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Talk to Me: Travels in Media and Politics

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Anna Deveare Smith's award-winning one-woman shows were borne of her uniquely brilliant ability to listen. In Talk to Me she applies her rare talent to the language of political power in America.

Believing that character and language are inextricably bound, Smith sets out to discern the essence of America by listening to its people and trying to capture its politics. To tha
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 16th 2001 by Anchor (first published October 10th 2000)
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Julene
Dec 29, 2008 Julene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Excellent! She tracks her experience traveling with President Clinton on his campaign trail. She is brilliant (and has received one of those Genus Grants). She interviews well and I learned so much from this book about the process of interviewing. There are three questions that will ensure someone's syntax will chang ein the course of an hour interview:
1-Have you ever come close to death?
2-Do you know the circumstances of your birth?
3-Have you ever been accused of something that you did not do?
...more
Christina
about the media, about the presidency, about authority, about d.c.
about our conversations, communication, and connection...or lack thereof.
about theater, about listening, about education, about race.

she weaves her personal story, her opinions, and directly transcribed interviews.
the timeline jumps back and forth, and some of her opinions seem to have more weight than others, more evidence, more backing.

good food for thought, even if some of it's unsettling.
Jacqueline
Apr 29, 2016 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this some years ago. Anna Deavere Smith is far more than the actress who plays Rainbow's mother on *Black-ish*. Smith is a thinker who travels and writes just to listen to people and learn from their stories. Everyone has a story. Listen...
Jo
Nov 15, 2009 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
A 'documentary' on listening beyond the language being spoken. A must read for anyone interested in learning to hear what is really being said. This is one of a very few books I will read again. Highly recommend.
Kate
Jul 02, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's amazing; where I read her explanation of trochees (accent on the second beat), and how to listen for truth in people's stories. Transcripts of her interviews, she's a superstar. 2nd time I read it; first time was before grad school.
Caryl Grant
Mar 11, 2013 Caryl Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Having graduated from the same college the same year and now living in DC. It is like reading about the events swirling around me as I grew up.
Mary
Sep 18, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Particularly interesting for her interviews with politicians
and the press around the election of 1996 and the lead-up to
2000. (The book was published in 2000.)
G--
Feb 23, 2009 G-- rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She is a fantastic playwright because she is so subtle about approaching issues. This, however, makes her writing a bit too meandering for my taste.
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Monica
Aug 30, 2009 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this for class and I am really enjoying it!
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Anna Deavere Smith (born September 18, 1950) is an American actress, playwright, and professor. She is currently the artist in residence at the Center for American Progress. Smith is widely known for her roles as National Security Advisor Nancy McNally in The West Wing and as Hospital Administrator Gloria Akalitus in the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. She is a recipient of The Dorothy and Lillian G ...more
More about Anna Deavere Smith...

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“I think we can learn a lot about a person in the very moment that language fails them. In the very moment they they have to be more creative than they would have imagined in order to communicate. It's the very moment that they have to dig deeper than the surface to find words, and at the same time, it's a moment when they want to communicate very badly. They're digging deep and projecting out at the same time.” 23 likes
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