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Unbelievable
Cover of Unbelievable
Unbelievable
My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
by Katy Tur

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Compelling... this book couldn't be more timely." – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review

From the Recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.

From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump's inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.

None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It's also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Compelling... this book couldn't be more timely." – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review

From the Recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.

From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump's inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.

None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It's also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?

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About the Author-
  • Katy Tur is a correspondent for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. Tur is the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She lives in New York City.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2017

    On the potholed presidential trail during 2015-16, NBC reporter Tur was routinely scorned by Republican candidate Donald Trump, who called her disgraceful, third-rate, and more. During one rally, the atmosphere became so vicious that Tur had to be escorted to her car by the Secret Service. Incensed viewers responded vigorously by tweeting #imwithtur. Here's her ringside view of the campaign. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 18, 2017
    NBC News political journalist Katy Tur offers an entertaining personal account of the nearly two years she spent covering Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, “the most unlikely, exciting, ugly, trying, and all-around bizarre campaign in American history.” Trump’s presidential run was a surreal experience for many Americans, but for Tur it was also life-changing: she was a relatively unknown London-based foreign correspondent enjoying quiet weekends in Paris and a self-described “political novice" when she got the call to go on the road with Trump in the spring of 2015. “Six weeks, tops,” her bosses told her. Overnight, Tur’s life became a blur of planes, cars, buses, hotel rooms, dry shampoo, bad food, rowdy and often disturbing campaign rallies, and headline-grabbing tweet storms. Some 500 grueling days later, Trump was president—and Tur had emerged as a battle-tested fixture of the NBC News political team. She was a frequent target of Trump’s, who famously nicknamed her “Little Katy” and whipped his crowds into such an antimedia frenzy that she occasionally required a security detail. While Tur recalls many of the campaign’s unusual moments (Trump defending his penis size in a presidential debate; his hawking of steaks and bottled water at a press conference; the Access Hollywood tape) Tur’s narrative is light on political analysis, and it mostly avoids the central question pundits will be exploring for years to come: how did Trump actually win? But Tur's brisk behind-the-scenes account humanizes the press corps, illuminates life on the campaign trail, and delivers on its promise: "I won’t pretend to explain it,” Tur writes, but “I will tell you what I saw.”

  • Kirkus

    One of Donald Trump's favorite media targets tells how she attained that distinction in this spry look at the 2016 campaign.NBC News correspondent Tur covered the presidential campaign from the very start, with Trump in her sights for more than 500 grueling days. At the beginning, she writes, she informed the disbelieving hosts of Today that, even after Trump's opening remark that "when Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," he was polling strongly in bellwether New Hampshire. "Trump wasn't part of anyone's plan," she writes, adding, "for that matter, neither was I." However, Trump managed to tap into a deep well of resentment and anger among disaffected voters who were content to trade in old notions of truth and decency for Trump's wild ride. Trump's own encounters with Tur were just as resentful and angry: he complained that she wouldn't look at him and was distorting words she was quoting verbatim, and she had a special knack for upsetting him. "His rage didn't register in the moment," she writes in a post-mortem of an early encounter. "I thought it was all part of his shtick. The reality show star. But watching his face on-screen, it's clear Trump isn't playing." Still, praise came from the author's colleagues, and even, on occasion, from Trump himself, who grudgingly allowed that Tur was better than most reporters. In Tennessee, "he tried to introduce me to a crowd...a hand on my shoulder like I was his wife." Trump's anger, page after page of it, is discomfiting, and Tur's reactions to it seem to verge on symptoms of PTSD. Even so, her own back-of-the-envelope analyses are borne out by subsequent events, as when she writes, "Trump is crude, and in his halo of crudeness other people get to be crude as well." A thoughtful account of covering what the author rightly calls "the most unlikely, exciting, ugly, trying, and all-around bizarre campaign in American history."

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

  • Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review "By the end of 'Unbelievable' it's clear how wrong they all were in thinking they could run over "little Katy" (Trump's snide name for Tur.) This book couldn't be more timely, appearing as President Trump ratchets up his attacks on the news media....The more personal story Tur tells in "Unbelievable" is also compelling....One more subject that Tur richly examines is the outrageous sexism of Trump and many of his supporters."
  • Associated Press "A quick and enjoyable read. . . . The chapters switch between key points in the campaign and Election Day, enhancing the feel of chaos that must have been a big part of covering the Trump campaign."
  • Hugh Hewitt, Washington Post "A must-ride roller coaster of a memoir. . . Unbelievable is best read as a reminder that it really did happen that way, we aren't all crazy, it was that crazy."
  • Morning Joe "A real page-tuner"
  • Publishers Weekly "Tur's brisk behind-the-scenes account humanizes the press corps, illuminates life on the campaign trail, and delivers on its promise: "I won't pretend to explain it," Tur writes, but "I will tell you what I saw."
  • The Rachel Maddow Show "A great behind-the-scenes look about what it takes to have been a campaign correspondent.. All presidents, all presidential candidates have had hostile relationships with the press from time to time. This current president has a totally different reaction to the press and a totally different take on press freedom than any president that has ever gone before him. And the person who most personifies his hostility, condescension and aggression toward the press is NBC correspondent Katy Tur."
  • Jon Favreau, Pod Save America  "Outstanding"
  • The Guardian "Even after everything we have learned, some of Tur's behind-the-scenes details remain startling... razor-sharp."
  • Trevor Noah, The Daily Show  "One of the most insightful books I've ever read."
  • New York Post "A fascinating play-by-play of what it was like to cover a campaign that was far from ordinary."
  • Carlos Lozada, Washington Post "What elevates Unbelievable beyond one more pedestrian campaign memoir is Tur's skill at capturing the constant indignities of campaign reporting while female, including the worst indignity of all: enduring the fixation of Trump himself."
  • The Guardian "The razor-sharp observations of Tur's book...are the sort of thing you hear nowadays on The Daily Show or Stephen Colbert's Late Show and never, ever, on any of the networks' evening news broadcasts."
  • The Atlantic "a quite revealing and powerful book"
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My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Katy Tur
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