Emmy Award-winning news host Rachel Maddow once said, "I am a childless, middle-aged, potbellied lesbian, and I don't have that much to be excited about in my life other than having a great job." But prolific biographer Lisa Rogak (Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart) has created a breezy and compelling biography by detailing captivating facets of Maddow's workaholic nature. Her hour-long MSNBC TV show airs five nights a week, 50 weeks a year. "It takes me a good solid ten hours to prep an hour of TV," Maddow reveals. "I live what I think of as my own life between two A.M. Saturday morning and seven A.M. Monday morning."
Maddow's love of news started early. Her mother remembers three-year-old Rachel teaching herself to read by reading the morning newspaper. After college, she became a regular contributor on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC TV show. After ratings rose when she substitute-hosted Countdown with Keith Olbermann several times, MSNBC created The Rachel Maddow Show for her in 2008. Rogak periodically veers away from the all-consuming TV show to peek inside Maddow's private life. She and her partner, photographer Susan Mikula, have been together since 1999. When they met, they were both dating other people. Rogak also discusses the cyclical depression Maddow has had since puberty but only recently made public, when she realized that it could help others suffering from depression.
Fans of the political commentator will discover new aspects of Maddow's life on and off camera in this first-rate biography that constantly showcases Maddow's deprecating, droll wit. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant