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All Things at Once Hardcover – January 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her second year as cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe, TV news veteran Brzezinski is on fire, after enduring her share of professional setbacks and personal hardships. In this straightforward, frank account of her career trajectory, Brzezinski, the daughter of President Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, does not bother to disguise her hard-fought ambition to secure a top news anchor position or hide the fact that she is not satisfied (nor very good at) being a stay-at-home mom of two daughters. From the beginning of her TV career, working her way up at local affiliates in Hartford, to her big break, getting hired in 1997 for an overnight CBS network anchor program in New York, Up to the Minute, the author resolved to make the frantic pace work, despite the increasing toll the late hours and absences from her family were taking. Distracted, pressured to return too early to work after the birth of her second child and exhausted, she took a bad fall down the stairs of her Yonkers home while holding her infant. The trauma scared her into slowing down, but not for long. Opportunity has seasoned Brzezinski but not hardened her, and having found her venue and voice with Morning Joe, she shares a refreshingly pragmatic approach for the professional woman: don't wait to have children and don't let your job treat you like a bad boyfriend. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

“Having It All,” the title of the modern Superwoman’s to-do list, implies a sequential mastery of the tasks at hand. Career? Check. Husband? Check. Kids? Check. Yet instead of accomplishing her life’s goals one at a time, Brzezinski managed to juggle them more or less simultaneously. Occasionally, however, something came crashing down, and it was one such literal fall—down a flight of stairs with her four-month-old daughter in her arms—that caused the bright young star of broadcast journalism to rethink her priorities. From her days as a cub reporter in a small New England TV station to high-profile anchor responsibilities with CBS and MSNBC, Brzezinski’s career frequently fell prey to network politics, causing her ability to simultaneously function as a committed wife and mother to suffer as a result. Filled with as much self-deprecating candor as self-congratulatory bromides, Brzezinski and coauthor Paisner nonetheless offer a realistically detailed portrait of the pitfalls to be avoided on one’s professional and personal paths to success. --Carol Haggas

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books; First edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602861110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602861114
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mika Brzezinski is the co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," a show Time Magazine calls "revolutionary" and the New York Times ranked as the top news show of 2008. In January of 2009 Mika launched and became the Co-host of Citadel Media's syndicated radio show "The Joe Scarborough Show".

Prior to joining MSNBC in January 2007, Brzezinski was an anchor of the "CBS Evening News Weekend Edition" and a CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to "CBS Sunday Morning" and "60 Minutes." Brzezinski joined CBS News in 1997 as the anchor of "CBS News Up To The Minute," but took a short hiatus in 2000 to co-host MSNBC's weekday afternoon program "Homepage." In September 2001, she returned to CBS to become their principal "Ground Zero" reporter for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Brzezinski began her journalism career in 1991 in Hartford, Connecticut, as a general assignment reporter at WTIC. A year later she joined WFSB, also in Hartford, and quickly became the weekday morning anchor.

A native of New York City, Brzezinski is the daughter of Foreign Policy Expert and Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. She attended Williams College and received a degree in English. Brzezinski lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 185 people found the following review helpful By reader 2227 on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Mika Brzezinski has promoted this book, by saying that she has advice, that she feels compelled to give to young, professional women.
Ms. Brzezinski likes to trumpet, "Don't forget to have children!"
Mika writes, on page 4, "'One of the first things I talk about, when I speak with young women about jump-starting their career - even if they don't ask is, 'Don't forget to have children.'"
Mika's publisher's blurb blares, "She shares a refreshingly pragmatic approach for the professional woman: don't wait to have children."
However, when Ms. Brzezinski has her two children in her 20's, as Mika promotes and expounds in her book, Ms. Brzezinski is also, privileged enough, to be able to hire a slew of nannies and back-up. Mika speaks of a helpful husband, and she is able to have a coterie of babysitters, housekeepers and staff, but nonetheless, Mika can't seem to manage. Although, Mika employs a range of domestic help, Mika still bemoans continually, about how depleted and overburdened she is.
It turns out, that raising children, can be quite exhausting. Who knew, that children had so many needs? Mika berates herself, for not having employed more caretakers sooner to watch her children, and doesn't want the reader to make the same mistake. Mika's message: Don't forget the fleet of hirelings and surrogates!
But, even with assistance and support, Mika distracted, falls down her stairs as she is holding her second daughter. While in the emergency room, there is the fear that the baby might be paralyzed in some way. Luckily, that was not the case, and the fracture to the little girl's femur bone is repaired. Mika and her husband then decide to hire even more household help, to "have the kids staffed" with no interruptions.
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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I got this from the library and finished it in less than three hours. Wow. Driven by what seems to be an obsessive need to be in the spotlight, Brzezinski neglects her children for a life that keeps her--rather than them--the center of attention. She freely admits that she finds true parenting to be a chore and would much rather be a "fun" parent. Being a parent means accepting that some days are nothing but temper fits and tears, whilst others are hugs and fun, and most are in the middle, with a little of both to keep things interesting. Brzezinski believes the proper way to raise her children is to take out loans and foist her daughters upon nannies and sitters so she herself has as little interaction with them as possible. At first I found this incredible; however, by the end of the book, it became quite clear that those kids may well be better off with people who actually want to be around them. If her horrific recounting of what happened when she believed her daughter to be paralyzed couldn't make her see the forest for the trees, well, perhaps it's best she sticks to her book tours and morning show and leaves her children in much more capable hands.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By olderandwiser on November 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read this book and thought Mika was wise to make marriage and childbearing a priority. But then it became the usual drivel. Mika may have borne two children, but she's been too busy with her ego and her career to rear them. She appears to have adjusted totally to this sad situation, as revealed by the family Christmas cards--one shows her daughter with a broken femur in a hospital bed, with a balloon caption claiming this is what happens when baby is naughty. Actually, it was Mom who was naughty--she didn't get enough sleep and tumbled down the stairs, managing to fall on her daughter twice. Then there's the one showing her husband, two daughters, and a stand-in woman, which asks the recipient to say hello to Mommy if you see her. The final example shows Mika, hubby, daughters, and a baby (not their own). Some people thought she'd had a third child, not realizing it was a "joke" card. Let's hope her daughters, when they grow up, have a good laugh on the way to their shrinks. This book provides a graphic illustration of how to have "All Things at Once" without really having the substance of any of them. How sad.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book because I wanted to see what a co-anchor, on one of the three cable news stations had to say. The `hosts' of these shows, funnel and filter the news, so their positions can have an undue influence all the way around.
It always seemed duplicitous and hollow, when Mika pompously, predictably and condescendingly, harangued anyone who dared consume sugar, yet, Ms. Brzezinski could just as easily turn around and $hill for $tarbuck'$ $weetened drink$.
Where is the integrity in that?

What advice would Ms. Brzezinski have, about parenting babies and young children, while having a career? Mika, with frequent verve, repeatedly tells professional women, that they should have their children in their 20's, just as Mika did. On the other hand, Ms. Brzezinski employs an armada of nannies and babysitters, to take care of her children, which she glosses over. What Mika is trying to package as parental advice, seems empty when she admits how little she sees her own children. This often makes Mika appear clueless, in a Marie-Antoinette sort of way. One is left greatly baffled, from what Mika espouses, and then how she leads her own life.

In Mika's own words: "It meant we'd need virtually full-time babysitting help." (p 79) "I could have used much more help, but we could barely afford just the one sitter." (p 96) "He [her husband] took out loans to hire another nanny so I could get the rest I needed, and all the support we needed around the house. We hired a night person and a day person." (p 112) "We set it up so the house could run efficiently in my absence - and even in my presence.
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