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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,562 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anderson Cooper Narrator: Anderson Cooper Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9780061214349
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Published in 2006, Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge was a New York Times Bestseller and continues to be a popular read as Cooper’s celebrity grows with the introduction of his daytime talk show Anderson Live. And the only thing better than reading this fascinating book is listening to the audiobook, narrated by the author himself.

Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disaster and Survival is actually part memoir and part news reporting, in which Cooper reveals how various news stories—including the Niger famine, the tsunami in Sri Lanka, and Hurricane Katrina—affected him psychologically and emotionally.

Cooper began his career by making a fake press pass and acting as an independent "correspondent", reporting from war torn countries like Rwanda, Bosnia and Somalia. He was able to sell his video reports to Channel One, a news channel broadcasted in junior high and high schools across the United States, where he had previously been employed as a fact checker.

Anderson Cooper lost his father during heart surgery when he was ten years old, and his older brother Carson to suicide when Cooper was twenty-one and a student at Yale. He attributes his fascination with war-ravaged places as a response to these early losses, attempting to cope with his personal tragedies by focusing on the tragedies of others. Throughout his career he has been captivated by the resiliency of the human spirit.

Following his impassioned coverage of Hurricane Katrina, in which Cooper confronted various politicians for a too-little, too-late response to the devastation and suffering of the victims, the author/newsman was heralded as a new breed of emo-journalist. The term applies to news correspondents who display some degree of emotion related to the stories they broadcast and are willing to speak out and ask the tough questions. Dispatches from the Edge does a good job of demonstrating this type of journalism, with Cooper revealing the reflections and reactions one doesn’t necessarily see on camera.

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 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Powerful…[Cooper] opens a tantalizing window into his soul.”

    USA Today

  • “A smart, soulful page-turner…Cooper is a storyteller with plenty of heart.”

    People

  • “His vignettes from the world’s horrorscapes rise above the swagger of many journalistic memoirs because Cooper writes with competence as well as feeling.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “From the shores of Sri Lanka to the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, Cooper weaves his experiences at CNN into a moving memoir.”

    Newsweek

  • “Cooper has a pleasant, distinctive, and recognizable voice, but that’s not the reason he’s effective as the reader of this memoir of war, disasters, and survival. The book is a compelling listen because Cooper is a talented writer, filling his text with riveting images and compelling phrases.”

    AudioFile

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny Binley | 2/8/2014

    " It restated what we already knew about the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, I thought I would get a different view of those events "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Thorne-rupert | 2/6/2014

    " An interesting and insightful read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 The | 2/5/2014

    " If you can get through the brutal ham-handed metaphors of the introduction, you might really like this book. I found his stories of his experiences and feelings to be quite interesting compelling, and his discussion of his emotions regarding his father's death and his brother's suicide was touching. He talks quite a bit about his reaction to the events he's covering, his feelings about the business of "news/journalism," both of which are things I have rarely seen from a prominent newsperson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/28/2014

    " aw anderson. my love for you knows no bounds. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 1/10/2014

    " Never heard of him before (No TV!) but I really enjoyed his story and his writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fayette | 1/7/2014

    " I picked this book up in trade at a hotel in Costa Rica. I'm fascinated by Anderson Cooper, but the book itself was disjointed and dated. It also made me feel a little sorry for Anderson, who recognizes his own disfunctional need to seek disaster. Still, it's a quick read, and a reminder that the world is a big and tragic place and we can choose to insulate ourselves in our own comfortable place...or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 12/30/2013

    " really good read if you like Anderson/journalism "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Barton | 12/19/2013

    " Real. Genuine. Very readable. I am impressed with Anderson Cooper's work and attitude. A true world travelling adventure with a seemingly genuine concern for people. Excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 12/11/2013

    " If you are an Anderson Cooper fan, which I am, you will thoroughly enjoy following his path through these many natural and man-made disasters. What an amazing life he has led so far! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Britta | 11/27/2013

    " An interesting look into the journalistic view of recent events. Cooper makes connections between his drama in his own life and the catastrophic events of world, occasionally over-dramatic, however honest and written to entertain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isla McKetta | 11/13/2013

    " In this brave and thoughtful book, Anderson Cooper takes us behind the public face of a very private mad. He simply and poignantly talks about tragedies both global and personal. For a peek at how this book helped me understand my own escapist tendencies, read my full-length book review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie Yoh | 11/2/2013

    " This was a good book that I would definitely recommend to others. I'm a fan of Anderson Cooper but didn't really know too much about him other than by watching his newscasts on CNN. I liked the way he wove his life story into his overseas travels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 8/4/2013

    " I remember Anderson Cooper back in his Channel One days. The accounts of his war/disaster coverage are grim, but one everyone needs their eyes opened to. There is so much going on around us, and we have not the slightest clue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlene Weber | 7/10/2013

    " Well written, thought provoking, sad commentary on the world today as well as AC's life experiences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 6/11/2013

    " I enjoyed getting to know Anderson better through his story. I thought it was fascinating and tragic at the same time. It's one of those I couldn't put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileenzombro | 5/7/2013

    " Loved the switching from news life to personal life. Excellent examples of through journalism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janine Urban | 2/19/2013

    " Wow. Wonderful book and a very quick read (I read it in a day). He really brings you into a lot of his personal struggles,trials,and life experiences. There were parts of this book that just broke my heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Smith | 2/17/2013

    " I love Anderson Cooper, and while I didn't think his biography was a real page turner, it was entertaining and he offered a lot of insights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 2/16/2013

    " CNN's Anderson Cooper gives his personal account of his time reporting in war and disaster areas. It's action packed and self reflective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia Duffin | 1/4/2013

    " I enjoyed reading this book and reading about a journalists personal point of view rather than just getting the "facts" you hear reported on the news. It gives a realistic idea of what really goes on behind the scenes at war and disasters like hurricane Katrina. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi Kroeger | 12/5/2012

    " A tough read that will leave many wondering what happened to the people of this world. How can they be so cruel? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Hanson | 11/5/2012

    " Five stars may be pushing it, but I LOVED this book! It was surprisingly intimate and with the exception of a few lapses into corny whymsical narrative, wonderfully written. Read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stepha | 10/11/2012

    " a little self-indulgent, but it's anderson, so i'll let it slide :) well-written. the section on hurricane katrina was tough to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alma | 10/9/2012

    " One of those books I could not put down..an insight on a very interesting person. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa Jones | 3/31/2012

    " This book sits resolutely in my top three... and I'm not usually one for non-fiction. It's a very moving work about the cyclical nature of human suffering. Awesome stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen | 10/20/2011

    " I adore Anderson Cooper, have since his days reporting on Channel One (when I was still in middle school). While I found his storytelling method sometimes hard to follow (the book is not at all chronological, and he jumps around through time), it's still a very good, very easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 8/3/2011

    " It's by Anderson Cooper - enough said! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 6/25/2011

    " A very quick read. It was interesting though, the things he has seen. It kind of jumped around a lot from places like Sarajevo (which I would have like to read more about) to Niger, and Iraq. The part on Katrina was quite detailed though.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katayoun | 5/20/2011

    " Anderson Cooper attempts to crack his own shell while breaking open the disgusting truth of the business of news. There is no way to read this book and not question my own actions in relation to the world around me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 5/4/2011

    " I've always been a fan of Anderson Cooper and enjoyed reading his book. I felt as if I was there with him as he was retelling the story of his days covering these tragedies and his survival. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/30/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book as it gave me history of how Anderson was raised and the experiences he had in life before he was a photojournalist. I admire his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fawn | 2/15/2011

    " This totally changed my perspective on Anderson Cooper! This book is very well written and is very emotional--almost painfully raw. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbaraleah | 2/12/2011

    " This book was wonderfully written. Anderson Cooper is a self-aware (in a good way) journalist who proves that one needn't be heartless to be effective. Very interesting, appealing and at times, heart wrenching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cari | 2/12/2011

    " Vivid, Descriptive, Deep and Depressing . . . eye opener. Many times Disturbing, brought to tears more than once . . . good read, but not for the faint of heart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 2/1/2011

    " A really good book about Anderson's views of Journalism and his life as a correspondent. I liked the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gale | 1/17/2011

    " Love Anderson. Started watching him in high school on Channel 1!! Seriously, though, it's a good book. "

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About the Author
Author Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper joined CNN in 2001 and has anchored his own program, Anderson Cooper 360°, since 2003. He had previously served as a correspondent for ABC News and was a foreign correspondent for Channel One News. Cooper has won several awards for his work, including an Emmy, and is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival. A graduate of Yale University, he also studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi. He writes regularly for Details magazine.