From Publishers Weekly
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“It seems unimaginable that someone of Byron’s intelligence and elegance could have faced so many struggles as a young man. No wonder he is such an inspired story teller – his own story is inspiring.”
- Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and 60 Minutes correspondent
"Byron Pitts had a secret . . . one he thought was shameful and embarrassing. So he kept it—for years and years. That he was able to is only one astonishing detail in his wonderfully candid, you-are-there memoir. Vividly written, Byron can tell a yarn with passion and intimacy. Step Out on Nothing is truly moving." - Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes correspondent
“I have always had the utmost respect for Byron as a fellow journalist. He is outstanding. I felt this way even before I discovered all he had to overcome to reach such heights of our profession. Reading Byron’s moving story left me speechless. You can’t help but be inspired.” - Robin Roberts, Good Morning America co-anchor
“If you have ever been told, "You can't achieve your dreams," you need to read Step Out on Nothing. Byron Pitts has used his remarkable skills as a reporter to reveal his most fascinating story to date - the story of his own life. It is a triumphant tale of faith and family, and one man's determination to overcome seemingly impossible odds. This book will move you, inspire you, and make you look at your own difficulties in a whole new light.” - Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor
Top Customer Reviews
Pitts' story is important because it shows what can happen when you unleash your inner greatness and allow it to develop. It also highlights the old adage that no man is an island and whether it is your blood family or those who adopt you into their fold, that we have to work together---and oh the things we can accomplish when we do.
I commend Pitts for taking us into his life and letting us know how he became the man that he is today. By doing so, he can encourage others that may come from a similar place in life to not feel as though today is a part of the end but instead is only the beginning.
This is Mr. Pitts's story about starting over again as a reviled "basement boy" in remedial classes and his ensuing struggle to overcome severe learning difficulties. At a time when little was understood about how children learn to read, he was given a "reading machine" whose microfiche slides he spent hours memorizing. Combining determination with faith -- not to mention the force of nature that was his mother -- Mr. Pitts achieved his greatest dreams, graduating from college and eventually working at the pinnacle of broadcast journalism, CBS's 60 Minutes.
Despite Mr. Pitts's immense likeability, it is truly his mother Clarice who steals the show. Endlessly energetic, tireless in her advocacy of her children, deeply loving and utterly convinced of the power of prayer, Mrs. Pitts pushes her son to achieve more than he ever thought possible. He writes humorously about her infamous temper. Overwhelmed by the demands of college, he considers dropping out. She writes him a letter that starts: "Dear Mr. Brain Dead, Have you lost your **** mind?"
This book is Mr. Pitts's paean to his mother, as well as to all the adults who "stepped out on nothing" but their faith in him. He writes lovingly of high school teachers and coaches, college professors and roommates, priests and pastors -- everyone who had a hand in getting him where he is today. I've never read the words of someone so deeply grateful and so devout in his faith.Read more ›
I never have thought about the person behind the screen when I get my news. The reporters. Those people who speak so wonderfully, who go into these dangerous places to bring us a shot of something we'd never see otherwise, who go out and find stories that need to be heard, need to be told. You would never think that someone who was illiterate, who stuttered, would grow up to be this face that we see bringing us our news on possibly the biggest news program in our televised history.
This story is so inspirational. One that I actually think I'll save for Jordan to read in a couple of years. If you have ever doubted yourself in any way this book is for you. Byron has the best attitude. I don't know how he did it. I've let smaller problems in my life drag me down. He just kept plugging through. The final straw for me would have been the college professor who told him to give up. I probably would have. I know I would have. Or at least dropped that class. He does get angry, but he turns that anger into something else. Buoyed by his faith and the people around him, he keeps going, keeps working towards his goal. It was so neat to read how he learned how to read, how he overcame stuttering (would you have ever guessed that he did?), even stories of blatant racism and how he reacted to them. What an amazing man.Read more ›
I usually read several books at a time; but this one is captivating; making it difficult to put down. Without attempting to be a professional book reviewer, I can say that the writing was rich, visual, auditory, - engaging and gripping. It is not a sappy bio - tales of his mother Clara see to that. What a woman! This is a very realistic bio graphically recounting the good and the not so good; so it might not be suitable for grade school children. Accounts of the war in Iraq are vivid. Very insightful is his revelation of how adult children of divorce think about and deal with estranged parents.
This book is so inspiring that I think I'll likely be rereading it. An unexpected outcome; I have a newly found respect for journalist embedded with the military after reading Pitt's bio.; as a parent, I understand more of the dynamics of bullying, and the life impact of divorce and parental influences. I cannot say enough good things about the book; except to say you've got to read it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an adult literacy tutor and appreciate Byron Pitts and his experiences enormously. His life inspires everyone and I have shared his story with all of my students. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patricia Fitzgerald
Worth reading. Specially if you or someone you love is challenged in academics. It will encourage you to believe in success no matter what.Published 13 months ago by Joel
His story is inspiring, although a little editing of some sections would improve it. But there is no arguing with the man's integrity and grit.Published 14 months ago by Gatorstate
Very inspiring story about a man who grew up very poor and overcame many challenges to succeed in life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Barbara Chambers
Great story of human perseverance. I particularly enjoyed it since I am a journalism teacher and Pitts is a journalist.Published on August 24, 2014 by Linda E