I am a huge Aaron Sorkin fan. I even watched all of Studio 60. Twice. I have no idea why I did that either.
The Newsroom could be a great TV show, but right now it’s barely hanging on to show Number Two in my “I Only Watch Two Shows at a Time” rule. Alison Pill, Sam Waterston, and the ripped-from-old-headlines stories keep me watching, but the sappy teen love triangle and two episodes of Mac-Mac being a 14-year-old girl are quickly kiling my TV soul.
So here are my suggestions of books to read that are like The Newsroom in content/fun/drama without having to watch Dev Patel give dating advice.
EXIT INTERVIEW - David Westin
In this memoir, Westin, the former President of ABC News, recounts what it was like to run the network news through huge stories like the Lewinski scandal, Princess Diana’s death, 9/11, and the wars in the Middle East.
Westin, who stepped down as ABC News President in 2010, talks about his own sucesses and failures and gives insight into working with world leaders (e.g. asking Fidel Castro not to give an interview to NBC News) and his own anchors.
It’s like you’re Sam Waterston’s character, but with less drinking (suppsodedly).
THE AUDACITY TO WIN - David Plouffe
In 2008 David Plouffe ran then Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and then decided to write about it in honest, candid, and compelling stories.
Plouffe balances statistical minutae throughout the race with entertainingly crafted stories about his work with Obama, senior aids like David “Ax” Axelrod, Hillary Clinton, the McCain-Palin campaign, and others.
The read is as fast and wild as the campaign was itself.
UPSTAIRS AT THE WHITE HOUSE - J.B. WEST
J.B. West was the Chief Usher at the White House from 1941-1969 working for six presidents and their families in an intimate way unlike any other adviser or staff person.
West’s tales of working from mail clerk to Chief Usher with a staff of over 100 give a personal insight into the biggest moments in US history as well as the quietest moments in the White House residence.
West examines both the unique quirks and general insanity of the White House over almost three decades.
Do you have any suggestions for books to read instead of watching The Newsroom?