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Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Anderson Cooper

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1,102367,523 (3.89)42
Member:StephenBarkley
Title:Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival
Authors:Anderson Cooper
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, @Home
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Non-Fiction, Biography

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Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival by Anderson Cooper (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
In a poignant hybrid of documentary reporting and memoir, Cooper's work explores the events that led him to his current path, his motivations, and a few of the disasters and events which have left the most lasting impressions on his life and his reporting. With about half of the book focused in on his time in New Orleans post-Katrina, other portions of the book explore his own past and questions of grief, the 2006 tsunami, and his time covering wars in Sarajevo and Iraq in particular. Cooper's style is conversational and reflective, and he moves smoothly between issues of politics, personal development, and basic history/reporting. As serious as the book is, though, there's also quite a bit of hope to be found in the anecdotes and struggles Cooper focuses in on. In the end, the work is many things, and can't really be called either a memoir or a full work of journalism--it can, however, be called both necessary and worthwhile. Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Oct 13, 2013 |
Raw emotion junkie. That's how I see Anderson Cooper now. This man needs to feel alive raw emotions, to make himself feel he needs to be where things are intense. Hence, all the war coverage from Bosnia, to Somalia, to Rwanda, natural disasters tragedy, etc. This memoir only gives us a glimpse of this addiction. Each reporting job is put in parallel with an event in his childhood or young adult life (and what a life : tragedy, drama, etc). It's interesting and kept my interest all thru the book. If you want to know what's behind Anderson Cooper's pretty face. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 6, 2013 |
Read this cover to cover. Heartbreaking and epic in Anderson's quest to feel for humanity again and for himself after the horrors he has witnessed as a reporter in some of the most dangerous and ravaged places on earth. Combining his take on such horrific events as Katrina and the Indonesia tsunami along with the painful road he took with his father's and brother's death, is achingly human. Have read it 3x and the impact remains the same. ( )
  donnagalanti | Oct 14, 2012 |
This isn't the most brilliant writing, but it's compelling and sincere. After reading the Katrina section, I had to look up Anderson's interview with Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Luckily YouTube had it:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuRCXiYGO4And that's why Anderson Cooper is my favorite news anchor.I do have one criticism, for the editor: "pus" is nasty fluid indicative of infection. "Puss" is a boot-wearing cat. ( )
  catalogthis | May 6, 2011 |
I'm a huge fan of Anderson, watch his show every night or as close as possible. I had read it previously but I couldn't remember it, so technically this is a re-reading. It's still good, however, it could have been a lot better. ( )
  irunfrombears | Sep 7, 2010 |
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To my mom and dad, and the spark of recognition that brought them together.
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I was ten when my father died, and before that moment, that slap of silence that reset the clock, I can't remember much.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061132381, Hardcover)

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, died during heart bypass surgery. He was 20 when his beloved older brother, Carter, committed suicide by jumping off his mother's penthouse balcony (his mother, by the way, being Gloria Vanderbilt). The losses profoundly affected Cooper, who fled home after college to work as a freelance journalist for Channel One, the classroom news service. Covering tragedies in far-flung places like Burma, Vietnam, and Somalia, Cooper quickly learned that "as a journalist, no matter ... how respectful you are, part of your brain remains focused on how to capture the horror you see, how to package it, present it to others." Cooper's description of these horrors, from war-ravaged Baghdad to famine-wracked Niger, is poignant but surprisingly unsentimental. In Niger, Cooper writes, he is chagrined, then resigned, when he catches himself looking for the "worst cases" to commit to film. "They die, I live. It's the way of the world," he writes. In the final section of Dispatches, Cooper describes covering Hurricane Katrina, the story that made him famous. The transcript of his showdown with Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (in which Cooper tells Landrieu people in New Orleans are "ashamed of what is happening in this country right now") is worth the price of admission on its own. Cooper's memoir leaves some questions unanswered--there's frustratingly little about his personal life, for example--but remains a vivid, modest self-portrait by a man who is proving himself to be an admirable, courageous leader in a medium that could use more like him. --Erica C. Barnett

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

From the tsunami in Sri Lanka to the war in Iraq to the starvation in Niger and ultimately to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Mississippi, Cooper gives us a firsthand glimpse of the devastation that takes place, both physically and emotionally, when the normal order of things is violently ruptured on a massive scale. Cooper had been in his share of life-threatening situations before, but he had never seen human misery quite like this. Writing with vivid memories of his childhood and early career as a roving correspondent, Cooper reveals for the first time how deeply affected he has been by the wars, disasters, and tragedies he has witnessed, and why he continues to be drawn to some of the most perilous places on earth.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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