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Dispatches from the Edge

Dispatches from the Edge

Written by Anderson Cooper

Narrated by Anderson Cooper


Dispatches from the Edge

Written by Anderson Cooper

Narrated by Anderson Cooper

ratings:
4.5/5 (43 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 23, 2006
ISBN:
9780061214349
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In this gripping, candid, and remarkably powerful memoir, Anderson Cooper offers an unstinting, up-close view of the most harrowing crises of our time, and the profound impact they have had on his life.

After growing up on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Cooper felt a magnetic pull toward the unknown. If he could keep moving, and keep exploring, he felt he could stay one step ahead of his past, including the fame surrounding his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the deaths of his father and older brother. As a reporter, the frenetic pace of filing dispatches from war-torn countries, and the danger that came with it, helped him avoid having to look too closely at the pain and loss that was right in front of him.

But recently, during the course of one extraordinary, tumultuous year, it became impossible for him to continue to separate his work from his life. From the tsunami in Sri Lanka to the war in Iraq, the starvation in Niger, and ultimately Hurricane Katrina, Cooper gives us a firsthand glimpse of the devastation that takes place when the normal order is ruptured on such a massive scale. Cooper had been in his share of life-threatening situations before -- in Sarejevo, Somalia, and Rwanda -- but he had never seen human misery quite like this. Writing with vivid memories of his childhood and early career as a roving correspondent, Cooper reveals how deeply affected he has been by the wars, disasters, and tragedies he has witnessed, and why he continues to be drawn to some of the most perilous places on earth.

Publisher:
Released:
May 23, 2006
ISBN:
9780061214349
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN and a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes. He has won numerous journalism awards and nine Emmys, and his first book, Dispatches from the Edge, was a number one New York Times bestseller. He lives in New York City.

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Reviews

What people think about Dispatches from the Edge

4.4
43 ratings / 27 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Compelling read
  • (5/5)
    Anderson Cooper is an excellent storyteller and writer. Dispatches from the Edge is a very readable book that combines Cooper's personal story with his coverage of several significant world events. I really enjoyed this book, and will probably re-read it in the future.
  • (4/5)
    I'm a huge fan of Anderson, watch his show every night or as close as possible. I had read it previously but I couldn't remember it, so technically this is a re-reading. It's still good, however, it could have been a lot better.
  • (4/5)
    I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. With Anderson Cooper, I have been interested in what drove him to spend almost his whole career in the most desolate, war-torn areas of the world, particuarly after growing up in relative affluence. With this memoir, we get a lot closer to an answer. Cooper describes shutting off his emotions at a fairly young age (10) after the loss of his beloved father, and how that was cemented after the loss of his brother to suicide. The early years of his career in Bosnia and Somalia appear to be both an attempt to escape the pain, but also an attempt to reawaken some of those emotions. He describes self-loathing, as he begins to lose sight of the fact that he's documenting the slaughter of people, rather than simply subjects for his reports. Still, as much as he's willing to share this emptiness, this part of himself that is troubling to him (and to us), he still doesn't let us get close to the rest of him. He documents in vivid detail the images of death he sees in all these places, but he only hints at having difficulty dealing with social situations, being less than available to his friends and loved ones. He describes how his time covering Hurricane Katrina finally started to crack that diamond-like shell covering his emotions, but he never takes the final step of revealing who he's become as a result. At 38, his journey is far from over, so perhaps his intent was only to document what brought him here to this moment, saving the rest of the story for some future work. I'm still curious, so I'm hoping that someday he trusts us (and maybe himself) enough to finish the story.
  • (4/5)
    Heavy book, but nicely done. Anderson is an awesome narrator. I'm a big fan of his work.
  • (5/5)
    A great read with interesting insights into parts of Anderson's life set alongside his take on his experiences reporting the Tsunami and hurricane Katrina.
  • (4/5)
    Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper is his memoir of his early days of reporting from the war zones and disaster areas of the world as he built his journalism career. He also writes of his feelings about both his father’s death and his brothers’ suicide. Being the son of Gloria Vanderbilt is acknowledged but not really delved into.Cooper comes across very much as he does on TV, earnest, honest and quite guarded. His writing seemed to be careful not to reveal too much about himself which I suspect is something he has adhered to his whole life. Both growing up as the son of a very famous woman, and in the career that he has chosen, he seems more comfortable talking about events rather than himself. And while the book was interesting, I don’t feel as if he revealed much about the man behind the image. Two tragedies in particular, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina helped to catapult Cooper’s career and eventually led to his becoming the anchor on his own CNN show. I found Dispatches From the Edge to be an informative and intelligent book written by an empathetic complicated person who was able to build upon his ground-breaking coverage of world events to become the media star that he is today.
  • (5/5)
    In a poignant hybrid of documentary reporting and memoir, Cooper's work explores the events that led him to his current path, his motivations, and a few of the disasters and events which have left the most lasting impressions on his life and his reporting. With about half of the book focused in on his time in New Orleans post-Katrina, other portions of the book explore his own past and questions of grief, the 2006 tsunami, and his time covering wars in Sarajevo and Iraq in particular. Cooper's style is conversational and reflective, and he moves smoothly between issues of politics, personal development, and basic history/reporting. As serious as the book is, though, there's also quite a bit of hope to be found in the anecdotes and struggles Cooper focuses in on. In the end, the work is many things, and can't really be called either a memoir or a full work of journalism--it can, however, be called both necessary and worthwhile. Absolutely recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This was an incredible book. It was a great insight into Anderson Cooper. He gives a huge look into who he is emotionally. I have watched him as a newscaster for years but now I think of him as more of a modern day superhero. What he writes about is his inner bravery (he interprets it differently) and situations (war, famine, etc) some people do not know about or even care. He has risked his life in countries most people do not even know exist.

    I think this is a book for everybody. To see how someone will risk their life for other people but also so we do not forget the tragedies here in the USA and around the world.
  • (4/5)
    Unlike most reporters, Cooper doesn't write from a detached position that provides a dry generic account. By blending in his personal story the entire book becomes more interesting and the reader gets to know the writer, his motivation. The result is an engrossing book written from the heart by someone who can empathize with those facing disaster.
  • (4/5)
    I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. With Anderson Cooper, I have been interested in what drove him to spend almost his whole career in the most desolate, war-torn areas of the world, particuarly after growing up in relative affluence. With this memoir, we get a lot closer to an answer. Cooper describes shutting off his emotions at a fairly young age (10) after the loss of his beloved father, and how that was cemented after the loss of his brother to suicide. The early years of his career in Bosnia and Somalia appear to be both an attempt to escape the pain, but also an attempt to reawaken some of those emotions. He describes self-loathing, as he begins to lose sight of the fact that he's documenting the slaughter of people, rather than simply subjects for his reports. Still, as much as he's willing to share this emptiness, this part of himself that is troubling to him (and to us), he still doesn't let us get close to the rest of him. He documents in vivid detail the images of death he sees in all these places, but he only hints at having difficulty dealing with social situations, being less than available to his friends and loved ones. He describes how his time covering Hurricane Katrina finally started to crack that diamond-like shell covering his emotions, but he never takes the final step of revealing who he's become as a result. At 38, his journey is far from over, so perhaps his intent was only to document what brought him here to this moment, saving the rest of the story for some future work. I'm still curious, so I'm hoping that someday he trusts us (and maybe himself) enough to finish the story.
  • (3/5)
    Book on CD read by the author This is Cooper’s memoir of how he came to be a senior anchor for CNN. The chapters are divided according to various memorable assignments covering war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, famine in Niger, a tsunami in Sri Lanka, and culminating with his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and that storm’s effects on New Orleans and the gulf coast area of Mississippi. Throughout he recalls his early childhood, as one tender or distressing scene brings back memories of his family. He’s a talented journalist and one thing that makes him so is his ability to distance himself from what he is reporting. And yet, it’s clear that he is deeply affected by what he witnesses. I think this may be especially evident when listening to his audio performance, and I think that added to the experience for me. Having Cooper read his own memoir really made it feel as if I were listening to him relate stories from his life while sitting in my own living room. He’s a trained television journalist, so his delivery is clean and moves along at a good pace. However, I was struck by how frequently he swallows syllables at the end of a word. I expected a crisper diction, I guess. The text includes photos from his childhood and the memorable assignments covered in this book.
  • (5/5)
    very good.my idol
  • (5/5)
    Read this cover to cover. Heartbreaking and epic in Anderson's quest to feel for humanity again and for himself after the horrors he has witnessed as a reporter in some of the most dangerous and ravaged places on earth. Combining his take on such horrific events as Katrina and the Indonesia tsunami along with the painful road he took with his father's and brother's death, is achingly human. Have read it 3x and the impact remains the same.
  • (5/5)
    Anderson Coopers book intersperses tales of his early journalist work in Somalia, Rwanda and Iraq with memories of his family. This is a very interesting read as Cooper's voice is approachable and his anecdotes seem sincere. Later on in the book, he discusses his own experience of Hurricane Katrina. I loved this book. I have always enjoyed his correspondence work and this book was a way to show his audience another side of him.
  • (4/5)
    Cooper's book takes a look back at some of the events he has reported on, from starvation in Somalia to the fighting in Sarajevo to Hurricane Katrina. Though the memoir shies away from any current personal information, he examines his childhood and how the tragedies he endured growing up have influenced his career choices. This is not a book for the faint of heart (there are many graphic descriptions of the violence and suffering he has witnessed), but for those interested in recent events, it's a good choice. Cooper narrates his own words which really brings his story to life.
  • (5/5)
    I decided to read this book after I saw his interview on Opera.It's been awhile since I've read it and my mom has my copy of the book, so I can't give you a more detailed description. I can tell you that this is a worthwhile read. He really opened my eyes to the atrocities that take place in the world. He described some pretty terrible things that happened. One that sticks out the most to me is his description of the look of drowning victims of the Tsunami and how solitary and terrifying drowning is. The description still sticks in my mind . . . I pray that I don't die that way-and what a horror it must have been when God flooded the earth.Dispatches from the Edge didn't leave me feeling dismal, but it did have me really wrestle with the bad things in the world and praise God that I have hope in Christ. This also inspired me to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the world. I want a globe. I've reasearched and kept up with what is happening in Darfur. I also know that I want to raise my children to know where places in the world are located.Do you know where Kashmir is located?It may be worth taking a look and you won't be wasting your time if you pick up this book.
  • (4/5)
    This is a collection of remembrances from CNN reporter Anderson Cooper. He uses an interesting technique of weaving his own personal family traumas with his experiences on location reporting on disasters. I particularly enjoyed his recounting of the Katrina disaster, as the reader really experiences his outrage at the government inaction in both Mississippi and New Orleans. It was particularly interesting to read about the recent news events from his perspective, as one can remember seeing Anderson on camera in those same locations.
  • (3/5)
    I love watching Anderson Cooper on TV with news coverage, so I figured I'd like a book of his as well. I read the audiobook version of this, where Cooper himself did the narration. But oddly, I think that's why I didn't like this more than I did. I found his tone very monotonic -- perhaps more like his journalistic voice -- and that turned me off. I felt that the book was really written to try to bring a more humanistic & subjective view of what he's seen as opposed to the more frequent objective view that he takes in his work, but his reading really just didn't come across that way. Perhaps reading the hardcover version would've been better for me in this case. I found the memoir enligtening, but I wasn't blown away.
  • (3/5)
    Cooper's personal story is interesting enough, but it's poorly woven here with details about his professional life. Nice try.On the other hand, however, it does have pictures of Cooper's beautiful self.
  • (4/5)
    Well written stories of the war and disasters Anderson Cooper has covered as a journalist both at home and around the world described against the counterpoint of tragedy and loss in his own life. He seems to be a man with great integrity who has the ability to bring to light the injustices of the world in order to effect change. I hope he keeps doing what he has been doing.
  • (5/5)
    This book provided an inside look into what makes Anderson such a great journalist. The events that shaped his drive are sad and amazing at the same time. Although he grew up in a wealthy family, he really struggled to make a name for himself as a field journalist. Reading this book made me respect him even more than I hade before.
  • (5/5)
    This book is AMAZING. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I didn't know much about it, other than what a friend of mine had told me, but I was intrigued. Looking at the subject of the book, I wasn't at all sure if I would be able to finish it - the books I normally read tend to be fiction; romance, fantasy and young adult novels, and this was everything but.I picked it up, having no intention to start reading it then but just to see what it was like.The next thing I knew, I was on page sixty, having gotten completely hooked on the book.The book is a weird experience in the sense that you learn so much about Anderson and at the same time he eludes you completely. He's honest and candid, and it seems like he doesn't try to make himself seem any better a person than he is. Through all the wars and disasters he's seen he seems connected to the world in a way that I could never be without probably going insane, but at the same time disconnected from everything as well, because of his loss in both his father and brother. He likens himself to a shark in that he needs to stay moving in order to stay alive.At times it was even painful to read, because there was a feeling to me like he doesn't really have anything to lose. Towards the end the feeling eases, like there's hope and healing.I'm not sure if any of this made any sense, because what this book did to me is it left my head and heart full of thoughts and feelings that are just completely mixed up in each other. The book will definitely stay with me for a long long time, and it'll be the book I'll recommend to everyone.
  • (5/5)
    Listened to the audio read by Anderson Cooper. What a great story he put together. Keep up the good work.
  • (2/5)
    I have been following Anderson Cooper since the early 90's when he was a foreign correspondant for Channel One. I really like the man and his journalistic sense. His stories are real and human. The cover of his book states that it is a memoir of war, disaster and survival and I was under the impression it would have been about just that. Every other chapter delves into his private life. Why would he think anyone would buy his book just to hear him whine?While I am sorry that he had to deal with the tragedies in his life, so does every other person. He just gets paid for it is all. I was not impressed. It would have been much better if he had given maybe a chapter in the beginning on his personal life and the rest to the wars he covered.
  • (5/5)
    Anderson Cooper has put together a fascinating and moving memoir. The book flips back and forth in time and between countries he has travelled to and stories he covered as a reporter. I found his passion for his career inspiring. The retelling of events in war-torn countries can be quite opressive. It becomes easy to let your mind skip over the words "corpses" and "bodies" if you are not careful to remember that these were real events and each one deserves a fresh emotion. Cooper peppers the novel with stories of his own struggles to come to terms with his father's death and his brother's suicide. I truly appreciate the honest (and what must have been difficult) confession of emotions from Cooper. Everyone should read this book, if only that it might serve as a reminder of people in the world who are less fortunate and are suffering daily.
  • (5/5)
    I found this to be an "enjoyable" book even though the material was rather depressing. It was a very quick read, but engaging. I have developed a new respect for Anderson Cooper.