Monday, February 20, 2006
Relief
So I am back in New York today, and much relieved. Just a few minutes ago, I sent my book to the publisher. It is a great feeling. The book was a couple weeks past deadline, and my editor was starting to get nervous. You know, calling me "just to chat" to "see how things are going." He was polite about it, but I could tell he was anxious. So was I.

I mentioned the book once before on this blog, and a bunch of you wrote in asking me more about it. The title is "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival." But the truth is, it still feels strange to talk about it, so I'll blog about it some other time. It's something I've been writing in my head for many years.

This weekend, I stayed in Texas and met up with Oprah Winfrey. She's building a number of houses for Katrina evacuees and was taping her show in Houston. I put together some stories for her from New Orleans, and those will air tomorrow on "Oprah."

Then, tomorrow night, Oprah will be on "360°" giving us her take on the response to Katrina, and what she hopes to accomplish with the building project in Houston.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 1:45 PM ET
  49 Comments
Being a Houstonian, I hope you enjoyed your stay here!!!! Was hoping to catch a glimpse of you while you were here, but no such luck! I always thought it would be fun to watch the taping of a news show! Glad you made it back to NY safely.
Posted By Anonymous Teri; Houston, TX : 2:04 PM ET
Anderson,

I am very excited about your book. I hope to buy it and it would be very interesting to read about your experiences for I ALWAYS wanted to be a reporter. I am in France right now and I am TiVo'ing your show. i am very excited to watch them. Keep doing more of your stories! You keep the news alive.
Posted By Anonymous Vicki (Livingston, NJ) : 2:09 PM ET
Anderson,

It is truely refreshing to see a journalist such as yourself care so much about the issues your report on. Continue keeping them honest! We need more people like you and Oprah in this world - you inspire and give us all hope.

Congrats to you and the entire 360 team on doing such great work. I had abandoned CNN for a while, but after re-discovering you (ironically on Oprah), I've been hooked for 3 weeks. Can't wait to read your book!
Posted By Anonymous Julie C, Montreal, Canada : 2:15 PM ET
Anderson, congrats on sending the book off. I sent an e-mail to your contact 360 address about Mardi Gras and offering any assistance to you next week if you are in the Big Easy. Please let me know if I can help. New Orleans kicked off the season this weekend, and while it was lower in quantities of people, the residents who were there LOVED it and were thankful that something that resembles normal New Orleans hit the streets!! Hope you make it down for next week.
Posted By Anonymous Vic, New Orleans, LA : 2:17 PM ET
Congratulations on finishing the book. I'll be anxious to read it when it comes out in June.
I think its wonderful how Oprah is doing so much to help those poor folks who were affected by Katrina. Because of the Olympics, I won't be able to see you on her show. She is being prempted.
Looking forward to you being in Waveland, Miss. Fri., to show us what and what hasn't been done. I think there will be more "what hasn't" however. Its so sad that those poor folks can't get any help. And they can't rely on their insurance companies either. Makes us wonder if the gulf coast will ever be the same. Its not only New Orleans that is still in a mess. I saw the "Bay St. Louis" show this past wkend, and cried.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo : 2:19 PM ET
Good luck with your book Anderson, I,m sure you have a lot of amazing stories to tell.
See you tonight!
Posted By Anonymous Claudia, Los Angeles, CA : 2:22 PM ET
I am so thankful that you and Oprah are keeping Hurricane Katrina on the discussion table. You're not leading the pack - you ARE the pack. I just hope that the media continues to talk about Mississippi -- Southern Louisiana was not the only area affected by the storm. Please remember Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, Waveland and other small Mississippi towns. Thank you for caring, Anderson, your contribution to today's media world is immeasurable.
Posted By Anonymous Mary Hartley, Fredericksburg, VA : 2:22 PM ET
Hey Anderson I cant wait until your book comes out. Do you think you will do a book tour or do book signing in New York? Thanks for all your hard work. I hope you didnt leave me out of your book.
Anthony Guiliano
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Guiliano Allentown PA : 2:23 PM ET
Anderson,

It is great that you continue to keep the focus on Katrina. That to me is way more interesting than tabloid television.

You may not be prepared to talk about your book yet, but I for one have already pre-ordered my copy.

Thank you, sir, for keeping it real!
Posted By Anonymous Chriss Miller, Canton, OH : 2:24 PM ET
Anderson,
If your book is remotely as powerful and thought-provoking as the Details article about your brothers suicide that you've said you thought about years before writing, it's definitely worth worth the wait.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Chicago, IL : 2:25 PM ET
Congratulations, Anderson! Can't wait to read your book.

I'm looking forward to all of your reports this week and next week from Houston, Waveland and New Orleans.
Posted By Anonymous Sheryn R, Pohatcong, NJ : 2:26 PM ET
Hey,
Looking forward to seeing you back on 360. You're doing a great job. Please let us know more about your book soon.
Bert,
Bremen, Ky.
Posted By Anonymous Bert Bremen,Ky : 2:28 PM ET
AC

Done that. Nothing like pressure to make the experience a joy- as if it's not hard enough. I'm sure the book will be wonderful and if not your names on it already so there you go. Writing is like running a marathon; finishing is the best part. If you are anything like most of us, your book will never be as good as the last late night read prior to sending to the publisher. I look forward to seeing it in June. Good Luck.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl Welch, Raleigh NC : 2:30 PM ET
Anderson - thats great - can't wait for the book to come out :)

Oprah on 360 - all I can say is WOW...
Posted By Anonymous Melissa Mahopac, NY : 2:31 PM ET
Anderson!

I always plan to (only) blog without giving another compliment.....but you're so humble and shy about your accomplishments. That's so cute! Both shows should be great to watch! Oprah does so much good for people as well. I'm still hoping to find a way to volunteer myself for the people in NOLA or Mississippi. Also, if you or your staff ever need help while in Houston, go to Lakewood Church. They would always help. They're in (what used to be )the Compaq Center.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Verba, Des Plaines, IL : 2:33 PM ET
It seems like a sad commentary for society that so many people care so much what Oprah thinks. I mean Bush lies to a nation about a war and people seem less concerned about that than Oprah getting lied to about a book!

Do you go through Oprah withdrawal?
Posted By Anonymous Trudi, Roseville, MN : 2:35 PM ET
You're such a busy man, Mr. Cooper. Where do you get the energy?

And how do we get autographed copies of your book?

;)
Posted By Anonymous Marisol, Aurora Colorado : 2:35 PM ET
At least the book is done. Now breathe Anderson.

It is so good to see people like Oprah and yourself who follow through on their promises. Maybe if everyone felt that way the world would be in btter shape. Just keep the situation out there and maybe in time people will finally realize what is really happening and step forward to help.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren MI : 2:37 PM ET
I thought you looked stressed during the last few weeks. It is great that you finally finished your book, I can't wait to read it this summer!!
Posted By Anonymous Kristen Casto Huntington, WV : 2:39 PM ET
Hey Anderson -

I was surprised to hear you say recently that you were still working on your book. At the Barnes and Noble website they have had it listed as 304 pages for quite a while, so I just assumed it has been done. I should have known better - after all you know what they say about assuming things! I am sure you are very relieved to have it done. And I feel a vacation day coming on June 20th. But I'm sure that is subject to change also so I will keep checking. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication! And I hope you will consider doing some book signings once the big release date is finally here. I have no doubt it will be a best seller!
Posted By Anonymous Vicki Pittsburgh, PA : 2:44 PM ET
Anderson,
I've really enjoyed watching the recent Oprah episodes on which you have appeared. The two of you are doing a commendable job keeping the spotlight on the Gulf Coast and the poor folksthere who so badly NEED the press and news cameras to continue to have their stories told until (finally) they may perhaps begin to rebuild their shattered lives.

The fact that 6 months later, so little has been done to relieve survivors' suffering, is truly an injustice that will forever be a blot on American History.

What a powerhouse team you and Oprah would make! Is there any chance that you and she will be teaming up more formally in the future?


On the book front: breathe a sigh of releif if you can. You did it. Let the editors worry about it for awhile.
Posted By Anonymous Sam,Falmouth MA : 2:46 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Can't wait to read the book! I hope there's a book signing tour in the works (as if you don't travel enough)! Will be watching tonight and am looking forward to seeing you on Oprah again tomorrow. Next time you're on I'd like to be in the audience. Do you think she'll choose your memoir for the book club?? LOL. Keep up the GREAT work!
Posted By Anonymous Nickie Fanale Chicago, IL : 2:47 PM ET
This is great, and I'm looking forward to tonight's 360 as well as Oprah's show tomorrow. I'm sure her efforts are appreciated in Houston, but why not New Orleans or anywhere else along the Gulf Coast? It seems the need for housing is greater there than in Texas, especially since FEMA has failed so miserably to provide housing to thousands who need it most.
Posted By Anonymous AnonaMoose, Chicago, IL : 2:47 PM ET
Way to turn the tables on her Anderson! I'm glad to hear that you finished your book. I can't wait to read it. And welcome back to the show! We missed you!
Posted By Anonymous Vickie, Harvest, AL : 2:51 PM ET
Anderson, I'm glad you are "keeping them honest". You are a necessary thorn in the various governments and Fema's side. Maybe, just maybe, with Oprah's clout,the Katrina survivors will finally get the help they've so desperately needed. One can only hope.
Posted By Anonymous Hilda Terry Winnipeg,MB : 2:52 PM ET
OK, you are just teasing us know! I can't wait to read it and I am sure it will be great. Go ahead Anderson, toot your own horn you know it will be great too. I know you are not one to brag. I will do it for you.
Best of luck.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 2:52 PM ET
Wow! A whole weekend in Texas! That had to hurt. Down with the 'horns!

In all seriousness though, I saw something over the weekend about the rise in the global temperature due to global warming, which subsequently affects weather patterns and ocean levels. Has anyone on the Gulf Coast considered the impact of future destructive hurricanes? Is this considered in the decision to rebuild? Is there any way to rebuild to better stand up to storms like these?
Posted By Anonymous Masy, Norman, OK : 2:54 PM ET
Congratulations, Anderson, and break out the cigars!

Your writing is incredibly evocative, and I know this book will touch a lot of people and bear witness to much that you have witnessed in your life. Many of us are already looking forward to reading it. (And if you do a book tour, at least you won't have to suffer through the new-author fear that no one will show up!)
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Delmar, Portland OR : 2:54 PM ET
Wow, do you ever sleep?! I find that your appearances on Oprah are always insightful and a great extension to the stories you are able to cover on your show. I hope that your connection with Oprah will bring about continued aid to the people who really need it. I was recently accepted to Tulane University and am planning a visit to New Orleans in the coming weeks. Your continued coverage and the opportunities I saw for community service motivated me to apply in the first place. Thank you for your commitment and for holding the government accountable.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Lancaster, PA : 2:59 PM ET
Wow, do you ever sleep?! I find that your appearances on Oprah are always insightful and a great extension to the stories you are able to cover on your show. I hope that your connection with Oprah will bring about continued aid to the people who really need it. I was recently accepted to Tulane University and am planning a visit to New Orleans in the coming weeks. Your continued coverage and the opportunities I saw for community service motivated me to apply in the first place. Thank you for your commitment and for holding the government accountable.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Lancaster, PA : 3:00 PM ET
Hi Anderson! Welcome back! I'll be sure to watch Oprah's show and your show tomorrow. Congratulations on your book too!
Posted By Anonymous Pim, Los Angeles, CA : 3:01 PM ET
I highly commend Oprah for her efforts. On a more micro level, we can all do our part by continuing to help those suffering. It does little good to complain about the obvious errors resulting from this horrible disaster if we don't also step up to the plate to lend a hand (true of many issues currently facing our nation). Thank you, Mr. Cooper, for your continuing coverage. I very much look forward to reading your book.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Ruger, Rio Rancho, NM : 3:04 PM ET
At 9:00AM I watch Oprah with Anderson.
At 9:00PM I watch Anderson with Oprah. Tuesday will be a good day!
Posted By Anonymous Kristen Chicago Illinois : 3:08 PM ET
Hey Andy!

I can't wait to read your new book. I live on an island in what is pretty much accepted as the '3rd world' and would very much like to get a take on your perspectives in your book.
Posted By Anonymous Nadine, Antigua WI : 3:08 PM ET
So glad you will be back tonight. Can't wait to see the pieces with Oprah, you two really are making a difference. Thanks for what you do and keep up the great work.
Posted By Anonymous Kristy, Waco, TX : 3:16 PM ET
Anderson, congratulations on the completion of your book- it must feel liberating to have completed the project. I have been watching you since Channel One and always felt so sorry for you that they sent you to such horribly violent places I could not have imagined what you did to make someone so mad- not realizing that was exactly where you wanted to be. Thank you for all your hard work and all that you have opened my eyes and heart to.
Posted By Anonymous Heather, Louisville KY : 3:22 PM ET
Between your personal history and your exposure to conflicts and extreme situations, I cannot wait to read how you view it all and I'm avid to find out how and where you integrate death, losses, massacres and tragedies in the data of your personal computer a.k.a. mind and soul, your Weltanschauung.
Posted By Anonymous Brigitte M. Montreal Canada : 3:22 PM ET
Either way, I'm certain that the book will turn out to be amazing (but good luck anyway!). And that Oprah interview? I'm looking forward to it; those people in Houston need a place where they can stay and not have to fret about paying an incredulous rent.
Posted By Anonymous Pooja, Iselin, NJ : 3:24 PM ET
Is it just me, or does it seem that if something needs to get done in response to a disaster, Oprah is far more reliable than our federal government? Maybe we should start sending our tax dollars to her.
Posted By Anonymous regina, bellerose, ny : 3:25 PM ET
Those of us living with this disaster and working in the relief world can tell you the crisis is far from over. Where is all of the aid? Our most impacted city, Bayou La Batre, has yet to see a penny of assistance. We are five months from the next hurricane season and we have thousands living in FEMA trailers. Where is the stewardship? Where is the help?
Posted By Anonymous Sherry Wilkinson, Mobile, Alabama : 3:25 PM ET
Hey Anderson:

Congrats! on finishing your book. I bet a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. I always personally thought you should write a book. I am eager to read it! Does it feel weird talking about your book because it was a dream that is now a realty? Or are you nervous about people reading it??

I look forward to your watching your show.

-Laura
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Ontario, Canada : 3:26 PM ET
Congrats! It sounds like it will be a very fascinating read. I'll pick it up as a present for myself for surviving this latest semester of grad school and bring it on vacation to anywhere but here (wish me luck!!).

That's really great what Oprah's doing, but how many of these houses does she plan to build? Will there possibly be enough for everyone? If not, how will the people be chosen?
Posted By Anonymous Allie, Piscataway, NJ : 3:38 PM ET
Who really cares what Oprah has to say about the Katrina response. It's not like she's a powerful government figure.
This would not be a big story if the people in New Orleans had gotten out whent they were told there was a hurrican heading their way (3 days in advance).
Posted By Anonymous Leland Albert, Oakland CA : 3:48 PM ET
Anderson, do a story about Mobile Alabama. It has been forgotten, especially the southern end of Mobile such as Codeine and Bayou La Batre
Posted By Anonymous Trae Murphy Atlanta GA : 3:51 PM ET
A Memoir eh?????? Well, I know that this book will not be headed for the fiction section of Barnes and Noble. ha ha . Thanks for keepin' them honest Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous John Grouchy Toronto, Ontario : 4:04 PM ET
While I certainly do appreciate celebrities helping in times of crisis, I do get more that a bit tired of people like Oprah giving off the "look what I did" vibe. If you chose to give of yourself then I commend you, but don't wait for the pat on the back. That story has been told all too often by Miss Winfrey.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Gallatin, TN : 4:04 PM ET
I just got back from New Orleans working on Katrina relief--gutting houses with RHINO (St. Charles Ave. Presbyterian Church in NO.) I am shocked at how little has been done, and even more at how little about that fact is known outside of the immediate area. Keep up the good work getting the word out there...
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Warwick, RI : 4:05 PM ET
Anderson--I have been a missionary to New Orleans for 4 years now. It is such a hard thing to have to go back and forth and see that not much is changing.
Please keep digging at this situation and keep it in the forefront of the minds of Americans. New Orleans seems to be the forgotten city right now.
Posted By Anonymous J.Hart, Baldwin, GA : 4:13 PM ET
What about the Rita victims of SE Texas? They are in need as well, with little resources like housing for renters or contractors for repairs if their home is even repairable (or deal with extreme price mark-ups). A lot of these folks offered assistance to victims of Rita and then when fate turned on them assistance (federal/local/private) was scarce and still is. I think they may be victims a second time by being overlooked for celebrity assistance and national media coverage. Has anyone been there lately?
Thanks and be safe...
Posted By Anonymous Maddie, Seabrook, TX : 4:13 PM ET
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