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Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  527 ratings  ·  115 reviews
This memoir by Dan Rather is told in a straightforward and conversational voice, and covers all the important moments of his journalistic career, including a frank accounting of his dismissal from CBS, the Abu Ghraib story, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, new insights on the JFK assassination, the origin of "Hurricane Dan" as well as inside stories about ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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I enjoyed this book much, much more than I thought I would. Having spent several years in television news, I was especially fascinated by Rather's experiences as a reporter in the field. But I found myself equally interested in his time as a White House correspondent and his views on the trivialization, corporatization and politicization of the news.

Despite what anyone believes about his departure from CBS, he deserves tremendous respect for his determination to seek the truth and his loyalty t
Michael Todd
In the last month, I've read Bob Schieffer's, Roger Mudd's and now, Dan Rather's memoirs. All three are similar in describing facts of events and how CBS News operated at the time. Sheiffer's is very down to earth and humorous, while Mudd's is a more straightforward style of writing. I enjoyed them both.

Rather writes in a more lyrical style, which is not surprising because he is known for his clever use of phrases on the air. What caught me off guard was his candor and deep descriptions of his
Patrick Nichol
Dan Rather is a professional storyteller, there's no dispute.
What heppened to him at CBS News is in dispute and that's why this memoir is an important work.
Granted, Rather Outspoken is Dan Rather's own spin on why he was asked to leave CBS News after a contentious story about President George W. Bush's National Guard Service.
The story was he was let go because the segment which said Bush had shirked his duty relied on documents later "discredited" in the blogosphere. CBS held an "independent' in
Dan Rather has been a news reporter for over 50 years and in all those years he has made a few enemies, from the KKK during the civil rights movement to President Nixon to members of George W. Bush's administration. He covers the reasons why in Rather Outspoken- My Life in the News, co-written with Digby Diehl.

There are several events in Rather's life that had a lasting impact on him, beginning with a bad case of rheumatic fever when he was a child that left him trapped in his home, unable to pl
This book by one of the elder statesmen of American journalism is part memoir, part reflection, part ringing condemnation, and all Rather. Opening with the events that led to his ouster from CBS News, Rather then reverts back to his childhood and his early interest in reporting the news, following that love of journalism from elementary school into college and beyond. As Rather recounts the work of his early years at CBS (the civil rights movement, the Kennedy assassination, his time in Washingt ...more
Reese Copeland
The book is ok. I used to watch Dan Rather growing up as I was a very odd child, watching the news instead of cartoons. It was interesting to read about his life, and his very clear work ethic. However, two things I did not like. First, remember all those odd catch phrases he'd have in the 2000 Elections? Yeah, I found a few of those in here. Not a lot, just enough to annoy me. THe second thing I didn't like, he led off with the whole document about Bush being AWOL including the faked documents. ...more
Not my cup of tea. Well read by Rather himself, but I didn't care for the way he kept sneaking up on things. Just lay out the facts, please. Instead he gives this big build up & makes a lot of oblique comments before getting to the point. It was quite underwhelming. I probably wouldn't have rated this, but he's been a good newsman for a long time & can deliver in the constraints of the TV news. He obviously didn't feel the need here. Wish he had.

Besides, I'm not particularly interested i
Lanny Carlson
An outstanding book!
The author provides us with insights into the process and perils of
investigative reporting, drawing from his own experiences in the South during the Civil Rights movement,the war in Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.
He also provides the troubled state of the current news business,
which has increasingly become the tool of corporate and political interests.
Especially enlightening was his observations on the internet,
and how a single false report can be repeated so often that it takes
While this was not the detailed behind-the-scene memoir I was looking for, it was still an informative and enjoyable read. Think of this as more of a fire-side reminiscence. Dan Rather concentrates mainly on the reason he left CBS and his report on Bush II's military service...or lack of. He seems bitter often, which he should be. But there are also some nice insights in this book on Rather's early career and two chapters on his take on the presidents from Eisenhower to Obama and how they treate ...more

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Dan Rather is not someone I would chose to learn more about, however I saw an interview on television and became intrigued. The book is fast moving and he reviews succinctly all the newsworthy events of my lifetime. As a retired teacher, I would strongly suggest high school students read this book to get to know the recent Presidents. Rather brings them to life in personality, administrations and accomplishments. Current events of the recent past come to life. Eve
Rather's account of how the news has changed from a public service and education orientation to a "serve the corporation's interests" mentality. He details the story of how he tried to break the news of Bush's AWOL year from the National Guard's champagne unit and the push back he got from Viacom, the parent company of CBS that was openly advocating the Republican candidate. Viacom at one point wanted an independent vetting of the story offering to give it to Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Roger A ...more
An amazing life lived by a man of truth!

This bio was very well written and told by the author himself. We learned much about the history of broadcast journalism, but even more about its present challenges and issues.

What we took away from this was the idea to seek the truth and share it wisely and with care, as these aspects are leaving our popular culture for things like ratings and corporate agendas. Rather has lived a life that inspires and informs, while remaining humble and down to earth.
Susan Hatch
I have already strongly recommended this book to a few of my friends. Dan Rather who got skewered big time by CBS for telling the truth and then allowing him and a couple other reports take the fall. It's a fascinating read on how CBS dealt with news and changed as the world changed.

He tells of his experiences with each president of the US. And how he dealt with the various wars he covered, even being embedded.

He has very great kind words for his wife. And how she stood by him and bolstered him
Perhaps the most important chapter in this latest Dan Rather tell-all is the epilogue. Here the legendary TV anchorman spells out in detail the reasons he wrote the first eleven chapters. Here we learn the incident that ignited Rather’s life-long passion for investigative reporting at the age of 20. Here we learn the requirements and the pitfalls of being an investigative reporter. And here we are warned against what the veteran broadcaster calls the “corporatization, politicization and triviali ...more
Ryan G
I was going to start this review off with the last paragraph, but after some more thought, I decided it wouldn't be a fair way to start things off. Instead I'm going to admit why I wanted to read this particular book. I think, like most people who have picked Rather Outspoken up, I was wanting to hear Dan Rather's account of what happened behind the story that brought an end to his career at CBS. For that reason alone, I think this book is worth the read.

I was never one of those who thought Mr.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book is fast moving and he reviews concisely many of the newsworthy events of a baby boomer’s lifetime. Mr. Rather brings the stories to life in personality, administrations and important events. The news about civil rights and Watergate with his first hand perspective is exciting. He takes you behind the scenes, to experience the back-story behind the news presented by the media. His explanation of what and how the change in news coverage has become less inde ...more
Christine Grant
For someone who says that he didn't have it out for the right, Rather surely does not contain his disdain. I orginally gave this book a chance, because I wanted to hear his point of view, and I hoped to learn more about his history of CBS news. I loved Barbara Walter's "Audition" where she shares her career in the news, and hoped that this book might be similar. I finished that book with a great deal of respect for Walter's if not a inkling of her personal political views. This was not that kind ...more
Just when I thought I could not dislike George W. Bush more, Rather gave me new reasons to detest him. The book is artfully crafted and full of behind-the-scenes detail of the workings of major television network news. The book reveals the enormous power the White House can exert over the activities of the national media companies. I highly recommend this work to anyone interested in the relationship between government and big business and our free press.
Rather’s memoir posits some interesting arguments from a journalist’s perspective. He examines, in an overarching fashion, how journalism has left the constitutional role of serving the people as an independent branch to becoming a means by which those in power can push their respective politics. With some interesting stories and equally strong diatribes, Rather attempts to show how jaded things have become in the world of journalism over the past 60 years.

Let me be frank and admit that I have r
Great read from a reporter's reporter. Rather, in his trademark square-shootin' style, blows away myths about his departure from CBS and his infamous report on George W. Bush's tenure with the Texas Air National Guard. He also highlights the fantastic work he and his team are doing on HDNet with "Dan Rather Reports."
I grew up in a CBS/Dan Rather house. I know Dan Rather's voice as well as my own parents. Dan Rather is the reason that I started studying journalism.
This is not a lighthearted look back as a career. This is a look into the life of an American journalist who received the short end of the stick from a company that he spent 40 years of his life working for. The government's influence on what is reported is not a new topic, but getting the 'inside' track from the man himself, was outstandingly inte
John Bloomberg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2014 Therese rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Therese by: My book club

This is not a book I ever would have chosen to read on my own, but since I like to actively participate in my book club I chose to read it like I have the others that have been selected. I don't know a lot about Dan Rather although I've obviously heard of him. I'm not a big news junkie since there is so much fluff and I never know when I'm being told the truth, and Rather explains how that comes about in this story about his life in the news.

He has a fascinating story to tell, although grow
Josh McConnell
What a full career Dan Rather has had. But with a sudden (and controversial) departure from CBS News, Rather found himself in need of another career at the age of 75 (retirement is out of the question for him, he says). Not only did he find that with his current role at HDnet, but he also found time to write a biography about his life.

Rather Outspoken brings out the shoot-from-the-hip Texan that Rather is. Though the vocabulary is still extensive, the overall flavor of the book is very laidback
Diane Ferbrache
Dan Rather WAS CBS News. For over 40 years, he was a reporter and then anchor of CBS Nightly News. We knew that he would look for the story, seek out the facts, and report it to us fairly and accurately. Network news and newspapers brought the US people the stories, big and small, that told the American people what was happening in small towns and big cities in the US and the world. We could rely on the news people to tell us the truth and to shed light on the people and policies of our governme ...more
This book is my most recent audiobook, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes history, and is concerned about reporting in the news media. Dan's life time passion was investigative reporting and he loved his job at CBS and with Sixty Minutes until WHAT he was allowed to report began to be curbed. His persistence in bringing controversial proposals that he wished to air, eventually resulted in his being ousted by CBS. He then brought a suit against them, but the courts eventually dropped th ...more
My MIL recommended this book and I am glad she did. I've always been more interested in the print side of journalism and I didn't know much about Rather's career, but this is more than just "Memoir of Stories I Covered." Rather covers the history of CBS television news and what he sees as its downfall after the network was purchased by Viacom.

Rather explains the chain of reporting that led to his CBS exclusive regarding Pres. George W. Bush and his military service (or lack thereof) during the
Kelly Hager
This is technically an autobiography but instead of being about Dan Rather's life, it's more about the stories he covered as a reporter and then later as an anchor for CBS Evening News.

If there's anything I believe to be true about the news business, it's that the best reporters are never part of the story that they're covering. There are snippets of Dan Rather's life in here, but even when they do appear, for the most part it's in the context of a larger news story.

It's actually incredible when
This is an extremely important book-- you think it's an old man's memoir, but in fact it's a stunning expose of deeply troubling and fascinating aspects of the U.S.A. media-government-military machine. However, simultaneously I wouldn't be able to make it through the print, and the audio is so soothingly soporific with Rather's own narration that it could truly be played in acupuncture clinics or meditation sessions. Being that I can only listen to audiobooks while driving to and from work, when ...more
"Corporation, politicization, trivialization of the news" From Eisenhower (WWII, Infrastructure, golf, beginning of TV, two landslide elections, national guard in Little Rock), JFK (TV/Press Conferences/Appearance, Peace Corps, assassination), Johnson (Vietnam, Civil Rights), Nixon ("Tricky Dick", Shuttle/space truck, Watergate), Ford (replaced Spiro Agnew and Nixon, pardon), Carter (graduate of Annapolis, nuclear engineer, not Washington elite, hostages in Iran), Reagan ("Great Communicator", o ...more
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Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr. is a former news anchor for the CBS Evening News and is now managing editor and anchor of a television news magazine, Dan Rather Reports, on the cable channel HDNet. Rather was anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from March 9, 1981 to March 9, 2005. He also contributed to CBS' 60 Minutes. Rather left CBS Evening News in 2005 and the network itself in 2006. On Sept ...more
More about Dan Rather...
The Camera Never Blinks: Adventures of a TV Journalist The American Dream: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation The Palace Guard Deadlines and Datelines Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist

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