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Rachel Maddow: A Biography

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The first biography of the most popular anchor in cable news.

Rachel Maddow has beaten the odds in a way that's novel in today's America: she uses her brain.

In a world of banal and opinionated soundbites, she regularly crushes Sean Hannity's ratings thanks to her deeply researched reports. And in our highly polarized world, Maddow amiably engages the staunchest
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Lex Kent
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
While I would give Rachel Maddow herself 5 Stars anytime, I’m disappointed to say that this book was only in the okay category for me. I’m a big Maddow fan. While I occasional watch a little Morning Joe while I’m getting ready for work, Rachel’s show is the only news show I consistently watch. I love how she easily explains things without talking down to her audience and that she gives you information so that you can make up your own mind. She doesn’t tell you how you should think and feel like ...more
Debbie
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rachel Maddow had blue hair!

That’s my favorite tidbit from this biography. Why does that crack me up so much? I think it’s because a blue head in a sea of black and gray politics seems beautifully incongruent, especially when the head belongs to a person who isn’t flashy, who doesn’t like to draw attention to her appearance.

But it’s not just blue hair that intrigued me; there are plenty of other interesting facts about this TV brainiac newscaster. Here’s one: Her pet peeve is when a person makes
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Michelle
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
First book of 2020!!

This was a fairly short read (just about 200 pages), on a person I greatly admire. I watched her show for years, but now listen to it while commuting to and from work each day. I didn't really know much about her as a person so I jumped at the chance to read this to get to know her better. I was surprised many times at how much she isn't that typical liberal. In listening to her show, I feel that she is very fair in getting at the truth (no matter at whose expense it is
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Michelle
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, netgalley
“Rachel Maddow: A Biography” (2020) is written by NYT bestselling author Lisa Rogak. “The Rachel Maddow Show” first aired in 2008: the Los Angeles Times quickly reported Maddow to be “MSNBC’s New Liberal Spark Plug”—her award winning show continues as the most popular highly rated cable news shows in the history of MSNBC. Maddow is also the author of “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rouge State Russia, and the Richest Most Destructive Industry on Earth” (2019).

Rachel Maddow (1973-) was a bright,
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Sue
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: bio-memoir, arc, read-2020
I have been a fan of The Rachel Maddow Show for some time and late in 2019 was very glad to read Maddow’s Blowout, an excellent study of the political and environmental impacts of the international oil industry on us all. When St. Martin’s Press offered an opportunity to read Lisa Rogak’s new biography of Rachel Maddow, I readily accepted.

While I have learned something about Maddow from her show and occasional guest moments on late night shows, most of the personal information offered by Rogak
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Nursebookie
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have watched Rachel Maddow as a news anchor for cable news for as long as I can remember. I found her to be intelligent, fascinating and can really breakdown complex issues foreign to me, in bite size pieces that I can comprehend. This book was a really exciting read for me to learn more about the person I admired.

This biography by Lisa Rogak was well written and told the story of Maddow, as a top anchor for MSNBC, a member of the LGBTQ community, and as the well loved icon by millions of
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Anne
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anne by: Debbie
Shelves: bio-memoir, nyc, 2020
I very much enjoyed reading this biography, learning about how Rachel Maddow became the famously likable and brilliant newscaster I know only from watching her cable news show on MSNBC. After reading this book I like and admire Maddow even more than I did before reading it. For me, this biography was an engaging page turner because Maddow is such a unique and interesting person; so funny, talented and good-hearted and courageous. She attributes her guts to "arrogance," but then says that she ...more
Donald Powell
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
A simple biography to give some color to one of America's favorite news anchors. It did not mention her book "Blowout" but was a good memorialization of the subject to date. A very quick read but very interesting and enlightening. It is nice to see a person of fame portrayed as real rather than perfect, though intellectually Rachel Maddow may be as close to perfect as anyone can be.
Nancy
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: publisher-sent
Maddow has impressed me with her cogent and reasoned narratives in explaining news stories. Earlier this year I read her book Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russian, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth in which she explains the gas and oil industry's influence and power and how Putin's goal of becoming a gas and oil supplier to Europe and the world has impacted current American politics. I count it as one of the best books I read this year.

I was late to discovering
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Donna Hines
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
As a huge fan of Rachel for years even I took away many great new insights into her illustrious career and personal life.
I've read Rachel's recent work The Blowout and it was fab but her personal life and road to success wasn't paved with flakes of gold.
In fact when she speaks politics I was often glued to the tv because she offered insight like no one else and often it was something unique and never heard before facts that coupled with her live on air persona just worked magic to her viewers.
I
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Krista
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Even though it’s been awhile since I have seen Rachel Maddow’s show I feel like I knew most of the information that was in this book already. As a casual fan I don’t feel like this offered a lot of insight into the subject. I think the book suffers from lack of direct access to Maddow herself, having to rely entirely on easily accessible public information.

Netgalley provided me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Debbie
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free ebook in exchange for a fair review.

I like Rachel Maddow. I'm impressed with her quick intellect. There's an interesting juxtaposition of brilliance and craziness in the conspiracy theories she weaves on her show..

I was happy therefore to learn more about Rachel Maddow. This book provided me with a thorough biography of Rachel Maddow. Her life was exactly as I thought it would be. This book is an extremely positive portrayal and the Rachel in this
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Randall Russell
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
OK, so I have 2 confessions to make about this review. The 1st is that I am somewhat of a Rachel Maddow fanboy. I don't watch her show every night, but I do tune in fairly frequently, and I do find her to perspective to be quite interesting (if sometimes a little down in the weeds in terms of detail). Perhaps its her nerdiness that appeals to me so much. The 2nd confession is that I got this book as an advanced reading copy from the publisher, St. Martin's Press. Despite those two factors, I'll ...more
Paula
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was interested in reading the Rachel Maddow book by Lisa Rogak because Rachel grew up about 20 minutes from where I grew up (I am 7 years older than Rachel.) It was interesting to hear about her early years and her time on Air America. I used to listen to that radio station and had no idea she was one of the radio hosts.

There were several quotes from Rachel, which showed her senses of humor. In watching her on her show, I’ve always felt she had a great sense of humor, and the book does prove
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Sharon Sample
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
When a biographer relies only on previously published or television interviews of their subject, the subsequent book is weak. A good biography needs to include interviews of family, friends, and coworkers of the subject. Unfortunately, Rogak uses only the former. As a result, the book is a dry telling of Rachel Maddow's life.

I have been a long time fan of Maddow, and I didn't learn anything new about what makes her the person I see on television every night. Also, I find the cover picture to be
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Beth
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
NOTES: I *adore* Maddow - she's funny, she's smart, and she has a way of distilling complicated information in a way that anyone can understand. She truly is a leader in her field. I also was given an arc of this title by St. Martin's Press. So. Carrying on.

I came into this biography with high hopes, particularly not being aware of much of her back history - the activism, the bouts of depression...so I was not only eager to learn about her past, but was hoping that there would be some recent
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Lisa
*advance copy, hence final version published may differ

The preponderance of quoted phrases and the clip at which the barely more than 200 pages gives the overall impression of sitting down with Friends over a long long lunch into dinner. This is a good first biography of a person of note who has living parents and a career still gathering steam--not with standing the few things said that shouldn't leave the lunch among friends (black humor about orphanges and house fires).

There are few things I
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Claudia
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

It's tough to write a definitive biography of a relatively young (compared to me!!) public figure. But I learned much about Maddow, her views on activism, on journalism, about working bipartisanly, about her philosophy of storytelling. And her partner's art.

Maddow began her life as an activist...and her pragmatic world view started early: "Activism is math in a way. It's figuring out what's on both sides of the equal sign,
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Marian
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lisa Rogak’s biography of Rachel Maddow takes you from birth to present day and gives you quite a glimpse into what makes Maddow tick. And it’s a lot.

So, what makes Rachel Maddow tick? If I had to condense it into one sentence, I’d say that Maddow wants people to have an opinion about the world they live in. No matter their politics, people are brought together around issues, and Maddow wants to engage us, stimulate us, and make us care. It is clear that apathy has no place in Maddow’s world.

A
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James
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shortly after starting on MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show ratings outpaced other news programs on CNN and other networks. In addition to astonishingly high audience numbers so quickly, recognition poured in from such media outlets as Politico, Washington Post, and Out magazine. In 2010, Forbes included her on the World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.

"I think helping people understand what is going on in the world and what is going on in your country is a noble thing to do," she said. "[And] I
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Susie
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a regular viewer of the Rachel Maddow Show so this book was of great interest to me. The information helped me to understand her approach to he show. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars was because it sort of got bogged down in the middle.
Roxanne Hayes
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good general biography on Rachel. Quick read
Linda Bond
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Maddow is known to a good chunk of people in the U.S. (and around the world) as a TV news commentator with a flair, a nose-for-news (sometimes before it happens), and a steadfast desire to see the Truth come out. She’s well-educated yet down-to-earth in her style and has surely earned her place as the most popular anchor in cable news. If you’re not familiar with Rachel, read this book and you will soon wonder why you’ve not been listening for her progressive view of current events. If ...more
Dale Dewitt
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I did enjoy learning more about Rachel Maddow than I knew before but I was confused, in the author calling this a biography, if she spoke to Rachel directly or simply pieced together multiple articles, interviews and essays that Rachel conducted over the years into a linear narrative. In the acknowledgement section she thanks her agent but doesn’t thank Rachel or Susan or any other figures,That had they been interviewed by the author directly, would have been thanked for their participation. ...more
R
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always respected Rachel Maddow as a host, commentator, and storyteller, but after reading this book- especially Maddow’s overall approach to life and the demands she places upon herself with her show- I have even more respect for her as a person. The author showcased the many facets of Rachel Maddow, not only the commentator and activist, but also the funny and quirky side.
This was a very informative and interesting biography.
Kim Shepherd
Rachel Maddow

The first biography of the most popular anchor in cable news.

Rachel Maddow has beaten the odds in a way that’s novel in today’s America: she uses her brain.
In a world of banal and opinionated soundbites, she regularly crushes Sean Hannity’s ratings thanks to her deeply researched reports. And in our highly polarized world, Maddow amiably engages the staunchest conservatives, while never hesitating to expose their light-on-facts defenses.
As a result, she's become the top anchor for
...more
Edwin Howard
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this biography, RACHEL MADDOW: A BIOGRAPHY, by Lisa Rogak, it quickly become clear that Rachel Maddow is a driven and unique person. From a young woman, she becomes borderline obsessively involved in what she is passionate about, be it AIDS patient care, politics and political policy, or creating the highest quality nightly show every day. Rogak chronicles Rachel Maddow's life prior to her show, how she started in the radio part time, then to Air America radio, then to what is part of the ...more
Harry Allagree
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lisa Rogak gives one a good peek into the "essential Maddow", more of a pop-profile than an in-depth biography. But what I like most is that Rogak's book is full of quotes from Rachel Maddow herself: her personal views of family, colleagues, friends & enemies, herself, her self-doubt, her sexuality, her fears & inadequacies, as well as honest expressions of the many things which make her happy & fulfilled, both in her personal & work life, like fishing!

By any measure, as Lisa
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Kevin
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Emmy Award-winning news host Rachel Maddow once said, "I am a childless, middle-aged, potbellied lesbian, and I don't have that much to be excited about in my life other than having a great job." But prolific biographer Lisa Rogak ("Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart") has created a breezy and compelling biography by detailing captivating facets of Maddow's workaholic nature. Her hour-long MSNBC TV show airs five nights a week, 50 weeks a year. "It takes me a good solid ten hours ...more
Phil
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. It is a pleasure for me to oblige.

I have been a fan and follower of Rachel for some time now. In a review of her recent "Blowout" I wrote that she is "the smartest and best journalist we have", and referred to her "mastery of details and ability to pull seemingly disparate facts together to form a cohesive and compelling whole". The biography traces how she got from 'there to here'.

Less know, and most informative, is her
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Lisa Rogak is the New York Times bestselling author of over 40 books on a wide variety of topics, from writers and their cats to sabbaticals to cemeteries in New England.
Through the years, in addition to writing books on an almost-schizophrenic range of topics, she has published newsletters and books, started a greeting card company for dogs and cats, bought and sold vintage funeral equipment, and
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