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.
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.
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.
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. Download and start listening now!