Dispatches from the edge

I just read Anderson Cooper’s new book, Dispatches from the Edge. I zipped through it in an evening and a morning during a ferry ride and a plane ride as we started our holidays yesterday. My bloggings will be a bit diminished as we celebrate at a 40th wedding anniversary party, generally lay about and swim, and visit with friends during our trip. Sounds good to me.

Back to the book though – I really thought it was well done. Although Cooper looks older because of his distinguished grey hair, he’s actually only about 40 and has packed a lot of adventures and experiences into his life so far. As a correspondent for CNN, he’s travelled to Somalia, Rwanda, Iraq, the aftermath of Katrina and elsewhere. The sights, stories and images he has collected over the years are both fascinating and sad. His insights into his own life and happenings to date are also melancholy but very honest. After Cooper’s dad died when he was ten and his brother committed suicide by jumping off their penthouse balcony to his death right in front of their mother – Gloria Vanderbilt – Cooper has a lot of demons to deal with, and he seems to work through a bit of his pain in the book.

A quick read, it’s one I’d recommend. It takes us behind the scenes of the tragedies we often see on TV to what the journalists and camera crews really saw, and it takes us to a place in Anderson Cooper’s mind and heart that probably not many people saw at all.

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