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Cosby: His Life and Times Hardcover – Sep 16 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Sept. 16 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145169797X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451697971
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“A smart, revealing biography of an iconic American funnyman. . . . A fascinating look at a complicated genius.” (People)

“Whitaker’s wonderfully thorough biography of America’s most accom­plished comedian provides context and depth as he analyzes Bill Cosby’s work.” (New York Times Book Review)

Fluid, admiring, packed with detail and anecdotes.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Invaluable . . . Whitaker makes a convincing argument that issues of race and politics have preoccupied Cosby throughout his life.” (New Yorker)

“Whitaker’s clear-eyed, fair-minded and deftly written book takes up all the momentous stops of Cosby’s life’s journey . . . by allowing us to see Cosby’s tumultuous life in full, Whitaker’s book makes it possible to imagine Bill Cosby being regarded as one of the first prophets of what optimists of all colors believe will someday be a “post-racial America.” (USA TODAY)

“Absorbing . . . makes a persuasive case for Cosby as a groundbreaking comic and a quiet but far-ranging pioneer of black advancement.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Readable, thoughtful life of the brilliant comedian and . . . an eye-opening book and a pleasure to read.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Provides an in-depth look at the triumphs and tragedies of a man who has kept America laughing for decades.” (New York Daily News)

“This is a compelling look at a man who has had a major impact on American race relations and television and whose “Cosby effect” helped prime the nation for its first black president.” (Booklist (starred review))

“An insightful, well-researched exploration . . . a generous portrayal of a complicated yet ultimately compassionate man.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Editor’s Picks (Ebony)

“Written with the entertainer’s cooperation, it is admiring but not fawning, honest but not lancing, with a narrative drive that matches the soaring arc of Cosby’s career . . . [Whitaker] has a masterly command of detail . . . a must-read for the comedian’s fans, and a book that will reward anyone interested in comedy, television or the wellsprings of popular culture.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“A solid, well-researched reminder of Cosby’s impact on the pop-culture landscape.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Cosby: His Life and Times tells a quintessentially American tale of adversity and triumph, influence, betrayal and—yes—lots and lots of laughter.” (Boston Globe)

“The book is at its strongest when the author puts Cosby’s comedy and to education into a broad social and cultural context.” (Washington Post)

“The biography examines the non-comedic side of Bill Cosby, and features interviews with 60 of his closest friends and associates. The author calls Cosby ‘entertainment’s Jackie Robinson, smashing racial barriers and teaching hard truths to the black community.’” (Sacramento Bee)

About the Author

Mark Whitaker is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, My Long Trip Home. The former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, he was previously the Washington bureau chief for NBC News and a reporter and editor at Newsweek, where he rose to become the first African-American leader of a national newsweekly.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa17b9fe4) out of 5 stars 157 reviews
176 of 209 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1822900) out of 5 stars Disgusting. Nov. 22 2014
By Keir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
How can a 544 page biography be taken seriously if it ignores the fact that 13 women accused the subject of drugging and raping them? By ignores, I mean it makes no mention of this at all, in any way- as if Cosby had made no mention of it, that no part of the media ever referred to it, that Cosby himself did not settle out of court by paying untold millions to keep it quiet. This is nothing more than powder-puff writing one expects from old-time Hollywood campaigns.Whitaker was Executive Vice President and managing editor for CNN Worldwide, for God's sake. What was his motivation in writing such a hagiography if he was uninterested in the truth? Disgusting.
[...]
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa14d77b0) out of 5 stars There couldn't be a worse biographer than Mark Whitaker July 22 2015
By Virtually - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There couldn't be a worse biographer than Mark Whitaker, a pseudo-journalist so immune to the truth that were he writing about Hitler, he would have left out World War II. Anything you know about the character of Cosby, or the character of Whitaker, for that matter, you won't find out from the book because no matter how many women swear that Cosby drugs and rapes them, Whitaker doesn't see the need to investigate, or even mention it. .
Wrote David Carr in The Times "Whitaker...did not find room in his almost-500-page biography...to address the accusations that Mr. Cosby had assaulted numerous women/"
To which Whitaker replied on Twitter "I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively." False. He didn't pursue them at all. Wrote not a word.
Don't waste a dime on this worthless whitewash. Whitaker couldn't report his way out of a paper bag.
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1822ec4) out of 5 stars Even the author admits to wanting to re-write the book. Dec 16 2014
By Porgy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The author, Mark Whitaker, now not only admits that he purposefully left out the rape and other sexual crime accusations against Cosby, but broke journalistic practice by not even bothering to investigate any of the claims. So this book is meaningless. Wait for the book that tells the full story of this complicated and deeply terrible man who caused immense suffering to women. and then laughed about it.
133 of 161 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa18232fc) out of 5 stars Disgraceful--author Mark Whitaker is everything wrong with Hollywood and the media Nov. 20 2014
By Roan Novachez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In a fair world, this book belongs on the same shelf as Jerry Sandusky's "Touched." And with the way things are going, with a new victim coming forward each day (as of the writing of this review on 11-20, there are now 6 victims who have put their names out there), that very well may be the case.

Mark Whitaker is deplorable on every level in his presentation; the mention of the affairs and other "critical" aspects of the book were clearly greenlit by the Cosby press team who got final cut. This biography is as legitimate and true as a supposed "behind the scenes" history of the Disney corporation, authorized by Disney, and being sold at Disney gift shops. No, that's being unfair--this book is far worse than a sanitized stocking stuffer picked up in a gift shop. The allegations of pathological drugging, molestation, and serial rapes over four or five decades are completely absent here. A total whitewash.

Mark would have gotten away with it too, with perhaps nothing more damning for him than a brief footnote in a Salon article a few years down the road about the omissions of the rape allegations--had it not been for social media, which is beyond the Cosby PR machine's manipulations and control.

I wonder if Mark squirmed and groveled like the AP interviewer while the camera still rolled during the infamous shoot where Cosby demands they "scuttle" the very mention of the allegations at the tail end of the interview? No, he probably did not--I am being too fair to the author. He probably never even brought the 2006 settled lawsuit up in Cosby's presence. Mark's a media lifer... he knows the game. He plays by the rules. Unfortunately for him, the public has wised up, no thanks to the media machine that protected Cosby and demonized and dismissed his victims all these years.

Sleep well at night, Mark?
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa18233bc) out of 5 stars False Premise Nov. 30 2014
By Sharon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed the reading of this book, until I realized upon completion that there was absolutely NO mention of the allegations of Cosby's predatory sexual behavior, many of which had surfaced well before the author completed this work and his research would have surfaced. Based on the author's own comments, he managed to eventually gain Cosby's cooperation and support in this project. My assumption is that Whitaker traded full, honest disclosure for Cosby's endorsement.


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