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The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News Hardcover – March 25, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mudd's memoir, based on his own notes and extensive interviews, looks back at his 20 years in the CBS News Washington bureau. Mudd, about to turn 80, left CBS in anger when he was passed over to succeed Walter Cronkite, going on to report for NBC and narrate at the History Channel before retiring. But by his own admission, he "never truly ceased being a CBS man." Although he does not mask his bitterness about the Cronkite succession or hesitate to detail the shortcomings of his fellow journalists (especially Dan Rather), Mudd has written a mostly affectionate memoir. The anecdotes about his former colleagues are often humorous, occasionally nasty, but rarely gratuitous, and he is equally unsparing of himself. Mudd's aim is to educate his readers about how first-rate television journalism used to occur more frequently than it does today, and he is a fine teacher. In addition, he fills the book with stories about the politicians and bureaucrats he covered, most memorably the Kennedy brothers and U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Mudd's writing is smooth, his tone approachable, and readers old enough to have watched CBS News during the Mudd years are likely to feel nostalgia. (Apr.)
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"Finally, somebody has chronicled what it takes to practice quality journalism on network television. Roger Mudd has done so in a way that is one great large story made up of many great small stories that results in a book that, in the reading, is like eating peanuts. You can't put it down. Open the package--the book--and there is pleasure, meaning, laughter, annoyance, grins, frowns to behold on most every page. Mudd has superbly recounted the saga of CBS News Washington at a time of history and journalism that was important to him, his profession and his country. This is a book that matters." -- Jim Lehrer

"Mudd, Rather, Severeid , Kalb and Schorr. They were all household names and I felt a Little Leaguer coming to bat in Yankee Stadium when I joined the bureau in 1969. Roger Mudd was the best of all of us, and he tells the whole story of those days as only he could--the titanic battles with the government and our rivalries with each other mixed in with some of the funniest political yarns I have ever heard. I laughed out loud and even shed a tear or two. The Place to Be is the perfect example of what a professional memoir ought to be." -- Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent

"When Roger Mudd delivered the CBS Evening News, Americans paid attention. From early his days as a budding broadcaster, through his coverage of the Senate filibuster debate over Civil Rights, to his devastating Peabody-Award-winning interview with Ted Kennedy, Mudd demonstrates why CBS was The Place To Be. He candidly recounts the gritty details behind the scenes, and the power struggles among the people shaping network news. In the end, we understand the glories and disappointments of a career in the heyday of television news. Every person concerned with the direction of today's news would do well to take in the lessons of this book." -- Diane Rehm, National Public Radio

"The Place to Be is a cautionary tale about Mr. Mudd's own honorable career and by implication about the way network TV news has devolved into today's mix of frantic cable blather." -- Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586485768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586485764
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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on April 11, 2008
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