“Audition: A Memoir”–quite a life

Walters, Barbara. “Audition: A Memoir”, Alfred Knopf, 2008.

Quite a Life

Amos Lassen

I have always loved Barbara Walters but I must admit that I really did not want to read her book because of all the hype. Nevertheless, when my copy came I sat down with it and found myself enjoying every word. It’s over 600 pages long so there was no way I would get through it in one sitting; I do have a life and I had to prepare for my summer school classes.

Walters has lived quite a life both personally and professionally and she comes across as a compassionate woman and an inspiration. She exudes class and humanity. She can interview people like no one else can and has done so. Her list ranges from Monica Lewinsky to Elizabeth Taylor to presidents, world leaders, disgraced public figures and just anyone else that has affected our lives.

Her childhood was fascinating. Her father ran the nightclubs known as the Latin Quarter so she grew up around celebrities. She went where women had not been before and became a co-host of a major American news show and when she went onto 20/20 with Hugh Downs her star rose and she became one of the most famous women in the world.

Much has been said about her “adulterous” affair with the American senator but the book is so much more than that. Barbara Walters is an ambitious and tenacious women and even though she says that her life has been one large audition, there is no question that she “got the job”.

If anything really characterizes the book, I think it is Walters’ style and class. Sure Barbara Walters had an affair with a married man and sure, she has guilt feelings about not always being there for her sister but all of us must remember and consider how life would be without someone like Barbara Walters. She takes the opportunity in her book to let us into her life and even though she has not done everything the way some of his might have wanted, Barbara Walters, to me, at least, remains a major figure in our lives. She is an extraordinary woman and has led an extraordinary life.


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