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Mike Wallace: A Life

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The untold story of how the world's most feared TV reporter transformed his inner darkness into a journalistic juggernaut that riveted millions and redefined the landscape of television news In his four decades as the front man for 60 Minutes, the most successful show in television history, Mike Wallace earned the distinction of being hyperaggressive, self-assured, and unf ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 13th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Apr 24, 2012 Fran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mike Wallace: A Life
Author: Peter Rader

Mike Wallace was an icon in the world of journalism. On the outside or wide screen he appeared confident, self assured, confrontational at times and in total control of every situation he encountered. Mike Wallace was the perfect Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. From the onset of career, even when working on his High School newspaper, Mike Wallace was aggressive, on point and never walked away from an argument or conflict until he came out the victor. But, Mike Wal
Phyllis Eisenstadt
Mar 29, 2015 Phyllis Eisenstadt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Through a piercing examination of Wallace's personal and professional life, Rader provides a new perspective of this complex human being. We learn that this tough, respected, and ofttimes feared American icon had the same vulnerabilities and frailnesses as do lesser mortals. These discoveries serve to enhance Wallace's humanity, and provide insight into the many dimensions of his long, bittersweet, dramatic existence. Rader's masterful opus demonstrates that, personal trials notwithstanding, Wal ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Monika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just found out I am getting this, my first goodreads contest winner book. I am actually looking forward to it. This man was an icon of American journalism. I remember watching 60 minutes as a child and being fascinated with the real live stories they told. It's kind of funny in a way my mom would not let me watch the evening news, she felt the coverage of the Vietnam war was not suitable for me to watch but 60 minutes, that I could watch.
Dale Stonehouse
This was not high on my list but a free copy from Goodreads changed that. While Wallace's public personality and performance were well-detailed, this bio suffers from his lifelong penchant for avoiding talking about his feelings in his personal life. Even so, his long career in TV and radio are unique and his interviewing technique has been emulated widely. Starting out with a preconceived idea of what the interviewee will say is certainly not objective, but most journalism falls into that categ ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Carolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I like biographies that inspire. His life did not and it certainly soured me on 60 Minutes (probably only saw a few episodes in my life altogether). I think he was a fortunate man to have met and made friends with Gordon B. Hinckley. I would say it was a bit fascinating to learn about the history behind newsmaking and Wallace was certainly one who grew with it and helped revolutionize new ways to deliver news.
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’ve watched television since the 40’s and 50’s, Mike Wallace needs no introduction. You’ve been an eye witness to his very long, iconic media career. This is not the first time someone has attempted to capture the newsman’s life in print. Here, a self-proclaimed screenwriter, Peter Rader, initially thought Wallace’s life should be put on the silver screen. Ultimately, he decided his bio should begin as a book.

Most Americans should be aware that Wallace, who recently passed away just short
Sep 03, 2012 Mediaman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This overview of Mike Wallace's life contains mistakes, made-up conversations and distorted observations that keep it from being objective. I'm not sure what the other Amazon reviewers were reading but they must not have looked at the last few pages where the author admits his sister worked for Mike Wallace (how can Rader claim objectivity?) and where he writes, "Where specific information was not available, I employed a narrative convention: constructing a plausible situation with imagined dial ...more
Lisa A. Carlson
Jul 17, 2012 Lisa A. Carlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: news junkies
Shelves: memoir
From the first pages author Peter Rader places the reader at the beginning of Mike (born Myron) Wallace's life. We come to know his family life and how he was a rambunctious boy who didn't seem to live up to the expectations of a strict mother. His father may have helped soften the regimen but Wallace was going to gain his independence one way or another. As anyone who has watched Mike Wallace on television knows he had a tenacity that was second to none and it's clear it began with his first jo ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Wallace is one of the reasons why I went to journalism school. I first fell in love with Walter Cronkite and watched him every day after school. Then I fell in love with Mike Wallace on 60 minutes and the way he interviewed.

After reading this book, I realize Mike Wallace was not a man I should have idolized. Yes, he had hard hitting questions during his interviews, but the behind the scenes, he was not a very nice person. He was also a very conflicted and troubled person.

This was a very wel
Dick Hamilton
On the whole I liked the book, but I felt that much more could have been said or written. To me, Mike Wallace was almost larger than life, given my age I know him only from 60 Minutes. But the book did not really seem to reveal enough about him. Perhaps that was all he was willing to reveal to us, but I felt that the answers sometimes seemed too pat. I was left wanting to find out more about him.
Jun 05, 2012 Watmom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched Mike Wallace for years on 60 Minutes and The 20th Century. He always struck me as so confident and sure of himself, as a man who was tough through and through.

It was fascinating to read about the real Mike Wallace, the one who seemed to feel he always had to prove himself, and whose confidence was so easily shattered. It was as if a great building had been built upon a house of cards and his life was a constant struggle to keep it all from collapsing.

A fascinating read.
Apr 18, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a Goodread's first read. What a great book! As a viewer of 60 minutes and a fan of Mike Wallace for many years, I did not realize how little I knew about the man outside of the show. This was a very thorough look at his life covering family, career, and his bouts with depression. While I sometimes find nonfiction difficult to read, this book was hard to put down. Great job, Mr. Rader!
Jan 19, 2013 jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was more impressed by the writing skill of this biographer Peter Rader than the subject he chose. A masterful work. It revealed Mike Wallace's driving ambition and his personal weaknesses. It is the rare biographer who can close each chapter with a single line that compels you to start the next chapter right now- work, sleep, anything else can wait.

As for Mike Wallace I think he eventuallly learned that the news business is show business and family should come first.
Apr 29, 2012 Sherri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Wallace is a media legend. He strived to change the way we viewed the world we live in. He stood up for what he believed in even if it wasn't popular. I grew up watching 60 minutes. I truly enjoyed the way this book took you through his professional as well as personal life. I won this book from Goodreads giveway. Thanks Goodreads.
Aug 14, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this biography is used to writing screen plays and it show in the prose. While I found Mike Wallace and interesting and complex man between the covers of this book, I also felt like something was missing.
Laura Obrenovich
Not protrayed as I expected. Hmmmm.....
Apr 26, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives an insight into the life of the man we've seen on television for so many years.
Sep 10, 2013 Vionna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative and enjoyable bio. Mike Wallace certainly overcame many personal obstacles to become a famous journalist
Apr 12, 2013 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Half way through, lost interest. Didn't finish.
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Jun 30, 2012
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Aug 19, 2015
Richard Lerner
Richard Lerner rated it it was amazing
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Feb 06, 2013
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Phil White rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2015
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Jan 10, 2014
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Skip Ebert rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2015
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Timothy Childs rated it really liked it
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Greg Lumb rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2012
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PETER RADER was raised in Rome and educated at Harvard University. A film¬maker and screenwriter, he has developed projects for all the major Hollywood studios. Rader resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. "Mike Wallace: A Life" is his first book.
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