Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me:
“I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.”
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 made Barbara aware of the ups and downs that can occur when someone is willing to take great risks.
The financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love all 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 has spent a lifetime auditioning, and 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.
About the Author
Barbara Walters is the first woman ever to cohost a network news program. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. An ABC News correspondent, she is also host of The Barbara Walters Specials and the creator, cohost, and co—executive producer of ABC Daytime’s The View. She lives in New York City.
Praise for Audition: A Memoir…
“Audition is brutally honest, both about Walters and those she's worked with. Readers won't be left wondering what she thinks of anything, or anyone, for that matter. . . . It's a fascinating look at a woman who has lived a fascinating life.”
–Laura L. Hutchison, The Free Lance-Star
“[Walters’] heartfelt candor lifts this book above mere titillation. . . . blended with this personal drama is a delightful tale of the golden age of television . . . Through 50-plus chapters, you feel as though you’ve enjoyed a year of weekly lunches with Walters . . . She regales you with the juicy behind-the-scenes details of the celebrities she’s interviewed, mixed in with stories of her own trials and tribulations. In the end, you envy her a little less and admire her more.”
–Kathleen Matthews, Washington Post
“…the book is a triumph!”
—Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
“…the grande dame of TV news has written a blockbuster. . . . Readers will gobble up the excerpts from scores of interviews with world leaders, politicians, celebrities and murderers.”
–Kathleen Daley, New York Sun
“an indispensable book along with a surefire monster best seller…intensely readable…She’s TV’s original monarch and superstar where power, show business and journalism converge. It’s Barbara Walters’ world, and the rest of us just live in it. [Her] mammoth memoir, doesn’t just touch chords, it’s a 600-plus page oratorio.”
–Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News
–Rebecca Traister, Salon.com
“Ms. Walters’s story is greatly humanized by the family memoir that colors her long litany of professional successes.”
–Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“an unusually ambitious and successful book. …suffused with an emotional intensity…it belongs to a part of American culture that Walters helped invent.”
–Nicholas Lemann, The 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.”
–Allison Adato, People
“…the crowning glory of a remarkable career…”
–Liz Smith, New York Post
–Jo Piazza, New York Daily News
“…compulsively readable… [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)
“A smart, funny, fascinating book in which Walters captures possibly her most elusive subject: herself.”
–Ilene Cooper, Booklist (starred)