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Between You and Me: A Memoir with 82-Minute DVD Hardcover – January 1, 1900
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From Publishers Weekly
In this tepid memoir, the 60 Minutes grand inquisitor appears rather manipulative, turning on a dime from unctuous insinuation to prosecutorial grilling, always searching for the point of emotional revelation when his subject weeps, rants or flounders in self-incriminating panic. Wallace includes many transcripts of such moments from his 50-year interviewing career, but with a few exceptions—a breakdown by JFK bodyguard Clint Hill, Norman Mailer calling Eisenhower a "bit of a woman"—they feel flat on the page, couched as they are in rambling, repetitive conversational prose (readers may find the accompanying DVD of broadcast highlights—not seen by PW—somewhat livelier). Stripped of televisual aura, the transcripts also reveal the paucity of hard information Wallace uncovers; often, the interviews are more like theatrical showcases for the behind-the-scenes grunt work of journalistic fact-finding. Wallace himself seems to have learned little from it, to judge by his background commentary, which consists mainly of historical glosses interwoven with usually friendly (or adulatory) personal reminiscences of famous interviewees. Wallace does offer intriguing, if defensive, accounts of journalistic crises like CBS's censoring of a 60 Minutes interview with tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand. Otherwise, the book is a dull and not illuminating read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the perspective of 60 years of reporting, most notably with 60 Minutes respected newsman Wallace, in his second memoir, shares interviews with the famous and the infamous, including personal observations on the friends and enemies he's made along the way. Interspersing clips from interviews with commentary, Wallace also provides the historical context and backstory. In 1971, talking to President Lyndon B. Johnson two years after leaving office, Wallace goads the desolate and compulsively controlling Johnson to speak about the legacy of the Vietnam War. Wallace relates his own personal struggles with depression, a malady he publicly shared with William Styron and Art Buchwald. He relates his respect for the penetrating intelligence and political savvy of Richard Nixon, his admiration for the public service spirit of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, and his long friendship with Nancy Reagan, including a public falling out and a public patching up on Larry King Live. He includes a chapter featuring interviews with con artists and crooks, which 60 Minutes is famous for unveiling, and a chapter featuring beloved celebrities Shirley MacLaine, Vanessa Redgrave, Barbra Streisand, and others. The book also includes a 90-minute DVD of clips from Wallace's more famous interviews. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
After that, I'm betting they'll want to read the book, if only to get the kind of details that the DVD only hints at. Wallace not only opens up about his personal life but shares plenty of anecdotes about celebrities and life on the 60 Mintues set.
He also is quite honest about his struggle with a particularly intense depression, one that nearly sidelined him. This section alone should serve as inspiraton to readers who think that successful people are somehow impervious to pain and difficulty. I was impressed by his willingness to speak honestly about this challenging part of his life.
As someone who can (by his own admission) be blunt and perhaps too outspoken at times, Wallace also reveals some of the tiffs and rough moments he has had with some of his subjects- and when and how he made up with most of them...but not all. He had his share of enemies as well as at least one major lawsuit (a lawsuit that may have been a factor in his depression).
Wallace has interviewed an amazing number of famous people, from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan, from crooks to celebrities, famous athletes as well as statesmen.
I recommend this book for anyone who has watched 60 Minutes and found Mike`s interviews to be outstanding as I have.