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Download My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir Audiobook, by Mark Whitaker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (144 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Whitaker Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9781452675046
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In a dramatic, moving work of historical reporting and personal discovery, award-winning journalist Mark Whitaker sets out to trace the story of what happened to his parents, a fascinating but star-crossed interracial couple, and arrives at a new understanding of the family dramas that shaped their lives—and his own.

Mark Whitaker’s father, “Syl” Whitaker, was the charismatic grandson of slaves who grew up the child of black undertakers from Pittsburgh and went on to become a groundbreaking scholar of Africa. His mother, Jeanne Theis, was a shy World War II refugee from France whose father, a Huguenot pastor, helped hide thousands of Jews from the Nazis and Vichy police.

They met in the mid-1950s, when he was a college student and she was his professor, and they carried on a secret romance for more than a year before marrying and having two boys. Eventually they split in a bitter divorce that was followed by decades of unhappiness as his mother coped with self-recrimination and depression while trying to raise her sons by herself, and his father spiraled into an alcoholic descent that destroyed his once meteoric career.

Based on extensive interviews and documentary research as well as his own personal recollections and insights, My Long Trip Home is a reporter’s search for the truth about a complicated and compelling family, a successful adult’s exploration of how he rose from a turbulent childhood to a groundbreaking career, and, ultimately, a son’s haunting meditation on the nature of love, loss, identity, and forgiveness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Whitaker, executive v-p of CNN Worldwide, recounts the risky marriage, bitter divorce, and subsequent discontents of his father, Syl Whitaker, a grandson of slaves who became a prominent African studies scholar, and his mother, Jeanne Theis, a white refugee from WWII Nazi-occupied France whose father helped rescue Jews…Whitaker’s memoir is in many ways an iconic story of the post–civil rights era, one in which transcending racial barriers liberates people to succeed—and fail—in their own peculiar ways.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A fascinating personal treatise on racial identity and complicated father-son dynamics.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy Jeffcoat | 2/17/2014

    " This is actually a 3+. It is a family memoir by Mark Whitaker, a biracial man who is the executive vice president of CNN Worldwide. His parents, both college professors, divorced when he was a child. He traces his parents and his own rather chaotic childhood to the person he is today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 2/15/2014

    " A remarkable memoir on a university educated family, with Mark's grandparents history, that starts in the 1950's with Mark's birth and ends in the 1990's with his father's death. I admired the examination of the interplay between the family members and Mark's examination of his father that took so long to understand. The story led me to examine my relationship with my family members. I am highly recommending this book to everyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 1/7/2014

    " Started off well but the second half was very disappointing. I guess the Syl and Jeanne story is more interesting than the Mark story or Whitaker finds it easier to "report" on his parents than on himself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 1/2/2014

    " Received this as an ARC: I was absorbed in the beginning chapters but then lost steam. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gail | 11/29/2013

    " I found this book to be boring and the writing style plodding. But, what annoyed me the most were the amount of misspellings, wrong words used, wrong tenses. Appalling editing and not proofread. I didn't finish it nor did I get too far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 11/24/2013

    " I enjoyed reading this book, but it was slow the first half because he gave too much educational background information on his parents life. It gave a good understanding of what it is to be brought up by a white French mother and black American. Mark whitaker started his career with Newsweek as reporter, then editor. He then was Washington bureau chief at NBC and now executive vice-president and managing editor of CNN. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margie French | 11/15/2013

    " Very readable and enriching bio of intellectual elite Black/white journalist and his dad and mom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 10/8/2013

    " The last of 3 memoirs I read for the Elle book jury, and by far the best. An intriguing family past, combined with the lessons he learns from both of his parents' experiences, made for a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 8/21/2013

    " First book on CD. Great listen to, interesting life, mother French and fater African American. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 8/13/2013

    " This is a fascinating memoir written by Mark Whitaker the managing editor of CCN Worldwide. With a French mother and a black father, he relates the history of his family and his relationship with his father. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry Dingwall | 5/24/2013

    " The overall story was interesting but this was a very easy book to put down. I felt there was way too much trivial detail and I was not really very impressed with this book. I found it rather depressing and it certainly makes you realize how awful the racial barriers have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/8/2013

    " Well-written, interesting storiesand got anxious for it to end about 50 pages short of the end. Glad I finished it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliebd | 1/30/2013

    " I enjoyed taking the journey with Mark through his life as he came to understand his parents and how they shaped his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Cynthia | 12/8/2012

    " Interesting and informative, but at times the journalistic writing was not the most engaging. Mark Whitaker's upbringing is unique, and overall this memoir was a worthwhile read. (I was between a 3 and 4 star on this one--good, not great.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Frances | 11/18/2012

    " Wow, I was hoping for an interesting and well written story and instead this book is surprisingly dull for a book about a mixed race marriage in the 1950s, and the life of a child from that marriage. It is so devoid of emotion as to make all of the characters cardboard figures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 3/14/2012

    " very honest, introspective account of author's family. "

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About the Author

Mark Whitaker is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir My Long Trip Home. The former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, he was previously the Washington bureau chief for NBC News and a reporter and editor at Newsweek, where he rose to become the first African American leader of a national newsweekly.

About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.