Chris Matthews: Review of Douglas Brinkley's "Cronkite"

Roundup: Books

Chris Matthews is the host of “Hardball” on MSNBC and “The Chris Matthews Show” on NBC. His most recent book is “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero.”

“From Dallas, Texas.... ” The haggard newsman has just been handed wire copy. He removes his glasses. He looks into the camera and gives us the first hard news that our young president will never grow old. He marks the time of death on the newsroom clock and holds a moment of silence.

This was Walter Cronkite on Nov. 22, 1963, announcing the death of John F. Kennedy.

It was consummate Cronkite — unscripted, authentic and heartfelt. For 19 years, the anchor of “The CBS Evening News” shared in our public grief and celebration. He was one of us, and Douglas Brinkley’s “Cronkite” is a majestic biography of America’s greatest and most beloved broadcast journalist.

“He was reassuringly permanent when so much was in flux,” writes Brinkley, a historian and contributing editor at Vanity Fair. “Even when he was announcing tragic news, he was himself a reminder that America would persevere.”...

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