From the left A life in the crossfire

Bill Press, 1940-

Book - 2018

"Press hosted Crossfire and The Spin Room on CNN, and Buchanan and Press on MSNBC. A member of the White House Press Corps and columnist for Tribune Media Services and The Hill, Press was an early supporter of Bernie Sanders and hosted two of the Senator's first presidential strategy sessions in his living room."--from Dust jacket flap.

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2nd Floor 791.44092/Press Withdrawn
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press 2018.
First edition
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xiii, 267 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Main Author
Bill Press, 1940- (author)
  • Foreword: Don't take no shit
  • Canal rat on the Delaware
  • Joining God's army
  • California dreamin'
  • Lower your expectations
  • Bill Press, true American
  • Bill Press for Senate
  • "Pat, you ignorant slut!"
  • MSNBC and beyond
  • Life inside the beltway
  • Feel the Bern.
Review by Booklist Reviews

More than a memoir, more than political commentary and advocacy, Press' seventh book, following The Obama Hate Machine (2012), covers his life as a political commentator, columnist, and radio and TV personality. He describes his hometown and family, his studies of philosophy and theology, and his long commitment to politics and media. His chronicle sheds light on the inner workings of those institutions and provides insights for people wishing to enter government or broadcasting. Press writes of his personal experiences watching and being involved with the degeneration of political dialogue; unsurprisingly, this staunch liberal places the blame on Republicans for this decline. From entering politics and government service in 1970s California to a frank discussion of his support of Bernie Sanders' 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, Press writes eloquently in a conversational style evoking grandfatherly wisdom. From the Left is nostalgic without being sappy, instructional without being preachy, hopeful while acknowledging the immense challenges of the future. Above all, it is sincere. Greater than the sum of its parts, Press' book should be of strong interest to any engaged citizen. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this breezy memoir Press, former cohost of CNN's Crossfire and Spin Room, recounts the many hats he's worn in his career, among them Catholic seminarian, environmental activist, political candidate, campaign director (including for Jerry Brown's quixotic 1976 presidential bid), and journalist. Press reveals a knack for being in the right place at the right time; for instance, during a visit to Nicaragua in 1986, he received an early tip-off about the Reagan administration's secret arms supplies to the Contras. He comes across as a broad-minded personality; despite his leftist perspective, he admires John McCain and was personally friendly with Pat Buchanan. Press is generally a clear writer and fine raconteur, though at times he is frustratingly cryptic, as when he describes persuading Governor Brown to adopt his "California Urban Strategy" but doesn't give more than a superficial explanation of what it entailed. In praising Bernie Sanders, Press lapses into hyperbole, such as in confidently predicting that Sanders, had he been the Democratic nominee, would have won the 2016 presidential race. Press's account of his life to date will instruct and provide encouragement to his fellow embattled progressives. (Mar.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A memoir by the White House Press Corps member, talk radio host and political commentator shares insights into the conservative upbringing and years in seminary studies that made him an unlikely progressive, tracing his work on such programs as Crossfire, The Spin Room and Buchanan and Press.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The author discusses his conservative upbringing and describes how that actually shaped him into an unlikely progressive.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

THE WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER"Bill Press has done it all. He was the Chair of the California Democratic Party, he has been involved in numerous campaigns, he has been a prolific writer, and has worked as a host and commentator on radio and TV. In other words, he knows politics inside and out. This is the tale of an engaged and often outraged citizen who loves his country and wants to see it move forward in a progressive direction." —Senator Bernie SandersA memoir of talk radio host and political commentator Bill Press.The name Bill Press is synonymous with honest journalism, intelligent commentary, and progressive politics.But based on where he came from, it's a wonder he didn't end up a Trump voter. He grew up in a blue-collar family in a small town in Delaware south of the Mason-Dixon line, where segregation was the rule. As a Catholic, he was taught that abortion, divorce, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality were morally wrong: beliefs later reinforced in ten years of seminary studies for the priesthood. He was on his way to be a rock-ribbed conservative.So what went right for him that he swerved so far to the left? In From the Left, Press shows this gradual transformation, starting with two years of studies in Europe and a providential escape to California. From Sacramento he made his way to Southern California television and talk radio as a political commentator and liberal talk show host. Jumping to Washington and national cable TV, Press hosted Crossfire and The Spin Room on CNN, and Buchanan and Press on MSNBC. A member of the White House Press Corps and columnist for Tribune Media Services and The Hill, Press was an early supporter of Bernie Sanders and hosted two of the Senator's first presidential strategy sessions in his living room.If you're already on the left, you'll cheer a fellow traveler. If not yet there, you soon will be.