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Talking Back: Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Andrea Mitchell started her pathbreaking career as the quintessential girl reporter and quickly became one of the first women in broadcast news. She's been labeled a pushy broad, yet her intelligence, tenacity, and ability to always be where the action is have catapulted her to the top of her profession. As one of America's most watched correspondents, Mitchell has regular ...more
Hardcover, 414 pages
Published September 8th 2005 by Viking Penguin (first published September 6th 2005)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Joy H.
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Added 11/26/11.
I'm currently listening to the audio version of this book. It's a very frank and open memoir of her life as a reporter. I find it to be an interesting review of the current events which I've observed over the years. The behind-the-scenes nature of the book makes it even more interesting.

Addendum: During January 2012, I finished listening to this audiobook. I found it very interesting and it was nice getting to know about Andrea Mitchell's life. I liked her strong delivery.
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Not only do you get an insight into what it takes to be a successful woman reporter, you get an excellent picture of some of the most influential political leaders and events of our lifetime, through Andrea's eyes. It was also interesting to hear how she kept her professional life and personal life separate and retained her credibility as a reporter. (She is married to Alan Greenspan, past chairman of the Federal Reserve, and often socialized with many of the people she was covering as a reporte ...more
Lenny Husen
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable audio book. Too bad it is abridged--parts choppy and transitions sometimes uneven.
Loved her voice and style. Good memoir of an interesting career woman. She is very fair and balanced in her reporting.
This was a great overview of current political events in my lifetime, starting from the 1960's to 2005.
Would love for her to write a second book about all the happenings since then.
Joy H.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Added 12/18/15

Andrea Mitchell's experiences as a journalist are amazing! There's a lot of world history in this book!
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
written in 2005 covering many political stories and struck by how little has changed.
Irving Koppel
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing

"Talking Presidents,Dictators and Assorted Scoundrels"

Whether it was editing her sixth grade school newspaper or acting as a TV anchor,Andrea Mitchell
has always displayed the best quality of a news reporter. Born and reared in New Rochelle,New York,she
went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania.Being in Philadelphia, she began her career by covering the tough mayor of that city,Phil Rizzo.He was good practice for many of the leaders of America and of oth
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biog-and-memoir
Tim Russert, Steve Roberts, and now Andrea Mitchell, all in one year. I was curious to find out more about Mitchell’s personal life, and also to learn about the life of a TV news reporter, and the book served that purpose for me. Parts of the book got a little tedious, but were generally interesting as a crash review course in U.S. history and politics over the past thirty years. Mitchell grew up in a Jewish family in New Rochelle, NY, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She went ...more
Daniel Currie
May 22, 2010 rated it liked it
I've always liked Andrea Mitchell on the news altho I didn't know much about her past or her personal life other than she is married to Alan Greeenspan. She doesn't talk alot about either in the book altho there ceratinly is some of that.

The first half of the book I found particularly entertaining. Hearing about her early reporting days and alot of events I didn't know alot about made me look forward to reading it every night.

The second half I didn't find quite as much fun. There is alot more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: politics, news junkies, history buffs
Andrea Mitchell has been in national news for over 30 years, and the breadth of her knowledge of politics and the news industry is incredible. A colleague of mine remembered her as a beat reporter in Philly, where she got started. Her description of the events she covered--and the "skinny" behind-the-scenes--was fascinating. Mitchell was careful to be as neutral as possible in describing American politicians, although for some political/newsworthy figures she clearly has no love. On the downside ...more
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this biography. She goes overboard telling us how she stays unbiased during her reporting days ... but when you're having a private dinner with the Vice President, etc., as the wife of Alan Greenspan, I think it's impossible to write something derogatory about that person. She also got such special treatment covering Presidents, etc., I just wonder.

I think the most amazing thing is that I have seldom seen "Nightly News" the program she is always trying to
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is interesting because it takes you through political history and explains what was going on through the eyes of a reporter. The title makes you think she angered lots of people, but that is a small part of the book. She had to be outspoken to do her job, and some people weren't used to a woman acting and talking assertively. I am enjoying her candid writing style, and when I see her on the Today show I feel like I know her a little from reading this.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it liked it
I liked this book because Andra Mitchell is about my age and the historical characters and events she described reporting as her reporting career developed were familiar to me. I like her style - firm, but at the same time humble. She personally spent time with some big names as she covered her news assignments.
Oct 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
I don't really care for Andrea Mitchell, but it was a pretty good book. I didn't realize how her role as a woman impacted her career as a journalist. She got into the business when the doors weren't as open for women as for men. She also tells a lot about her relationship to now-husband Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve).
Ryan Naples
May 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer2007
This book could have been so much better if the author had talked more about herself and less about the news she covered. This was my first time reading the autobiograhy of a serious journalist and I guess I was hoping for more of a description of how she transitioned from a struggling beat reporter to a national NBC correspondent. I'm glad I read it but wouldn't really recommend it.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: chcpl
Andrea Mitchell's memoir of her life and times gathering and presenting the news - even the night her husband, Alan Greenspan, received a phone call, at a party, informing him that Saddam Hussein had been captured. It was the next morning before Mitchell was awoken by someone calling from NBC before she knew.
Jenny M
I have always liked Mitchell's reporting style as the Chief Foreign Correspondent on NBC News, so I enjoyed reading about her perspective on some of the big (and not so big) stories she's done. Also, she's married to Alan Greenspan for god's sake, so there must be an interesting story there.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Mitchell's journalist skills reveal fascinating American & world history of the past few decades. Since she chose first person/memoir though, I was expecting to learn more about her & her reactions to what she experienced. Well-written, of course, but too hands-off for me to fully enjoy.
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really finish the book. I got a little bored. But it was interesting and informative of politics before my time. I think once I hit the Clinton era (about when I started to pay attention to politics seriously) I got bored
Emiliano Orencia
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mitchell gives you a history lesson based on her various reporting and travels through the world. Her insight in the book is as good as her "breaking news" or perspective on current political issues.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Andrea makes the historical content interesting and insightful. I wish my career was as exciting. How may of us can truly say, "Along this journey, I have made sacrifices I sometimes regret, although none so important that I would take the path not chosen." Go for it Andrea.
Dec 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
Waste of time. Nothing new here. Shallow and vapid.
Sep 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Decent book with some interesting insight into Andrea Mitchell's life... but nothing earth-shattering.
Not much new in the book, but enjoyable to relive recent history. Pretty soft regarding individuals and events.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Interested behind the scenes look into the lives of reporters & journalists and the people they cover.
Jean Reed
Apr 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Insight into happenings in the years past.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
Interesting review of events over the past few years. I listened to the auido version. I would very much liked to have listened to Andrea Mitchell read her own memoir.
Louise Annetta
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
It was very interesting in parts. I enjoyed the insider view of politics. The narrative style could have used more description (characters, settings) to give the 'feel' of the action.

Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

Interesting to listen to an excellent reporter's recollections of current events for the last 20 or so years
This was a great read. The story of Andrea Mitchell's journalistic life and career is wonderfully interesting, chock full of great stories. A must read!
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrea Mitchell gives a very non-biased view of the historical events she covered in her career. It was really interesting and gave a very human perspective on critical events in history.
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