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Extended Audio Sample Audition: A Memoir, by Barbara Walters Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,287 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Walters Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

Barbara Walters’s perception of the world was formed at a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour. It also made her aware of the ups and downs, the insecurities, and even the tragedies that can occur when someone is willing to take great risks, for Lou Walters didn’t just make several fortunes, he also lost them. Barbara learned early about the damage that such an existence can do to relationships, between husband and wife as well as between parent and child. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so “different” and the guilt that still haunts her.

All of this, the financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love, played a large part in the choices she made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman co-host of the Today show, the first female network news co-anchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated Specials, the star of 20/20, and the creator and co-host of The View. She has not just interviewed the world’s most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara’s life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne, the list goes on and on.

Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the television networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An unusually ambitious and successful book…suffused with an emotional intensity…It belongs to a part of American culture that Walters helped invent.”

    New Yorker

  • “She doesn’t shy from the tough stuff…Nor does Walters, an entertainer as much as a ground-breaking journalist, skimp on the fun bits.”


  • “Walters gives us an entertaining panorama of a full life lived and recounted with humor and bracing honesty. Alternating between tales of her personal struggles, professional achievements and insider anecdotes about the celebrities and world leaders she’s interviewed, this mammoth memoir’s energy never flags.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A smart, funny, fascinating book in which Walters captures possibly her most elusive subject: herself.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Ms. Walters’ story is greatly humanized by the family memoir that colors her long litany of professional successes.”

    New York Times

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jody | 2/16/2014

    " I know-I know Barbara wha wha. I could not put this book down! Unbeleivable what this woman went through to become the first woman anchor. I was amazed by her story starting from her childhood and through her career. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sue | 2/15/2014

    " An interesting read, I had no idea about anything that had happened in Barbara Walters' life. She's quite the woman. A "tell-all" memoir that is quite readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sharon | 2/8/2014

    " I loved this autobiography by Barbara Walters. She was a "first" on many fronts, but since that wasn't her aim when she set out, she comes across as very unassuming. I never knew her father was a producer in a famous New York night club. This went a long way toward explaning her future in show business. She was interviewing leaders in the Middle East in the pivotal seventies, some her most interesting stories. She is very honest about her three marriages and her daughter's difficult adolescence. A long read, but hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by nooshisooshi | 2/3/2014

    " she's interviewed and covered every epic news story. quite interesting to read about the behind the scenes and quirks of so many legends. "

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