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Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR

Lisa Napoli

A group biography of four beloved women who fought sexism, covered decades of American news, and whose voices defined NPR.


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Book Information

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams.
Publish Date: 04/13/2021
Pages: 288
ISBN-13: 9781419750403
ISBN-10: 1419750402
Language: English

What We're Saying

December 16, 2021

We didn't get everything we were hoping for out of 2021, but we got a lot of great books! READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 18, 2021

"The authors who make up this year’s Porchlight Business Book of the Year Awards longlist gift us with a feast of new ideas to explore and, even more valuable, a renewed sense of possibility.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 11, 2022

In the lead up to announcing the Porchlight Business Book of the Year on January 13th, we are sharing excerpts from each of the eight books on the shortlist for the award. Today, we have one from the Narrative & Biography book of the year, Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie by Lisa Napoli. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 14, 2021

Dylan Schleicher takes a look inside the best books in Narrative & Biography, the most quintessentially human-focused category in a year in which all books seemed more heavily focused on our shared humanity. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

In the years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women in the workplace still found themselves relegated to secretarial positions or locked out of jobs entirely. This was especially true in the news business, a backwater of male chauvinism where a woman might be lucky to get a foothold on the “women’s pages.” But when a pioneering nonprofit called National Public Radio came along in the 1970s, and the door to serious journalism opened a crack, four remarkable women came along and blew it off the hinges.

Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie is journalist Lisa Napoli’s captivating account of these four women, their deep and enduring friendships, and the trail they blazed to becoming icons. They had radically different stories. Cokie Roberts was born into a political dynasty, roamed the halls of Congress as a child, and felt a tug toward public service. Susan Stamberg, who had lived in India with her husband who worked for the State Department, was the first woman to anchor a nightly news program and pressed for accommodations to balance work and home life. Linda Wertheimer, the daughter of shopkeepers in New Mexico, fought her way to a scholarship and a spot on-air. And Nina Totenberg, the network's legal affairs correspondent, invented a new way to cover the Supreme Court. Based on extensive interviews and calling on the author’s deep connections in news and public radio, Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie will be as beguiling and sharp as its formidable subjects.

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