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A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio Hardcover – September 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bob Edwards has made me proud to be a colleague in a field that both of us consider

a calling and for which he has set the highest of standards for all of us who look up to him."―Bill Moyers"

""With good manners, an even disposition and an occasional bit of offbeat good humor in this morning companion, plus the willingness to awake before dawn for 25 years to bring us the world with our coffee―well, you can see why we owe Bob Edwards a lot."―David S. Broder"

"At last, Bob Edwards has told his story. With all the wit, candor, and courage that made his journalism on NPR a favorite of millions across the country and a role model for all of us in public media. This "voice in the box" is good news."―Bill Moyers"

"Bob Edwards came of age as radio did. Maybe not the much-romanticized golden era of the medium that preceded television, but the equally important period when radio news and public affairs reporting grew and matured into one of the most relevant American venues for information and serious discussion. His work at NPR and later, with satellite radio, is testament to his love of good journalism, great storytelling and, most of all, people. A Voice In The Box is his story to be sure, but it is also a worthy tale of high-end radio journalism itself―all the more important to us in these days when newspapers and television news have lost so much of their ambition."―David Simon, producer, "The Wire" and "Treme" and author, Homicide and The Corner"

"A Voice in the Box is a delight. Bob Edwards has told his story from inside the world of radio that has something for everybody―from the kid's dream to be on radio to settling some adult's scores with NPR and being happy now on Sirius XM Radio with many more hours on the radio still to come."―Jim Lehrer"

"Edwards shares fascinating details about beginning a career at a tiny station; becoming part of the energetic, excited startup team at NPR; conducting interviews and producing shows; and building a career as a beloved host. He's forthright about his disappointments, too, including a divorce and the shock of being fired. In this solidly entertaining book, Edwards engages readers with tales from his new radio incarnation."―Publisher's Weekly"

"Edwards pairs his contagious excitement about post-NPR achievements with his pleasure in revealing the inside secrets of "Morning Edition." There are dozens of anecdotes about famous, and infamous, guests." ― The Courier-Journal"

"This is a warm, friendly book, in which an accomplished broadcaster looks back on what he dreamed for in his life and how happily and despite some setbacks, his achievements have exceeded his dreams." ― The Kentucky Gazette"

"This is a well-written, always interesting account that provides readers with an inside look at the world of American media by one of the most iconic personalities in radio history." ― Tuscon Citizen"

"From wars abroad to battles in radio, the blend of personal stories and cultural history makes his book entertaining and satisfying to read." ― Kentucky Monthly"

"A Voice in the Box is an insider's account of the world of American media and a fascinating, personal narrative from one of the most iconic personalities in radio history."―Book Bargains and Previews"

"An unusually candid and insightful memoir...Edwards' story makes a most worthy page-turner."―CS Monitor"

"Fans of Bob Edwards who have listened to him for decades on NPR and, more recently, satellite radio, will be pleased to know that his storytelling gifts translate well from the airwaves to the printed page."―The Washington Post"

"In A Voice in the Box, Edwards details his rise with the public radio startup in 1974 to his dismissal in 2004, telling his side of the breakup story for the first time."―The Miami Herald"

"Edwards makes clear throughout the book: He has never lost his passion for a well-told story."―The Washington Post"―

About the Author

Bob Edwards is the author of Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism and Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship. Edwards has been awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for radio journalism, a George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; First Edition edition (September 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813134501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813134505
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed Pegg Jr VINE VOICE on September 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From 1979 until 2004, Bob Edwards hosted Morning Edition on NPR. That was my morning routine. I've stayed with NPR after Bob was fired in 2004, though I'm now curious about bobedwardsradio.com at XM Radio. An audio announcement about the book is there.

The book itself starts with Bob describing self-deprecatingly his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, and the hyperbole announcing him after 4 weeks at XM radio. Then he starts his biography. He talks about growing up poor, and how he resented his brother always getting to use the bathwater first. He talks about his first job in radio, making a station announcement during a lunar landing while the station manager was out committing adultery. Then, weeks later, the station manager getting arrested, and Bob being the only one there to handle the station.

Bob has done over 20,000 lively interviews with just about everybody, and has written and read hours of material every weekday for 32 years. Does he have a talent for writing? It would be amusingly ironic if I could answer no, but his writing is sublime. Supremely readable (and I hear his voice) and crisp, but his talent for finding the story breaks out on every chapter, every page and every paragraph. He finds the interesting part, and gets to the point, and builds them all into a narrative arc. As he discusses his personal life, History is in the background, and he has a superb memory of the details. Of course, perhaps a third of the history I know is because Bob told it to me over the course of thousands of mornings.

When does this come out on Audible???

This is my favorite book of the year. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When Morning Edition debuted on NPR in 1979 Bob Edwards was its original host, and he stayed in that job for almost 25 years as Morning Edition became one of the most popular shows on the radio. Then, inexplicably, he was fired in 2004, a hugely unpopular move. At the time I had already been considering subscribing to satellite radio, so when he was hired almost immediately by XM Satellite Radio to host his own hour-long, in-depth interview show I signed up and largely based on his show I'm still a subscriber today. Bob Edwards has continued to make some of the best shows on the radio, so good in fact that NPR could not resist--a digest of his daily satellite shows is now part of NPR's weekend lineup. This book is the story of his life in radio, and it will be fascinating to anyone interested in the early days and evolution of NPR, satellite radio and Bob Edwards himself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have listened to Bob Edwards for over 25 years, all throughout his tenure at NPR and now at XM.

With the advent of podcasts, I was and am able to listen to his broadcasts while working at home or driving.

This volume is an extension of Bob's unique approach to interviews. In this case, he is the subject matter.

As I read the book, I too could hear his trademark voice, as he shared his journey in radio journalism.

So whether you are a fan, or if you are new to Mr Edward's. This book will serve as a further enrichment, or a wonderful introduction.

I, more than likely read this volume again.

I have never reviewed a book on this site.

I highly recommend availing yourself of this book. And Bob's show on XM.

The only reason I subscribe to XM is to listen to this man.
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Bob Edwards is a legend in broadcasting and A Voice in the Box is his story. Unlike many media celebrities, there's little indication that Mr. Edwards believes his own hype, and throughout the book he modestly acknowledges the mentors, associates and friends who contributed to his success. His journalistic skills are evident as he chronicles his rather austere roots, his first radio jobs, his stint in the military during the Viet Nam War and the early days of NPR. He provides enough color to make the stories interesting but without self-indulgence.

The elephant in the room is, of course, why on earth NPR fired this paragon of the early morning airways and A Voice in the Box does not disappoint. Bob Edwards writes the way he interviews; he lets the story tell itself. This self-styled "Bobspeak" is especially effective in the chapters about Mr. Edwards's separation from Morning Edition and NPR. The arrogance and stupidity of TPTB at NPR is well-nigh unbelievable, and Mr. Edwards's calm statement of the facts is eloquent in its understatement. One by one, he refutes the ridiculous lies that NPR floated around in a desperate attempt to make itself look less stupid and if he occasionally seems to think things were personal, they probably were.

I listened to Morning Edition from Day One. I loved the lack of hysteria, the varied but always interesting stories and interviews and looked forward to Red Barber on Fridays. Most of all, I appreciated Bob Edwards' calm, intelligent assurance. After the announcement was made that he was leaving the show, I emailed NPR in protest and got the response about 'the changing needs of listeners' and the snort-worthy promise that Bob Edwards would still be around.
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