Mike Wallace

A Life
Mike Wallace: A Life. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. Apr. 2012. c.320p. index. ISBN 9780312543396. $25.99. COMM
Screenwriter Rader (Waterworld) delves into the life of Mike Wallace from his beginnings in radio and television through his four-decade tenure at 60 Minutes. Born Myron Leon Wallace in 1918, he became interested in broadcasting as a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. From there, he started his career in Chicago, enlisted in the navy during World War II, and eventually ended up in New York. Married four times, Wallace lived through the death of a son and fought depression throughout his life. With 60 Minutes, where the TV news magazine format of intense close-ups, hidden cameras, and forceful interviewing was perfected, he became one of TV's most recognizable journalists. Rader covers the development of 60 Minutes and examines Wallace's career; the author presents Wallace as more of an interviewer than a writer or investigator.
VERDICT This book gives readers a warts-and-all look at the man behind the legend, as well as solid information on the early days of TV and 60 Minutes. Those who would prefer a more sympathetic portrait should try Wallace's own Between You and Me and Close Encounters.
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