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Dispatches From the Edge Unknown Binding – January 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (2007)
  • ASIN: B003K13LFW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

I found this book very surprising.
Stefan G. Konstantopoulos
Kudos- a very well written first book from Mr. Cooper.
Nor'easter
If you think this guy is likeable, read this book.
Douglas Hileman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Nor'easter VINE VOICE on May 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Too often, those we see on television are packaged into a personality that is devoid of inner demons- everything is slick and beautiful. Anderson Cooper lets us inside of the pain in his life and his imperfections and the road he has travelled in dealing with his demons. Of course, we also read about the man we see on television- deeply caring and willing to ask the very hard questions in any situation. I admire Mr. Cooper for his honesty about the inner turmoils of his life and the truly sincere caring he brings to every story he covers. And for those who think he is on an ego trip talking about his wounded youth- wake up! Our pasts are a deeply ingrained part of every one of us and sometimes we do not integrate the pain of a wounded childhood until we are adults and in Anderson's case until he has witnessed the most obscene of suffering on this earth. Kudos- a very well written first book from Mr. Cooper.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By bookcrazy on June 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished Dispatches from the Edge, and found myself close to tears as I read the final pages. While ultimately uplifting, Cooper, I think, writes of the search that many of us go through to bring meaning to pain and loss. While searching for some solace, he finds a way to illuminate the tragedies of others. He recognizes, due to his own famous family, that there is a balance that constantly has to be examined between reporting and voyeurism, and seem to work to always keep the scales in order.

For those expecting straight reporting, there will be disappointment, for there is more of a blend of narrative and recollection, and the mix brings an interesting melancholy to scenes already overwhelmingly sad. Cooper's loss, both of his father and his brother, color much of his reporting, and rather than detracting from it, adds a great deal of emotional context.
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Format: Hardcover
Deemed by CNN programming executive Jonathan Klein as the "anchorperson of the future", Anderson Cooper has experienced the type of meteoric rise that is bound to draw critical diatribes as well as hosannas. Based on personal journals he has kept, his newly published book will unlikely shift opinions drastically, but this relatively brief memoir does provide an intriguing, sometimes poignant portrait of a man who let his natural curiosity of the world fester into a career in television journalism. As the son of writer Wyatt Cooper and heiress/blue jean magnate Gloria Vanderbilt, he was a child of privilege. At the same time, he was driven to find his own identity in light of deep personal tragedies, which by far, provide the most absorbing passages in his book.

His father died during open heart surgery at the age of fifty, and a decade later in 1988, his brother Carter jumped off the balcony of their mother's apartment. It was this senseless suicide that pushed Cooper to become a reporter, first with the youth-oriented Channel One and then ABC, traveling with his own video camera to dangerous regions of the world like Myanmar, Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda. These passages are filled with vivid impressions of poverty, starvation and the personal impact of war. It becomes clear through Cooper's writing that he was seeking an escape from the personal pain he felt from his brother's premature death.

Ironically, the least interesting parts of the book have to do with his move to CNN. In spite of his sharp accounts about the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, especially expressive in his frustration with the minimal government support for the victims, he comes across a bit too pat and expeditious in his coverage of these events and the impact on him personally.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Arnold on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I appreciated the way Cooper wove his personal life and honest emotions into his work as a journalist. Some other reviewer asked, "What's the point?" The point of any memoir is to get a flavor of the how, why, and what of a person's life. And to learn how they make sense of it. Cooper does this honestly. He often blatently describes such things as his need to enter into tragedy as an escape from personal tragedy-- or a way to stay "in motion." Yet, it is in these stories and experiences ie: Katrina, Sri Lanka, that Cooper finds the voice, and the emotions--the whole or sense of his life-- and communicates that to us. The tragedies are not ones he 'uses' as someone else wrote, but they are mirrors. A big difference! Cooper's vulnerablity (what makes readers interested),and ability to gain the reader's attention by accessible, clear and passionate writing is a success.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Five "Brilliant" Stars!! It's like Anderson Cooper started writing about what he found in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and his life literally began to seep through the pages: a brilliant, opportunistic, tragic, and ultimately triumphant life which is a tremendous 'focus lens' that he uses to view everything from distant wars to a rampaging Tsunami to Niger, to Hurricane Katrina. He touches on that life in the Introduction dropping us into his life at age 10 and intersperses "his" story around "their" stories throughout the remainder of the book.

I first encountered Anderson Cooper when he and Alison Stewart did the ABC late night news and those two kept alot of Americans up late as they chatted about and around the news. Even then you could tell those two were destined for great things: she's now doing "The Most" on MSNBC and Anderson is "the big news guy" replacing Aaron Brown on CNN's prime time news, called "Anderson Cooper 360". Now he's being paid the big bucks for stories that he once did for free as a correspondent with a fake press pass for the unsuspecting "Channel One".

I was surprised that what I expected to be exclusively about Hurricane Katrina became something so personal: about his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the tragedies of his father's and his brother's deaths. The fact that both mother and surviving son have successfully dealt with these tragedies has done nothing but made them strong and allowed them to move on. In reporting on Katrina, the Tsunami, Iraq, Niger, and the other locales, Anderson takes no prisoners in assessing the damage to lives and property. This is an engrossing, sometimes shocking, and truly informative personal memoir and investigative reporting. May Anderson Cooper find himself "never having to slow down, never having to land".
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