Download Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR Audiobook

Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR Audiobook, by Lisa Napoli Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lisa Napoli Narrator: Lisa Napoli Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2021 ISBN: 9781665058834
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A group biography of four beloved women who fought sexism, covered decades of American news, and whose voices defined NPR

In the years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women in the workplace still found themselves relegated to secretarial positions or locked out of jobs entirely. This was especially true in the news business, a backwater of male chauvinism in which a woman might be lucky to get a foothold on the “women’s pages.” But when a pioneering nonprofit called National Public Radio came along in the 1970s and the door to serious journalism opened a crack, four remarkable women came along and blew it off the hinges.

Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie is journalist Lisa Napoli’s captivating account of these four women, their deep and enduring friendships, and the trail they blazed to becoming icons. They had radically different stories. Cokie Roberts was born into a political dynasty, roamed the halls of Congress as a child, and felt a tug toward public service. Susan Stamberg, who had lived in India with her husband who worked for the State Department, was the first woman to anchor a nightly news program and pressed for accommodations to balance work and home life. Linda Wertheimer, the daughter of shopkeepers in New Mexico, fought her way to a scholarship and a spot on-air. And Nina Totenberg, the network’s legal affairs correspondent, invented a new way to cover the Supreme Court.

Based on extensive interviews and calling on the author’s deep connections in news and public radio, Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie is as beguiling and sharp as its formidable subjects.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Illuminates the terrifying, thrilling energy of NPR as start-up…[in] the network’s endearingly experimental, chaotic beginning.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Napoli honors not the dog-eat-dog variety of journalist but the fortitude of sisterhood, of women supporting each other.”

  • “The founding mothers, in word and deed, offer a powerful lesson on what can happen when we carry as we climb.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] vivid and engrossing group biography…Napoli also tracks the battle for women’s equality in newsrooms…[and] tells the instructive story of NPR’s growth.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] well-researched deep dive into the careers of the journalists who helped make NPR a household name.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Inspiring insights into the pathbreaking work of these four women…[nd] how the status of some women and the role of the media have both changed in the last fifty years.”

    Library Journal

  • “While not a professional narrator, Napoli is an experienced radio and television journalist as well as author; her clarity, thoughtful pacing, and engaged narration suit the audiobook well.”


  • “Napoli impressively chronicles how these four pioneers paved the way for women journalists everywhere.”

    Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt

  • “[An] iIntimate and beautifully told tale of the extraordinary coming together of four women who would help shape a network, the news business, and each other’s lives.”

    Stacey Vanek Smith, author of Machiavelli for Women

  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About the Author

Lisa Napoli was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and has had a long career in print, radio, television, and online journalism. She has worked at the New York Times, Marketplace, MSNBC, and KCRW. She is the author of three previous books, Radio Shangri-La, Ray & Joan, and Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News. She has directed several documentaries about Southern culture.