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Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite
A very successful and very well-known reporter, his successful and somewhat-known reporter son, their relationship to each other and the world sums up Sander’s Study: A Son’s Story by Chris Vanocur. For those unfamiliar with Sander Vanocur, he was one of the best-known reporters of the middle of the twentieth century. He interviewed all the greats: both Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many more. If you don’t remember Sander, think JFK’s and Nixon’s presidential debates and NBC White House correspondent. There are many unique and exciting stories told in this book. One of the surprising statements from Sander Vanocur refers to the racial tension in the South in the 1960s. He stated he felt safer as a reporter in Vietnam than in the Deep South. As a Southerner who grew up in the Deep South in the 1960s, I can understand Sander’s statement but am ashamed that it is probably true.
To honor his father, Chris Vanocur did what journalists do—he wrote. He wrote a fascinating book—Sander’s Study: A Son’s Story—about his father based on Chris’s information from his dad’s old study. Sander stood shoulder to shoulder with all the great reporters of the 1960s and the rest of the twentieth century. His legacy will last for a long, long time. Although growing up in his dad’s shadow, Chris became a well-known journalist in his own right. While Sander reported on Viet Nam and hob-nobbed with the Kennedy family, Chris broke the scandal associated with the 2002 Winter Olympics. By reading the stories of these two journalists, the reader will be entertained and intrigued by the most important events of the middle and last part of the twentieth century. Besides just the public side of the reporting, Chris includes the private life of one of the most excellent reporters in history.