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This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV Paperback – Bargain Price, January 6, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It might not have occurred to anyone to clamor for longtime CBS reporter Schieffer's memoir, but now that it's in print, it makes for a highly engaging read. He's seen it all and has much wisdom about journalism and governance to impart. The book spans virtually every important domestic story of the past 40-odd years; among his captivating subjects are the 1962 integration of the University of Alabama, JFK's assassination, Vietnam, Nixon-era peace protests and Watergate. The book's emphasis changes subtly from events to personalities when Schieffer takes over Face the Nation. As the subtitle suggests, Schieffer wisely forgoes rehashing familiar tales like Watergate or the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in favor of revealing the background action that went unreported at the time. He structures the book as a collection of anecdotes, and, unsurprisingly for such a seasoned pro, Schieffer has a sharp eye for intriguing details and an instinct for maintaining the proper focus on his subjects rather than on himself. When he does get personal, he admirably questions his occasional missteps in balancing family and career. The telling is so unfussy, modest and straightforward that it rarely prompts speculation about the juicy bits that he couldn't write in a book. Indeed, the work succeeds not only as a primer on broadcast journalism but also as an informal history of America over the past 40 years. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Schieffer, veteran television journalist and moderator of Face the Nation, offers insights and a riveting behind-the-scene look at the news events--and the television news business itself--over the 40-plus years of his career. Schieffer recalls the moments that defined his career and shaped the nation, from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Schieffer also recalls his career trajectory from a newspaper reporter in Fort Worth, Texas, to a failed bid to replace Walter Cronkite as anchor of CBS Evening News, to his tenure on the respected Sunday-morning news show. He shares off-camera moments with some of the most powerful politicians and journalists in the nation, including his long friendship with fellow Texan Dan Rathers. In his career, Schieffer has covered wars, seen presidents come and go, witnessed the ups and downs of White House relations with the press, observed the rise and fall of the powerful and the petty, and covered Washington from the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and Capitol Hill. This engaging memoir offers readers a closer perspective on both newsmakers and news reporters over the past four decades. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425194337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425194331
  • ASIN: B000GG4GAI
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,366,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Louis N. Gruber VINE VOICE on June 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would not have thought to pick up this book, except that, by serendipity, I heard parts of it on Radio Reader as I was driving to work for several mornings, and by further serendipity, I heard the author talking about my late aunt, whom I never knew very well, and who, as it turns out, was a noted eccentric among the White House press corps.
So, I bought the book. And I'm very glad I did. The story begins with Bob Schieffer's baby steps in journalism, his experiences during the the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the civil rights struggles of the 60s, his changing perceptions of the war in Viet Nam, his personal experience of growth and change in the news business and in American governance, then Watergate, and finally, the events of September 11.
Although I learned nothing dramatically new (except the story of my eccentric aunt), I did enjoy seeing familiar events through the eyes of one very astute and well-informed observer. Author Bob Schieffer writes in an easy, flowing style, as though he is talking to the reader personally. He conveys a great sense of warmth and compassion as he talks about figures who are, to most of us, the great and near great. He does not hesitate to poke fun at himself or to share his foibles and failures. He comes across as a really nice person who just happens to have first-hand experience of the great events of the last forty years. The book moves along quickly, reads easily, and leaves you wanting more.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to read this book, and I highly recommend it to others. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific memoir of Mr. Schieffer's professional life. The book is, as one would expect, extremely well-written. The author's self-effacing and engaging style that works so well on TV works equally well as he tells his stories.
The book is a newsman's view of the news he reported.
Most impressively, Mr. Schieffer walks that thin line of relating recent history to give enough background without insulting the reader's intelligence by treating him as if he has been living in a shell for the last 35 years or so.
This is a typical memoir in that it relates Mr. Schieffer's professional career. The subtitle - "What I Couldn't Tell you on TV" is unfortunate, however, because there are not really any secrets in the book. This is a memoir and not a "tell-all". I do not think this author would be amenable to tablois style tell-all yarns. That does not detract from the book, only makes the title a bit misleading.
Mr. Schieffer has reported and/or been close to most of the major stories in America for the last few decades. This is an enjoyable look at those stories through his eyes which had a close-up view. The writing is as good as the view he gives the reader.
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Format: Audio Cassette
The title alludes to all kinds of 'secrets' to be told, and at a time when the debate over journalism itself is as much the topic of controversy, you would expect views and opinions relating to this as well as events throughout history. He covers historical events, but only as they effect him and his career. I would say there is a fair balance of insights on the news, and insights on himself. I kept waiting for something new on events of the past, but for the most part it was the same old stuff rehashed. This is due mainly because a lot of the story is about how he had been somewhere else as big news was taking place. You can't be everywhere at once, but he was rarely 'in the thick of things', and most of the 'inside' stuff was about the history makers he knew on a 'personal' level, though you get the impression it wasn't as personal as he makes it out to be.
I stopped looking for deep secrets when he referred to Al Gore's irrelevant statement about the Internet as 'a tall tale'. Anyone that doesn't take the media for granted and actually investigates this statement in context can see he doesn't think he 'invented' the Internet. The fact that Bob would make such a statement illustrates why his career took the course it did, and puts all the excuses throughout the book in their true light.
Still, if you want to know about the man, the book is very informative.
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Format: Hardcover
Bob Schieffer was not a name that I knew, so I would not have chosen this biography had a friend of mine not recommended it to me. I always learn something from biographies, and THIS JUST IN did not disappoint.
I don�t watch much television inside these prison fences. My schedule is too busy with writing, reading, correspondence, and exercise. I am familiar with Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather as newscasters, but I had not heard of Bob Schieffer before reading this book that chronicles his life. He does a fine job describing it.
I admire individuals who set clearly defined goals in their lives, then set in place a strategy to help them achieve those goals. Through Schieffer�s biography, readers learn that he was a diligent student and a determined worker as a young man. As a teenager Schieffer worked as a newspaper reporter, and after college became an officer in the Air Force. Immediately upon completing his military duty, Schieffer returned to his job as a local newspaperman. Not long after his return, he courageously persuaded his supervisor at the Fort Worth Star Telegram to send him to Vietnam in order to report on the Texan troops, thereby launching himself on his way to journalistic stardom.
Soon after Schieffer�s return from Vietnam he graduated to the world of electronic media as a local television reporter. From his post as an anchor for WBAP-TV (now KXAS) Schieffer doggedly pursued the major networks with hopes of leaving behind the daily coverage of murder, arson, and other bloody crime that local news organizations are committed to broadcasting. Schieffer wanted to cover national news.
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