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Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  25 reviews
For twenty-five years, Mary Mapes has been an award-winning television producer and reporterthe last fifteen of them for CBS News, principally for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes. She had the bedrock respect of her peersin the last year alone, she broke the story of the Abu Ghraib prison tortures (which won CBS The Peabody Award) and the existence of St ...more
Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2005)
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3.87  · 
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 ·  182 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Scott Rhee
A journalist must have a thick skin. I was told this by several of my co-workers when I went to work at a small suburban newspaper in 2000.

I was in my late-20s and excited to have a job that would utilize my writing skills. My four years of college and several thousands of dollars in student debt were finally paying off. After college graduation in ’95, I “squandered” my life working in the produce department at a grocery store and then a steel factory. I whiled away my evenings (and hard-earne
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book. For the most part, the writing was engaging (only to be expected from someone who works in news), and the stuff that Mapes discussed (ranging from the purpose of journalism and journalistic ethics, to the effect of anonymity in blogs, to the privilege and clout associated with power) was really interesting and kind of frightening.

As far as I can see, the book served # functions:

1. It was Mapes's defense against all the negative press she, Dan Rather, and CBS got after
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after watching the excellent movie on which it is based. It is well-written and heartfelt. Ms. Mapes was scapegoated and treated miserably by the corporate power at CBS. Dan Rather lost his job, too. She is an excellent journalist and she and Dan Rather told a story that needed to be told. Of course George W. Bush avoided going to Vietnam by getting a white, rich boy place in the Texas National Guard. And of course he didn't even stay to fulfill his phony service; instead went t ...more
Jeremy Morgan
I was very disappointed with this book. Being a former senior producer for CBS News and 60 Minutes, I was expecting a very insightful and interesting look into modern investigative reporting as well as the business of the news from the author. Instead, I found a very whiny and childish tirade against any and all of her critics throughout the years. Mapes' writing is quite juvenile and downright mean. Making fun of those 'backwards' folk who dare disagree. She never misses an opportunity to try a ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written compelling story of the Dan Rather debacle. I read this in advance of the movie
that comes out with Robert Redford this fall. Well worth it, if you are into politics.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific read

Good and necessary reading for anyone who cares about news and what passes for news. Straightforward telling of the Bush-National Guard story, the work that went into it, and the people involved. Far right conservatives and NeoCons caused immense trouble, spineless CBS bosses disregarded their journalists because of their love for money (and fear of the Bush White House), but Mary Mapes has the last and best word ....honesty. This book shows clearly what happens when we forget the r
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After watching the movie "Truth" starring Cate Blanchett & Robert Redford I was intrigued enough to read the book. The movie is based on the book and is a dramatic re-creation of news anchor Dan Rather's fall from grace, after erroneously reporting that President George W. Bush received preferential treatment that kept him from serving in Vietnam. The book is written by and is more about Mary Mapes, an executive producer for "60 Minutes" that worked with Dan Rather. While I don't doubt the s ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had been curious about Bush II's adventures in the Texas Air National Guard for years and was hoping to find out the real story as to his whereabouts when he was supposed to be in Alabama.

That didn't happen, but Mary Mapes did provide a first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of her role as producer the Bush/Guard story for CBS that led to her firing and the removal of Dan Rather as anchor of the Evening News.

The fascinating aspect of this book was its recap of the tactics employed by the radica
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
How bizarre that there are people in the world who think that John McCain's and John Kerry's war records are worth challenging but George Bush's is beyond reproach and that Bush didn't receive preferential treatment when he was offered a place in the National Guard.

Mary Mapes's account is credible and convincing, and I respect her tremendously as a journalist. I just wish she'd worked with a much better editor. I kept encountering sections where lines and even whole paragraphs seemed in the wron
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whatever you think of the 60 Minutes Bush National Guard broadcast, Mary Mapes's book is worth the price of admission for anyone who wants to learn about how the sausage gets made in broadcast news, at least in the years preceding her public humiliation by CBS/Viacom. Mapes is unsparing in her observations about herself, her network, and the work of a news producer while demonstrating her commitment to the mission of investigative reporting.
Neil Hunt
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, history
This book is about three topics: the reporting of the "Bush Guard" story (memos purporting to document president Bush's lack of service in the Texas Air National Guard), the backlash from the right wing bloggers, and CBS's caving, apologizing, and hanging its staff out to dry, that cost author Mary Mapes and correspondent Dan Rather their careers.

The reporting story makes a good case that the story deserved airing and further discussion. The credibility of the story hangs on the documents (which
Cynthia Mauck
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who worked in local tv news for many years, this book probably hit me differently than most of you. Most of my career was spent at KOIN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland, OR as a videotpae editor. I was privileged to work with some very fine journalists. One reporter and one photographer I worked with both made it to CBS News.
Mary Mapes said some very kind and very true things about videotape editors, but that is not why I liked the book. It gave me a highly detailed look at the treme
Kathy Elrick
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In addition to the many reviews - Mapes's writing skill well reflects her skill as a producer. Her sense of organization for how to tell what happened surrounding the 60 Minutes II, Bush-Texas Air National Guard story and subsequent fallout can be found in the way the book is laid out. Her evidence runs the gambit of her personal feelings, her experience in journalism, the information of her and her research team's findings, snippits from the many interview themselves that went into the story, a ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this movie a couple years ago, but have had the book on my 'to-read' shelf for quite a while. Obviously, you're getting one side of the story here, but I found Mapes to be credible and liked that she even provided some of her 'evidence' in appendix form. It was an interesting read especially at this time in history - what she saw happen in 2004 seems so minor now compared to what is happening in politics and journalism now. It's unfortunate that her experience was really a harbinger of thi ...more
Deyth Banger
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"July 1, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 1, 2017 –
July 1, 2017 –
50.0% "How does a reporter deal with the material and what's the suspense in the office?
July 1, 2017 –
50.0% "1:38:06"
June 30, 2017 –
50.0% "Again but this time we are talking about CBS TV Show, it wants us to know the whole secret of specific documents they reveal something unique which the public doesn't know."
June 30, 2017 –
50.0% "1:15:06"
June 30, 2017 – Started Reading"

- This work is about journalism, secrets, milit
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by the author, which may have added some verbal nuance lacking in the written form.

The book is an attempt by Mapes to set the record straight on the matter of CBS apologizing to the world for the story alleging that George W. Bush blew-off his Air National Guard duty after having pulled strings to get into the unit in the first place.

Mapes was the reporter who did most of the digging into the story so that Dan Rather could air it on 60 Minut
Katherine Ripley
This is a stressful book to read. It paints a very pessimistic, albeit accurate, picture of journalism in America. I'm glad she stood up and told her side of this story, because she was clearly right, and she was callously sacrificed just to please the corporate executives of Viacom. I would hope her story prompts some kind of awakening about how journalism has been corrupted by money and greed. But it's been 10 years since this book came out and I don't think much has changed.

I only rated 3 sta
Suzanne Knutzen
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I was a childhood friend of the author. Her career rocketed her out of a sleepy, conservative farm town into the sphere of the high and mighty. I have nothing but respect for the character and intellect of Mary Mapes, and I believe that she was scapegoated for telling a story that a powerful family wanted to keep under wraps. She was used as an example to other enterprising young journalists. It is sad that the free press sees situations like this, and consequently the American people aren't giv ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book from Truth. It's interesting... I think she had a true story, but the way it was shown was not convincing enough. She and her team paid dearly for it, cause for Bush it was important to discredit her.
Her show was cbs 60 minutes 2, and one of her coleagues was Dan Rather...
The movie was good too!
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A tough slog, both because of the tedious, whiny, self-justifying manner in which Mapes recounts her story, and also because of the truly depressing experiences of censorship and corporate hypocrisy that she had to endure. Too bad that a worthy story did not benefit from the editorial process of which Mapes herself is quite capable.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, nonfiction
Story about Mary Mapes story on Bush's National guard duty. How she researched it, and what happened after it appeared on 60 minutes. Shows how difficult it can be to tell the truth and the price that some people pay for doing so.
Nick Bergman
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favorite book of the year!
Kirt Coy
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shame on Bush! What a sad person. What a pitiful president.
Sasha Stone
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Horrified at the treatment of Mary Mapes by the government and other journalists once the movie came out.
Douglas Kerr
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Joan Gerstel
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Apr 24, 2016
Michael R. McDaniel
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Apr 12, 2018
Joseph Jilek
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From Wikipedia: Mapes grew up with four sisters in Burlington, Washington.Her parents were Republicans.Her father, from whom she was estranged, was an abusive alcoholic. Mapes graduated from Burlington-Edison High School in 1974, and studied communications and political science at the University of Washington. In the 1980s she worked at KIRO-TV in Seattle. There she also met her husband Mark Wrols ...more