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The Rulebreaker


By Susan Page

A Well-Researched Biography of A Remarkable Broadcast Journalist



Barbara Walters is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished female broadcasters of all time. She had a unique talent for conducting and producing the most significant television interviews of her era. Throughout her career, she interviewed more presidents, movie stars, and criminal masterminds than any other journalist in history. At an age where retirement would be a natural option, she pioneered a new kind of talk show called The View, which showcased powerful female perspectives. Author Susan Page conducted 150 interviews with colleagues and friends in an attempt to discover the driving force behind Barbara Walters's success.


THE RULEBREAKER is a biography that provides an in-depth account of Barbara Walters' life. The author, Page, has done a commendable job in researching and presenting her findings in a well-written manner. However, she portrays Walters in a negative light by dwelling on her failures, fears, resentments, and aggressions.

Page also sheds light on Walters' strained family relationships and failed marriages, and quotes several colleagues who held unfavorable opinions of her. Even the cover photo seems to lack the respect that Walters deserves. It makes me wonder how Walters herself would have felt about this book.

Reading about Walters' struggles with her family, marriages, career, and daughter was heartbreaking. However, the misogyny she endured from her male colleagues was simply horrendous; although it may have been typical of the time, it is still unforgivable. It took a woman with grace, strength, and fortitude to survive and thrive as Walters did.

Page asks Walters' friends and colleagues whether they thought she was happy. While no one is happy all the time, it’s clear to me that Walters found joy in her work. Her happiness is evident in the quality of everything she produced.

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher    Simon & Schuster

Published   April 23, 2023

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