“My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir,” by Mark Whitaker [Review]

“My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir,” by Mark Whitaker

The Washington Post

Jonathan Yardley, Critic

Now in his mid-50s, Mark Whitaker has had an impressive journalistic career. Fresh out of Harvard in the late 1970s, he went to work at Newsweek and rose steadily through various assignments, eventually becoming its editor. In 2006 he moved to NBC, at first as “the number two executive in the news division,” then as chief of its Washington bureau. Now he is executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, an immensely influential position given that CNN reaches into almost every nook and cranny of the world.

All of which makes for quite a resume, but it also makes for the least interesting part of “My Long Trip Home,” Whitaker’s memoir. It’s worth reading because it’s a thoughtful account of growing up bi-racial at a point in this country’s history when racial identities are in flux and when people of mixed race are ever more common…

…“My Long Trip Home” is not a confessional memoir of the sort so popular these days, especially among younger memoirists who have nothing to confess except the cruelties allegedly inflicted upon them by others or simply by life itself. For the most part Whitaker’s tone is objective, almost reportorial, which permits the reader to see his story clearly rather than through the mists of hyperventilated emotion. It’s a good book.

Read the entire review here.

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