she provides some interesting insight into the lives of the Regans and Clintons. I got a better understanding of why these couples came across to the American public as they did whether for better or worse. Her revelations about the political process behind scenes was entertaining.

It was an OK book but not a real page turner.


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