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Come to Think of It: Notes on the Turn of the Millennium Hardcover – December 13, 2007
All Books, All the Time
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From Publishers Weekly
Originally broadcast on NPR from 1991 onward, this collection of news commentary from renowned veteran reporter Schorr succeed in two ways: as vivid snapshots of recent history, and the reaction to it, in America and abroad; and as canny evidence of how little really changes in a decade and a half. The author (Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism) and NPR senior news analyst tackles déjà vu-inducing topics like dissatisfaction over the Iraq policy of President Bush in the early '90s (a chief executive "who attends orchestrated events and expresses what sounds like orchestrated empathy"), and a Clinton presidential campaign facing character issues and a "gotcha" press mentality. In the years since, the repeat Emmy and Peabody award winner takes aim at issues large and small (Waco, the Unabomber, terrorism, abortion, the "State of Peace on Earth"), and especially the changing nature of the news business, including eulogies to industry greats (Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal), coverage analysis (the O.J. trial, Monica Lewinsky) and the erosion of the first amendment. The short pieces that populate this volume offer shrewd, sure assessment that makes great bite-sized reading for any fan of politics, Schorr or NPR news.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
For many years Saturday mornings found me on the road. My radio companion was NPR's Saturday Edition with Scott Simon. I particularly enjoyed the weekly banter and commentary with Daniel Schorr. His grandfatherly voice combined with his mature perspective on a current event or a trend was always thoughtful and insightful.
"Come To Think of It" is a collection of 334 transcripts of his radio essays first broadcasted December 31, 1990 to March 26, 2007. Each essay is titled and dated. To be honest I did not read them all but only those with subject matter that interested me. Those essays certainly refreshed my memory and succinctly summarized a newsworthy item that had peeked my interest.
The book included an index of essays and a subject index, which make the book a very accessible research tool.
Mr. Schorr passed on July 23, 2010 at the age of 93. He last essay was broadcasted on NPR on July 10, 2010! There is a link on the Daniel Schorr page on WIKI that plays an audio of his last essay - well worth you time.
Born in 1916, Daniel Schorr first reported in 1939, worked for CBS from 1953-1976 (resigning to avoid revealing a source), has been with NPR for two decades, and at this writing is still going strong at age 92. These pages are clearly worth your time, and when reading them listen carefully - you just might hear Schorr's voice coming from the direction of your radio.
9/11 looms ahead throughout the first two thirds of the book, but when it happens Daniel Schorr contributes his thoughts in a calm, thoughtful, unhysterical manner that is the tone of all his essays. At the end of every year, Schorr writes an essay on "The State of Peace on Earth" in that year. Most of the years the state of the peace was not very good.
In 2001 he wrote: "....There are organizations that annually tally the number of armed conflicts as a way of judging how peaceful the year has been. a year ago the National Defense Council Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, counted sixty-eight cross-border and internal conflicts, an increase of three over the previous year. In the age of the war against terrorism, counting conflicts no longer works. There is one great transcendent conflict, a twenty-first-century version of struggling with the barbarians at the gates.
When Saint Luke spoke of peace on Earth, it was not a prediction but a prayer. With it went another prayer, 'Goodwill toward men.' It was to say you can't have one without the other. This year, sad to say in much of the world we had neither."
Newsmen and commentators of his caliber are all too rare, and becoming more rare in today's media. Dan, thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations.