With a renowned career that’s spanned more than six decades, Dan Rather has solidified his status as one of the world’s best-known news anchors. The broadcast journalism legend has interviewed every U.S. president since Eisenhower, and personally reported on nearly every major event around the globe.
His experiences in the field and on the frontlines are brought to bear in the 2019 essay collection What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, a meditation on America’s national identity crisis and the history and freedoms that define us.
In a reading list for The Amazon Book Review, Rather reflected on the titles that have meant the most to him over the years. From the enduring influence of Ancient Greek history to his longtime admiration of Cormac McCarthy, find his favorites below. Complement with the bookshelves of fellow journalists Jake Tapper and Don Lemon.
“Browsed and skipped around it in my youth. Actually reading all of it now has been a revelation and a joy. The Ancient Greek is a master story-teller who set the standard for future historians with the broad scope and telling details of his writing.” -DR
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
“One of the best historical novels I have ever read. Based, with great accuracy, on the four days of the battle of Gettysburg. Riveting. I could barely put it down. First published in 1974. Why it took me so long to get around to it I don’t know.” -DR
“A romance novel, really, against a backdrop of changing cultures and boy-men coming of age. McCarthy, for my money, is one of the best (if not the best) American novelists of his generation. Blood Meridian may be his best book, but it is too bleak and violent for some readers. All the Pretty Horses isn’t; it is by far his most accessible work for a general audience. I read it when it first came out in the 1990s; my recent re-read was well worth the time. Love it.” -DR
“While I’d long heard about the value of reading this old Roman, never got around to it until recently. A series of biographies of famous men arranged together. (Example: Caesar and Alexander the Great.) If you need convincing, Plutarch heavily influenced Shakespeare. ‘Nuff said.” -DR
(via Amazon Book Review)