Eric Boss reviews TRUTH WORTH TELLING
This broad-ranging collection of meditations on the state of the world and the people in it is interesting, enlightening and carries with it a larger meaning for our time. Evident throughout is a deep respect for those inhabiting our planet, from the offices of the highest to the mud huts of the humblest. Each human upon whom the author throws his light has a message, as an example of commendable behavior or a warning against malpractice. The great range of political, religious and social endeavor is illuminated in stories that delight, appall and inspire.
Given Scott Pelley’s truly remarkable life experience, it is no surprise that he has been witness to every variety and magnitude of event within the scope of human activity. His clear-eyed and often self-deprecating vision reveals details most of us would never detect and conclusions that resonate with the inner sensibly person within us all. From accounts of the 9/11 attacks that are truly painful to read to an enlightening examination of Ben Bernanke’s efforts on our behalves at the Fed, to personal and emotionally freighted recounts of sacrifice by soldiers, journalists and political activists in every country of the world, we are made vicarious witnesses to every emotion, motivation and compulsion of our notably mercurial species.
It would be difficult to come away from having read this book without a greatly increased respect for its author. He has displayed signal courage and perseverance in his pursuit of the truth and in providing it to us in an evenhanded form that begs our thoughtful examination and contemplation. Little more could be asked from a journalist. Even the respect due to that oft-maligned profession is shown to be no more than what is owed to a cadre of dedicated risk takers operating on our behalf while we sleep peacefully in the safety of our social and political cocoons. We are indebted to the news corps in ways we little understand. Without them we would be truly benighted.
The prose is clear and moves swiftly with little embellishment besides what is stylistically necessary to keep the narrative bright and interesting. It is worth noting that an extensive section of notes follows the text citing the sources from which facts other than those personally witnessed by the author are derived: a signpost that care has been taken to cleave to the truth as closely as possible. Although what is written here is sometimes difficult to read because it tells of unhappy occurrences and tragedies of the spirit, there is an equal measure of hopeful and even inspiring material that makes the whole uplifting.
Shelf Talker: The notably much awarded and highly respected author gives us a look at his experiences which are varied and numerous with passion, compassion, humor, pathos, gravitas, outrage and optimism. Well worth the time of any reader who seeks to understand more about our confusing and often enraging world.