Mike Wallace by Peter Rader
A Life

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The untold story of how the world's most feared TV reporter transformed his inner darkness into a journalistic juggernaut that riveted millions and redefined the landscape of television news 

In his four decades as the front man for 60 Minutes, the most successful show in television history, Mike Wallace earned the distinction of being hyperaggressive, self-assured, and unflinching in his riveting exposés of injustice and corruption. His unrivaled career includes interviews with every major newsmaker of the late twentieth century, from Martin Luther King to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Behind this intimidating facade, however, Wallace was profoundly depressed and haunted by demons that nearly drove him to suicide. Despite reaching the pinnacle of his profession, Wallace harbored deep insecurities about his credentials as a journalist. For half his life, he was more “TV Personality” than reporter, dabbling as a quiz show emcee, commercial pitchman, and actor. But in the wake of a life-changing personal tragedy, Wallace transformed himself, against all odds, into the most talked-about newsman in America.

Peter Rader's Mike Wallace: A Life tells the story of a courageous man who triumphed over personal adversity and redefined the landscape of television news.


About Peter Rader

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PETER RADER was raised in Rome and educated at Harvard University. A filmmaker and screenwriter, he has developed projects for all the major Hollywood studios. Rader resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Published April 13, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mike Wallace

Kirkus Reviews

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Although Wallace went from cigarette pitch man to TV talk shows to dubious status as the most feared hit-man reporter on one of the longest running and most revered shows on TV, 60 Minutes, he could never quite come to terms with his identity when he wasn’t busy conducting boisterous and revealin...

Mar 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Mike Wallace: A Life

Publishers Weekly

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It’s not widely known that 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace started in Chicago radio-television of the 1940s as actor Myron Wallace, appearing in Ma Perkins and other soap operas.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Mike Wallace: A Life

City Book Review

Rader’s certainly met his self-stated goal of producing a comprehensive bio of a public figure which “sheds light on our understanding of both the world in which we live and also on what it means to be human.” It seems that for the legendary, on-stage performer Mike Wallace, living the day-to-day...

Dec 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Mike Wallace: A Life

California Literary Review

It was not Wallace but the mobster Mickey Cohen who, when interviewed by Wallace, called Los Angeles police chief William Parker a “sadistic degenerate.” However, years later, as Rader notes, Wallace admitted that he should immediately have dissociated himself from what Cohen was saying.

Jul 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Mike Wallace: A Life

Columbia Journalism Review

I’d say that I think it’s really important that so much focus is being placed upon Mike Wallace right now, because he was such an iconic figure in transforming the way the news was presented and the news was consumed by the general public.

Apr 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Mike Wallace: A Life

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