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Dispatches from the Edge
 
by
Anderson Cooper
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Dispatches from the Edge

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  5,550 ratings  ·  759 reviews
In 2005, two tragedies--the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina--turned CNN reporter Anderson Cooper into a media celebrity. Dispatches from the Edge, Cooper's memoir of "war, disasters and survival," is a brief but powerful chronicle of Cooper's ascent to stardom and his struggle with his own tragedies and demons. Cooper was 10 years old when his father, Wyatt Cooper, di...more
Published 2008 (first published May 1st 2006)
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The Book Maven
Is Anderson Cooper REALLY gay? It seems like I have heard this from different people. And if so, oh god. What a tragic waste of beautiful manflesh.

...Oh wait. I should be talking about his book, not his devastatingly handsome looks. Whoops! See what college education has done for women?

Dispatches from the edge was a very...not edgy book. Entertaining and enlightening perhaps, but but it is more likely to be that to someone who does not listen to NPR or BBC, or just does not know what is going on...more
Felipa
I initially had stopped reading this book at the mid point because I found it very depressing and thought Cooper's endless pursuits of finding the next tragedy and trauma a little exploitive. It wasn't until I decided to finish it and got to the chapter on Katrina that I began to see how much Cooper cares about the people behind the stories and how the tragedies of others have helped him deal with tragedy in his own life. I found his experiences as a journalist difficult to read at times but ver...more
Britt
Jan 05, 2009 Britt is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I know, I know. Really?

Only partway thru...But who would've thought the gay son of Gloria Vanderbuilt would toss himself into war-torn countries in his tender 20's just to get the story. He is such an amazingly brave and complicated fellow. Not just that annoying CNN guy. Wow. Liking the memoir so far...
Andrew
It's unbelievable that many reviews for this book tend to focus on the completely irrelevant fact that Anderson Cooper is gay. It proves his point about how many simply forget about disasters. Here the book outlines disasters all over the world and goes into extreme detail about Hurricane Katrina and yet "Is he really gay" are the words in the first reviews that pop up. Some of you folks make me sick.

This book is intense. The Hurricane Katrina piece is especially jarring. I highly recommend this...more
Gayle
I have always thought of Anderson Cooper as a thoughtful-looking self-contained news guy, and expected this book to be a fair amount of self-promotional blather interspersed with a few biographical details. Instead, I found that Anderson Cooper, in addition to being a t-l s-c news guy, writes like one. This memoir is thoughtful, self-contained, filled with news-that-was, and surprisingly well written. (My expectations are seldom high.)

The wars are comprehensive--Bosnia, Somalia, Niger, Iraq. The...more
Judy
Devastation can be physical as in the tsunami in Sri Lanka, famine in Africa, and Hurricane Katrina or emotional when the unexpected delivers a sucker punch from which you think you can not recover. In this memoir, Anderson Cooper reveals the emotional voids created in his life by the death of his father when he was ten years old and the suicide of his elder brother when he was in college. He also details how those tragedies caused him to lose any sense of safety and to try to avoid and dull his...more
Frenje
I've never really watched much of Anderson Cooper's reporting, though I think I might try to a bit more from now on. Actually, up until I read this book, the image his name brought to mind was the snazzy trailer CNN had of him, which somehow always made me think he was one of those uber successful guys who's just a bit too aware of how successful he is.

So the book was a bit of a surprise. I picked it up expecting to hear a bit about the news stories he's covered, and he certainly provides that i...more
Victoria
Anderson Cooper’s is a journalist for CNN, where he has a program called AC360. He is usually the most recognized journalist out in the middle of war, or in an area hit by a disaster. He’s out in the front lines reporting the stories. Cooper’s memoir details his life according to the events that unfolded in 2005. Beginning with the tsunami in Sri Lanka, to the war in Iraq, to the starvation in Niger, and finally, back home, to the disaster left in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His memoir i...more
Caz Edmunds
Why do people write memoirs?

Because they want to understand the life they lead by looking back at the life they led.

Why do people read memoirs?

More or less the same reason, but just reversed. Isn’t it rather fashionable to read about someone else’s life, learn what you can and quote it next time in casual conversation in order to pass oneself as learned?

Sure we can.

At times we do and even get a kick out of it equally, especially when someone takes notice of it and marvels at your apt usage of it...more
Anashuya Kakati
I picked up this book in my 'memoirs reading phase'. Actually, I have never watched any of Anderson Cooper's shows. So for me it was a clean slate when I started reading the book.

I feel Mr. Cooper has squeezed the 'pathos' lemon a little too hard, and the taste by the end was utterly bitter. I appreciate his sharing of many heart wrenching stories which are absolutely unimaginable. But the thing with stories like these is that there is no need to add extra zing to them. After a hundred pages or...more
Josh McConnell
A journalist's duty is to tell someone else's story. Personal opinion is to be put to the wayside as the journalist steps back and allows others to be heard when they normally don't have a voice on their own. So when a book from a respected journalist is released, I'm always curious to see how much of their personality shines through. Now we finally are able to get a glimpse inside their personal thoughts and experiences; unadulterated and ready for consumption.

Anderson Cooper's Dispatches From...more
Megan
I stumbled upon this book a few days ago and am very glad that I did. It's a quick, but significant read. I've never really paid that much attention to news anchors, but Anderson Cooper's life is worth a story. Born into the Vanderbilt lineage, Cooper lost his father and his brother at an early age. He has spent the rest of his life trying to cope with both of those losses and chose the medium of field reporting in order to do so. This particular book chronicles Cooper's 2005, a year fraught wit...more
Elizabeth Reuter
Anderson Cooper is a journalist and writes like one. Dispatches from the Edge is bare bones, not a word wasted or a tangent followed. He lost his father and brother as a child, thus he grew obsessed with finding extreme feeling, which led him to take risks as a newsman.

This is not to say the book lacks emotion; Anderson describes his grief, his obsessions, and his mistakes with the same quick precision that he uses to describe Katrina's devistation. I was impressed by how much feeling, how much...more
Mayee
I admit that I was drawn to read this book mostly because my friend Wendy kept playing CNN on the telly when I was in Chicago last winter and the advertisement for the New Year's Show kept running. Anderson Cooper is the perfect poster boy for a romantic ideal of journalism -- the tough journalist who goes into places where other people turn a blind eye to because he cares, the journalist who gives voice to the anonymous victims who suffer in the face of disaster and the quiet heroes who work to...more
Bert Klimas
There are not many public figures I would enjoy having a beer or two with, but Anderson Cooper makes the short list. He's a true journalist in this era of talking heads. He has the ability to see through the crap and does not lose sight of the humanity in each story.

Who would predict that a privileged childhood -- a Manhattan Vanderbilt -- could turn out such a down-to-earth and driven personality? His personal story is woven throughout chapters covering war, tsunami disaster, more war, and Katr...more
Nicki
This is one of the best books I've ever enjoyed. Cooper digs deeply into himself and his past while giving candid and articulate information about the places he has visited and the stories he's covered. He articulates the character of disaster victims that he met around the planet and made me feel like I could really see what he was seeing, how he was seeing it. A great quality book that I very highly recommend.
Luke Goldstein
It is expected now for any member of the political beltway or those who report on it (and other daily news events) to grace the shelves of our local bookstores (or the front page of our eBook apps) with a tell-all/biography/memoir. Most are pushed on them by overzealous managers and agents trying desperately to cash in on their popularity with various demographics, but every now and again one journal will come to fruition from a much more real and meaningful purpose.

Dispatches From The Edge: A M...more
Isla McKetta
In this brave and thoughtful book, Anderson Cooper takes us behind the public face of a very private mad. He simply and poignantly talks about tragedies both global and personal. For a peek at how this book helped me understand my own escapist tendencies, read my full-length book review.
Selena
Very good book! Couldn't put it down and read it in just two days! Definitely helps you appreciate what you have in life. I'm so thankful I can walk down the street without fear of a bomb blowing up, or worrying if my child have proper nutrition.
Ashley
...this was one of those weird experiences where you're cleaning out bookshelves and find a book that isn't even yours, and you notice it's short so you're like "eh...why not"

Not bad. It seemed kind of melodramatic and forced for a while- it definitely clashed with the image I've developed of him over the years...but this was written nearly a decade ago, so he's matured as a person/professional since then.

Overall, it was pretty enjoyable. Super short chapters made it a perfect book to have sitti...more
Stepha
a little self-indulgent, but it's anderson, so i'll let it slide :) well-written. the section on hurricane katrina was tough to read.
Renee
I enjoyed this novel much more than I expected. Anderson Cooper does a fine job describing the horrific sights of he has reported on in worn torn countries like Sarajevo, Bosnia to places that have been devastated by natural disaster such as the tsunami in Japan to Hurricane Katrina.

He interweaves these tragedies with the unexpected death of his father and the suicide of his brother (witnessed by his mother-Gloria Vanderbilt) with honesty and integrity.

If unaware of his background, it would be d...more
Linda
aw anderson. my love for you knows no bounds. :)
TJ
Sep 29, 2012 TJ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Really, because the Kid would demand it to be so.
Brian Wilson
Anderson Cooper seems to have been unusually effected by tragedies in his youth. He was so effected that, according to my reading of this book, he is a sort of disaster/tragedy fetishist. He recognizes his own pain and the terrible pain inherent in the events he documents being in the news business, but at the same time he just loves being around it.

This is a mental state of being I don't understand very well, but one that Cooper describes fantastically. (reviewing audiobook version, print may c...more
Zachary Yeung
beautifully written with his own authentic self-discovery, Cooper has found a way to pen his journey as a journalist through reflection from his own inner expanse. it may seem that Cooper has finally disclosed a long buried part of his emotional life, through his words of sorrow and profoundness, he finally rediscovers his own purpose in being a reporter, an a responsible one. what I, as a reader, didn't expect to see is how much Cooper has dug up from his spiritual side of his life, despite his...more
Michelle Rugamba
Anderson Cooper's, "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival," is a book that will keep you engaged and hooked from the very beginning to the end. I decided to read this book because i've grown attached to Anderson Cooper, watching him on television and such, and was intrigued about his life. Reading this book will give you a different perspective on his life and the world, as Anderson embarks on different journeys to report on different events surrounding our world. Th...more
Pris robichaud

Where In The World Is Anderson Cooper?, 27 May 2006


Anderson Cooper relates this "All this came about for me in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and I started writing about a week after. In many ways, I'd been sort of writing it in my head for the last 15 years. "But there was something about this sort of combination of the present that I was seeing, this horror and this tragedy, and the bravery and the compassion of the people I was meeting." "I was surrounded by all these moments from my past,"...more
Bookadventurer
I will admit this book was a little dreary at times, and then I feel guilty for saying that because this isn't just a made-up story and the people involved and their stories don't always get a happy ending.

Anderson bounces back and forth between his wordly reporting experiences and his own personal life, and in some way it almost felt like it may have been thearapeutic for him to put pen to paper and work some things out in his own heart and head.

From a reader's view, I am familiar with all of...more
Susie
I have the utmost respect for this guy. Highly informed, willing to dispatch news at the worst places and participant of his own family publicized tragedy. That being said, listening to Anderson's memoir is depressing, and.....interesting, in a "I just read a juicy US Magazine article" kind of way. As a young reporter, just out of college, Cooper goes to these terrible war-zone places, completely on his own and reports with a hand-held camera, just to get a job from one of the major news channel...more
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Anderson Hays Cooper is an Emmy Award winning American journalist, author, and television personality. He currently works as the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live from a New York City studio; however, Cooper often broadcasts live on location for breaking news stories.

Cooper is the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the ar...more
More about Anderson Cooper...
Biographical Dictionary Of Famous Tar Heels The World of Gloria Vanderbilt Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered Attacks on the Press in 2006: A Worldwide Survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists Coming Back: New Orleans Resurgent

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“The farther you go...the harder it is to return. The world has many edges and it's easy to fall off.” 2084 likes
“Each child’s story is worthy of telling. There shouldn’t be a sliding scale of death. The weight of it is crushing.” 61 likes
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