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A Life on the Road

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  374 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
"A professional memoir of a gifted, good-humored and gracious man...The book has the feel of good conversation on a long trip."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
John Charles Kuralt on the journey of his life. From a southern boy bitten by wanderlust and wonder, to a curious rover writing for newspapers, radio, and TV, to a CBS News correspondent adventuring around the world--f
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Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 23rd 1991 by Ivy Books (first published October 1st 1990)
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Olivia
Jun 24, 2008 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be the funniest story of how I accidentally found a good book. I was at a used book store and saw this book, without it's dust jacket, and mistook it for Jack Kerouac's On The Road. As soon as I started reading it I realized my mistake but was completely enthralled by Kuralt's storytelling. His recounting of the beginnings of tv news journalism and the stories he had covered and people he had met along the way demonstrate how good he must have been at his job.

I had heard of him befo
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Chuck
When I picked this book to read I thought mistakenly that it was one of those wandering travel books that takes you from place to place uncovering fascinating people and places in the deserts, prairies and hollers of America. The book, however, is an autobiographical cruise through the life of one of the most noteworthy reporters of our time. To put it simply, I would give anything to be given his frequent flyer miles, his experience with the people that he has met, the places that he has been a ...more
Michael Lockridge
Dec 26, 2013 Michael Lockridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished. My father gave this to me recently. I was duly impressed, but that should be expected. Charles Kuralt was a life-long journalist, and certainly displays a mastery of words in this book. I am deeply fond of the idea of travel, and have enjoyed all of my travels as opportunity presented them. Kuralt committed himself to travel as a way of life, using his career as a means to achieve fulfillment of his wanderlust. Literature offers a mode for the frustrated traveler to fulfill that d ...more
Velimir Randic
Sep 09, 2010 Velimir Randic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ian
Shelves: history-bio
An entertaining biography of Charles Kuralt, who covered stories all over the world for CBS before he finally landed the assignment that would make him known to everyone in America. Follows his progression from a small town reporter in North Carolina to working for CBS first in radio, then in TV. Interesting anecdotes from his assignments in Vietnam, South American where he was CBS bureau chief for many years, and then Los Angeles to cover the West Coast. Among the more poignant stories was when ...more
E Wilson
Aug 19, 2011 E Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I loved this book. I loved Charles Kuralt's "On the Road" news stories. I read one of his previous books. I believe it was "On the Road With Charles Kuralt and I loved it too.
He was such a plain looking rather dumpy man so it was
interesting to read what a daring reporter he was when he was
younger. He accompanied combat troops in Vietnam, was in the middle
of a war in Africa, and braved a trip by snowmobile to the North Pole. Even though he was ferried back and forth by plane to the snowmobile
c
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Andrea
Jun 29, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed his style and am going to do a YouTube search to see if I can find some of his old broadcasts. I would have given this four stars if I were a baby boomer; most of the radio & TV personalities (and many of the political leaders) are meaningless to me. Mea culpa.
Christina
A self written memoir by someone I didn't know much about. Fifty years ago journalism was a different game, and Kuralt makes it sound fun. A few very memorable stories here.
Roxanne
Mar 23, 2014 Roxanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real pleasure to read. Kuralt struck the perfect tone with this memoir; I enjoyed every word. Laugh-out-loud funny in places, involuntary-grin pleasing in many others.
Carla
May 03, 2011 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cheated and skimmed on some of this book, I was on vacation and it belonged to the house. It was an easy read, quick tour of the Vietnam era and included anecdotes about a lot of world and USA date markers. I don't need to read it again, wish it had a better index though, it could serve as a timeline of an era.

I did have the time to Wikipedia the deal with his two families. That was somewhat of a damper. What do I want, full disclosure (one form of truth) or the ideal of preserving privacy for
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David Richardson
Feb 29, 2016 David Richardson rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it reads like a collection of short stories of Kuralts' travels. Set mostly in the USA, with some international ones too. Simply written and fun to read.
Winnie
Jan 02, 2012 Winnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kuralt starts off with tales of traveling around North Carolina with his father. His father was a social worker when Kuralt was a boy. He loved being on the road. He started off writing for newspapers and moved in to writing for radio. He was a pioneer in TV news becoming a CBS news correspondent at age 23. He traveled covering stories all over the globe. After a decade of that he went to CBS and asked to do feature stories which he enjoyed much more than covering ...more
Diane
Apr 28, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: Picked up at Sheila's rental in Florida 2016
This was a lucky find, on the shelf of a home my sister's renting in Florida. Not only did this man (whom I've never heard of, or seen on TV), live an extraordinary life, but his way of describing things is captivating. I learned a lot about this vast and varied nation, with a nod to several of the most famous people and incidents of the twentieth century, but with by far the most attention given to unsung citizens Charles Kurault visited and recorded for his television shows. I highly recommend ...more
Martha
Nov 03, 2015 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the tv shows was always interesting and this book is too..read at home
Mary Davis
Feb 09, 2011 Mary Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Charles Kuralt preceeded Walter Cronkite on CBS News- he knew Edward R. Murrow and worked with CBS through the McCarthy years. This book is a sort of memoir/autobiography of the man and his work with CBS- he had a 15 minute segment on the news called Life On the Road and he traveled in an rv all over the U.S. and talked to people in all kinds of towns and cities and by doing that he gave a great picture of America and americans in the 60's. His program received 3 Peabody awards and 10 Emmys.. He ...more
Matt
Jan 29, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very pleasant read with a touch of the truly amazing. Kuralt made "the road" his home, and his recollections reflect the changing face of the USA and of civilization in general. He was fortunate to be able to invent and carve out a journalistic niche under the auspices of mighty CBS television news, and it's an understatement to say he made the most of it. Revealing any details would constitute "spoilers," so I won't, but I'd certainly recommend this book to baby boomers, people who travel for ...more
Peter
Jul 02, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(pre-Goodreads)

Enjoyed it.

Estimated date.
Freder
Jun 22, 2016 Freder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sly old Charlie. We miss you.
Carla
Jan 19, 2012 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took the audiobook of this book (one great anecdote after another from Kuralt's many trips for CBS news) along on my very first trip across country in my late 20s. I still remember Kuralt's most mundane (and helpful) travel tips, including always having safety pins on hand to close motel room curtains, which rarely seem to meet (no privacy, plus unwelcome wakeup calls when the sun hits you in the face).
Cindy
I always think of his helpful tips...bring a 100 watt light bulb with you, since the bed lamps only have 60 watt bulbs, and a safety pin to shut the curtains, which never meet. Traveling recently, I have noticed that most hotel chains have also read this book and have made great changes to their decor, lighting and curtains. So thanks mr. Kuralt! You have made traveling more delightful!
Bob
Aug 02, 2007 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't even remember why or how I obtained this book, but it was a good read. One tale he tells which resonated with me a lot was relating a something an older journalist had told him many years before. "Son, when a you get to be my age you'll regret every time you could have made love and didn't." Kuralt observes, "I laughed then." I would have laughed once myself.
Professor
Dec 13, 2010 Professor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book

A Life on the Road was a fascinating listen, and much enhanced by hearing Kuralt's distinctive voice. The book gives us a brief history of Kuralt's career, along with some wonderful anecdotes about his time on the road and about the dawn and heyday of the broadcast news era. It was hard to not think we've lost something since those days.
Phyllis
Apr 24, 2010 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to watch Charles Kuralt's "Sunday Morning" on TV. He would always include a trip he had taken somewhere in the States, usually an out-of-the-way area where he met and talked with all kinds of people. These little adventures come to life in the book. Makes me want to get off the freeway and see more of our country.
Alisa
Quick read. Nice reminiscence especially for those who remember Kuralt's 'On the Road' segments. Worth the read for the insights he provides on pre-Castro Cuba, a reporter's relationship with his/her camera operator, and the amazing WWII story of American heroism from a Russian soldier 40 years after the war.
Carol Rose Stark Neal
nonfiction, autobiographical memoir, written with humor. includes Kuralt's encounters with ordinary members of the human race (whose stories are never ordinary) and some celebrities. Amusing enough to entice me to desire to find Kuralt's other materials.

Includes a meeting with Archibald McLeish.
Dave
I miss Charles' televised mini-travelogues. This book will bring you back to those wonderful little side-trips. I can imagine sharing a fine meal with Charles at Galatoire's in the French Quarter of New Orleans while he regales us with colorful stories of his travels in this magnificent country.
bigbonton
Nov 20, 2008 bigbonton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never start the conversation without the microphone on & ready.
Stall, use a blocker, anything, but once the subject has said his piece it's over and is done. Never fresh again, never said as well.
I knew this but it's wonderful to hear Kuralt say he has the same problems.
Robert Arndt
Jun 26, 2012 Robert Arndt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book about Kuralt's trails and life on the road. He shares humorous information about travel in an RV, meeting people. He also has insights in to traveling to Cuba and other countries in the midst of civil war in the 1950's and 1960's.
Paula
Mar 24, 2009 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. I am only 31 years old, so my memory of Mr. Kuralt is vague @ best. I read this book out of curiousity for a man who literally took the road not taken & was not @ all disappointed. Well worth the read!!!
 don presnell
Oct 03, 2015 don presnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


watching the news,
especially the vietnam war era
mr kuralt added some Much needed levity


i also own a book 'north carolina is my home'
by charles kuralt
goodreads dosent recognize it
and i dont know how to add to lists
Yvensong
I learned how one woman in Reno, NV was motivated by the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. to persuade a community to build Baker Park. The story is one of many fascinating stories told by Kuralt on this audio book.

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Charles Kuralt was an award-winning American journalist. He was most widely known for his long career with CBS, first for his "On the Road" segments on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and later as the first anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning, a position he held for fifteen years.

Kuralt's "On the Road" segments were recognized twice with personal Peabody Awards. The first, awarded in 1968
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