Tuesday, May 23, 2006
'Dispatches from the Edge'
After many long months and many long hours of writing, my book "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival" is in stores today. It's a very strange feeling.

In many ways, I've been writing this book in my head for the past 15 years, ever since I became a reporter. But it wasn't until Hurricane Katrina that I actually started putting it together on paper.

In those dark, difficult days in New Orleans, I started to worry that when the floodwaters receded, and the convention center was cleaned up, people would move on and forget what had happened.

I know we all like to say, "Oh, we could never forget such a tragedy." But the truth is tragedies are forgotten all the time. The media moves on, and so do people's lives.

I suppose that's just the way it is, but I didn't want the heroism, the heartbreak, the compassion, the negligence to just be forgotten, so I started writing about what I was seeing behind the scenes, the kinds of moments and conversations that never make it on television.

I first started working as a reporter soon after graduating from college. I couldn't get an entry level job at ABC News, so I came up with my own plan. I figured if no one would give me a chance, I'd have to take a chance.

With a fake press pass made by a friend and a borrowed video camera, I left the United States to report on wars around the world. In retrospect, it was a foolhardy thing to do, but I was young and didn't feel like I had any other options.

Since those early years, I've visited a lot of countries in conflict, and have seen people lose their lives because of the color of their skin, the ideas in their heads, or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I've worked in Somalia, South Africa, Haiti and Rwanda, and in all these countries, in all these conflicts, I've been awed by what humans are capable of doing to one another -- acts of terrible barbarism and brutality, yes, but also acts of kindness and courage.

In the far reaches of the world, you see what truly lurks in the inner reaches of the human heart, and those lessons were something I wanted to write about.

When I was a child, my father wrote a book about growing up in Mississippi. I remember when I was about eight years old and couldn't sleep, I'd go into his study late at night as he was typing his book and curl up in his lap. Laying my head against his chest, I could always fall asleep listening to the sound of the typewriter and the steady beat of his heart.

Writing my own book has been a very difficult process for me. As I said earlier, it feels strange to suddenly have it enter the marketplace, because it is in many ways a very personal book. It's not only about the tragedies I've covered as a journalist; it's also about the losses in my own life that propelled me to go overseas in the first place.

I will be on the Oprah show today. This will be the first time I will talk about the book in any detail in a large public forum. I don't really know what people will make of it. I do think that loss is a bond all of us share and one many people can relate to. If you choose to read the book, I'd love to hear from you.

Click here to read an excerpt from "Dispatches from the Edge"
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 12:29 PM ET
The excerpt is both informative and introspective, very good writing. I'm going to read the book.
Posted By Anonymous Mac , Seattle, WA : 12:59 PM ET

I can't wait to start reading your book. I have it sitting here in front of me at work and I am just dying to open it up and dig in. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I'm sure it will be a great read.
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth, Bothell, WA : 1:05 PM ET
Pheeew!!! You must be exhaused. Do you ever take a break? You certainly deserve one. We applaud you!
Posted By Anonymous Shannon Vancouver, Canada : 1:10 PM ET
Just want to say congratulations on a job well done. I've listened to some of the audio cd and can't wait to hear the rest. It's nice to share the grief I've been feeling over the past couple years with someone else, makes you feel you're not alone.

Congrats again!
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, San Francisco : 1:10 PM ET
I'm glad that you wrote this book, because people should not froget all the tragedy that has happened. hopefully people will be able to learn from past mistakes and not make them again. I will read your book. Congratulations.
Posted By Anonymous dp, colton, ca : 1:11 PM ET

I just read the excerpt and all I can say is, WOW!
I am certain your book will be full of the same insight and intelligence and compassion that drives your show ( which by the way, is the BEST show on CNN).
I lost my Dad to a terrible cruel disease called Alzheimer's so I can relate to your pain re : loss of a family member.
There is never closure ( really a stupid meaningless word). There is just dealing with the day to day reality without having such an important person in your life.
Anyway, congratulations on the book which will end up being a best seller.

Posted By Anonymous Robin Karmiol, Lake Worth, FL : 1:16 PM ET
Hey Anderson Took off work today, was at Borders book store 8am and they didnt open until 9am everone thinks i am nuts. Purchased the book on cd for now, Iam up to 3hrs 3 to go. I love all the different accents you do on the CD.But beteewn you and me I am gonna have bust out my dictionary for some of thise college words you use. Maybe at the end of reading/hearing your book I will start talking like an adult. Your amazing
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Guiliano Allentown Pa : 1:19 PM ET
I preordered the book on Amazon several weeks ago, so hopefully it'll be arriving in the few days. I've read the excerpts, both here and in Vanity Fair, and am definitely intrigued. Guess I know what I'll be doing over the long weekend!

Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like New Year's. The only reason I observed it at all is because Jan 1 was my mother's birthday, but now that's she's gone...all the more reason to just stay home where it's warm and away from the crazy drunks. I did watch your coverage this last time, though, and actually managed to stay awake long enough to see the ball drop - miraculous!

Good luck - I hope this was a healing experience for you.
Posted By Anonymous BJ, Old Town ME : 1:25 PM ET
I started writing about what I was seeing behind the scenes, the kinds of moments and conversations that never make it on television.

I'd love to see you (and other 360 correspondents) use this blog to fill us in on those kinds of moments. To backstory the news, or provide the mise en scene. So much doesn't make it to air on any given story; this could be one way of filling the gap between what news reporters know and what viewers see.

I'm looking forward to reading your book.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 1:27 PM ET
I am glad you wrote this book. It seems that many people have already forgotten 9/11, the terrible earthquake, and a little bit of Katrina.....Thank you Anderson!!
Posted By Anonymous Jamie Olive Branch, MS : 1:29 PM ET
I listened to your book on my ipod this morning (always multitasking) - You are brave to put that much of yourself out there for people. I don't think I could do that. Just wanted to say that it is good to hear that someone else is as restless in their surroundings and situations as I feel most of the time.
Posted By Anonymous Masy, Overland Park, KS : 1:39 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

I can't wait to read more of the book! You have an excellent writing style. What I love most though is how you open yourself up. You're a very good role model at showing younger people how to be honest about their emotions and feelings and views and act on them in a positive way.

"Since those early years, I've visited a lot of countries in conflict, and have seen people lose their lives because of the color of their skin, the ideas in their heads, or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time." I love the most that you are so accepting of others, talk to people with respect and aren't prejudiced. You're willing to listen to people; look into their souls; you actually want to hear their stories...not just make a quick judgment by how they look or if they're not prolific at finding the words to express themselves. That is so important nowadays and those qualities are also why people accept you and love you for who you are. I guess that's why we all feel like we "know" you....because of your sincere interest and your tolerance for people and caring for their difficult situations.

Sincerely, Lisa V.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Verba, Des Plaines, IL : 1:40 PM ET

Congratulations on your book. In a world where too many people care too little about the events happening around them, it is always so refreshing to hear a voice of compassion. I look forward to reading your perspectives about places and events that most of us will never experience; and your insight in to the personal joy and pain that we all encounter in one way or another. May this be the beginning of your long and prolific career as an author!
Posted By Anonymous Christine, Canton, OH : 1:43 PM ET
Yep, got your book so far it's very well written. Pretty sure you should stay away from sharks, but on a more serious note it will be a good testiment to the thing's that went on this past year.
Posted By Anonymous rochelle kansas city, ks : 1:46 PM ET
Hope can have a Chinese version to see asap.
Posted By Anonymous Claire, China : 1:49 PM ET
Hey AC,
Yes, I will read your book when it comes to Montreal. I also enjoyed reading the article (very detailed story) in Vanity Fair. Many congrat. for a job well done each night, don't know how you keep it up but it really must be passion for your work and getting the news in the most truthfull and honest way without compromising your integrety as a journalist and anchorman. By the way, my heart was broken last week when I saw your report on trading or smuggling babies for money. Being adopted myself at 1-month by a very good family, I wouldn't have liked to find out later on that I was traded for money...Man, don't these people have a heart or any life ethics? Anyway, I can understand that these people are desperate but...Take care and keep it up!
Posted By Anonymous Josee, Montreal (Canada) : 1:52 PM ET
Why do people want to move on and forget about Katrina? I am an African-American women, in my small town community, my family and friends are still upset by what we saw on the news, but the discussion is absent. Even in my our mind, I think about the people and the images, but I don't plan on talking to anyone about it. I have somewhat, moved on from one of the biggest news events of last year, because I don't have to live with the physical and emotional effects of losing my home. Yet, my mind is not so preoccupied with other thoughts that there in no room to focus on New Orleans and Mississippi. I am immensely disappointed in my lack of patience and willingness to forget.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Waynesville. MO : 2:00 PM ET
Hi AC,

For a moment there reading your article you were an 'illegal immigrant' to the establishment and the 'legitimate' press. This is why I salute you for doing what you had to do to follow your dreams (sometimes at great peril).

More power to you and your kind. I will certainly read your book and your journey to legitimacy.
Posted By Anonymous Dean O - Palatine, IL : 2:04 PM ET
Dear Anderson Cooper,

I'm so excited that you have written this book. I plan on going out to buy it asap. I am a hugely devoted to the exceptional work/reporting you do. You are such an inspiration to young Americans. I was an intern for CNN Ny bureau this past semester. I wish I could have sit on on one of your shows. Keep doing what you do best.

Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Ny : 2:10 PM ET
Anderson, I read the excerpt from Vanity Fair and am very much looking forward to reading the whole book. Like you, I also lost my father to a heart attack. It's strange how we can attach world events to our own personal tragedies. I will never be able to forget the Columbine massacre because my dad died only three days after it happened. Loss is such a strange thing.

Anyway, I hope you're not too nervous about the book coming out. I'm sure everything will be great. Also, know that though a lot of the country seems to have moved on from Katrina there are those us out there that will never forget--and a lot of that has to do with your coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 2:10 PM ET

I have always appreciated your dedication & passion to the stories you have covered.Congratulations on the new book,I'm sure the same zeal will be found in the pages within.
Thank you for all your hard work,& that of your team.
I trust you to get the information right & to get to the very heart of an issue.
I hope the book brings your style of journalism to an even wider audience.
Posted By Anonymous Liz Echols from England now living in Tuscaloosa AL : 2:18 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I can't wait to read the book. I hope it's on sale in Malaysia.

And congratulations. ^^
Posted By Anonymous Jeany, Johor, Malaysia. : 2:18 PM ET
Hello Anderson, I might be remembering this incorrectly but I read an interview with you years ago and you said something like "no one would be interested in reading any book I'd written". All I can say is that I'm glad you changed your mind! I've been waiting on this book a long time and can't wait to read it.
Posted By Anonymous Marty, San Francisco, CA : 2:21 PM ET
Shame on you for advertising your own book and reporting it in a news column. Yes, I realize the news column has your name on it. Nonetheless, you could at least have allowed one of your colleagues to report on it. One who didn't have a financial stake in the enterprise.

I am by no way maligning the quality of your book, merely your choice of advertisment.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Lowell, MA : 2:26 PM ET
I just read your excerpt, Nice work with descriptive prose and just enough of the witty banter.
I work with terminally ill people and I've found that so few people understand loss...I mean REALLY get it. A lot of times it takes writing about it to really even decompress after a long day, so relax and don't even worry about how other people will react to this book - because you know that truly 95% of people out there will really never understand the things that you have seen. If this book at all helped you with realizing your own role in the world, your family, whatever - then you've succeeded.
Posted By Anonymous Jane, Vancouver, BC Canada : 2:33 PM ET
Oh, I'll definitely buy and read your book. I've always admired your parents and over the last year - and mainly because of your soul felt coverage of Katrina I've developed a growing respect for your intelligent reporting and handling of related aspects of your public personna.
Posted By Anonymous Tom Dawson, Pacific Palisades, California : 2:40 PM ET
I just bought the book this morning and I really look forward to reading it. Thank you for sharing your story with us and also for not letting us forget events like the tsunami and Katrina and their victims.
Keep up the good work and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Despina, Charlotte, NC : 2:41 PM ET
Congrats, Anderson on completing your book; I'm picking up a copy later today. We all have suffered a loss in our lives, and I think it's a great way to express it in writing to honor the memories of those lost. I lost my father at the tender age of 43. Despite the fact his death was sudden, I do not have any regrets about anything I may have said to him. The last words he told me and I told him was "I love you." We have to cherish those we love NOW instead of waiting until it's too late.
Posted By Anonymous Angie, St.Louis, MO : 2:53 PM ET
I�m looking forward to reading your book. Especially your thoughts on Sri Lanka after the tsunami. I think it�s important to remember and record events like this so that people never forget. I was born in Sri Lanka and I went back recently. I stood on the shores of Galle Face Beach in Colombo and it was magnificent and truly frightening to see the waves. But there were hundreds of people on the beach that Sunday afternoon and they were all oblivious to the power of the ocean. There were all enjoying being at the beach with their families. When I saw that I realized how resilient we all are and how we can all climb out of any tragic event, recognize the beauty that�s around us and go on with our lives. I think your book, although you talk about the tragic events you�ve witnessed, will probably have this same message.
Posted By Anonymous Sharmila, Toronto : 2:55 PM ET
Congrats on the book! I'm looking forward to reading it. You write and report with such passion and grace. Your article in Vanity Fair was touching and I am looking forward to watching your interview on Oprah.
Posted By Anonymous Erin - Rome, GA : 2:57 PM ET
If your book is a mere 5% as compelling as your Details article regarding your brother's suicide, it is certainly worth the read. I've given copies of that article to three separate families suffering from similar loss and they have all remarkably benefited from your touching, poignant perspective. While I will not read Dispatches until June 5th, that motivation has everything to do with a forced procrastination for the advantage of having something interesting to read on a long flight to Bangkok via Tokyo. Congrats on following through and achieving your goals.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Chicago, IL : 2:58 PM ET
Hey Anderson-

Does it feel disconcerting to realize millions of people feel they 'know' you? That's the sense we get when we watch you every night. I'm ordering your book. I've read your pieces on the blog and in various other print media. Thank you for not forgetting- for knowing that if we as a people forget we are lost. We lose every day- money,friends,personal freedoms, parts of our soul. We need to remember things- the Holocaust, Viet Nam, the riots in Watts. Society seems to have the attention span lasting a bare millisecond. I applaud your integrity and your courage. I have recently lost someone incredibly dear to me- while it is painful, and I find in writing about her the tears fall- I must continue because at least I'm still feeling something. In this time of instant everything we must take time to reflect and remember.While in my rational mind I know I will never have the honor of meeting you in person- I wish you to know how much your honesty and caring and desire to keep me informed- good, bad,happy,sad,just plain weird- all of it- means to me. Bravo- well done-kudos and sincere congratulations for the courage to risk sharing your humaness.

Best Wishes- Sherri
Posted By Anonymous Sherri McKee, Oroville,Ca. : 3:10 PM ET
Mr. Cooper,

I've read plenty of your writing and let me say what a treat it is.

Currently my means (and my parents) don't allow me to travel to the places truly in need. The only times I've been out of the country are to visit other very affluent countries in Europe. Not to undermine those vacations, but they don't do much for the good of the world. Having a suburban upbringing doesn't really allow much understanding from others about my desire to go help the destitute parts of the world. Most people my age (18) can't imagine giving up their cell phones and ipods to go help those truly in need, but, personally, when my opportunity comes, I will give mine up in a heartbeat.

Thank you for all the work you do. It's very inspiring to me to read about the things you have done and seen. And until my chance comes, rest assured I will be reading about your chances to do such wonderful, important work.
Posted By Anonymous Alli, Cincinnati, Ohio : 3:14 PM ET

I've been waiting for this to come out since I read the deal was made, and I'm glad that day's finally here. I didn't read the excerpt as I'd rather take it in with the rest of the book, but I did read the Vanity Fair article. I appreciate you being so open.. well, for reasons I think I'd rather write and send to you (hopefully you'll get it). But let me sum up by saying I'll definitely be reading this - congratulations to you on what I'm sure will be another success. Now take a break, would ya? :-)
Posted By Anonymous Dave Sumers, Tinley Park, Illinois : 3:18 PM ET
Having always wanted to be a war correspondent, I had eagerly awaited Dispatches hoping to get a further look into the world through your eyes.

After reading it, I was moved not only by your eloquence but the raw description of what you have seen.

While I didnt face the tsunami and its destrucion or Katrina and the heartache it left behind, I do live in a world where people have and their tragedy and misfortune should not be their's alone. As members of society it is our resposiblity to educate ourselves on what is happening in the world around us. You do that everynight and now in this book. It not only gave a snapshot of what it was like to face these tragedies head on, but what was felt in the hearts of the people who lived through it and have to live with the aftermath of it. If we are educated we can reach out and help, thanks for helping to stop ignorance.
Posted By Anonymous J, New York, New York : 3:21 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Keeping them honest. Keeping all of us honest. Life isn't fair and cruel; unforgiving things happen all the time to people near and afar. It is important not to forget those happenings. We have a tendency to take life for granted. It's become easy and mundane at times. We forget the suffering around the world, the death and destruction of lives and homes; events that most of us will never have to experience. A news report will open our eyes for that moment in time, but those of you who have witnessed it first hand will carry it with you forever. I think it makes you a better person for having seen it with your own eyes and hopefully you can pass it on to someone else, who can pass it on, etc. I will read your book. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with all of us.
Posted By Anonymous Lee Fairfield Iowa : 3:26 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

Like the countless others, I am looking forward to your book as well. I read the excerpt in VF & cannot wait for the book to cross the border to Canada! (legally!:) )
You have a fascinating outlook on all the stories you present to the viewing audience & I for one find your presentation very captivating.
Congratulations on the book !!
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly,Edmonton, AB Canada : 3:26 PM ET
I can't wait to read the rest of it!
Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Christine Weightman, Toms River, NJ : 3:31 PM ET

I read an article about you in this months Vanity Fair. I was surprised to learn about your background of privilege. You seem too genuine and real to have come from that. There is an element of altruism that you express that is typically not shared by your peers. I have always appreciated your work and you�re reporting. I will buy your book as it would be a privilege for me to read. Congratulations!
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Dallas Texas : 3:31 PM ET
Love your show and the indepth coverage you give us on all of your news stories. Keep on Keeping them HONEST! Looking forward to reading your book.
p.s. your coverage of Huricane Katrina was amazing and very heartfelt, don't let these people be forgotten. I volunteered and will be back again this year to do the same. Part of my heart will always be there!
Posted By Anonymous Jacinta Godin, Pembroke, Ontario, Canada : 3:33 PM ET
Of course we will read your book.

You ask the hard questions, brave the dangerous paths, look into the eyes of death and destruction, taste the sweat and grime of poverty...and still come out a civilized man.

Whether anyone has told you or not, we do notice that you and your staff stay away from the word "aliens" to describe this class of immigrants. Sad to say that some of your colleagues unabashedly using such words to promote their cause. This alone says so much about who you are as a journalist and as a human being.

Our hats off to you and your courage to bring us the distant reality of other people, your decency as a human being to others living in not so fortunate circumstances, the dignity you bring to your profession.

We are privileged indeed to see and hear you like an old trusted friend every night. Your book will keep us company in the interim.
Posted By Anonymous Mel O P Chicago, IL : 3:50 PM ET
Mr. Cooper,
This is probably the only time I will honestly look forward to reading a book outside of school requirements, and following AP exams, SAT's, ACT's, SAT Subject Tests and finals.

I can't wait to read Dispatches!

The Books*A*Million employees are very excited about meeting you next month. A few expressed their regret for me, as I'll be on vacation when you will be at their store. They made really cool flyers to advertise your book.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca, Glen Ellyn, IL : 3:58 PM ET
Drat,AC, I bought the book, but I have a business dinner and theater event to attend. At least I can start it on the train. Do you think it would be rude if I kept it on my lap during dinner, or took a flashlight in to the theater? Hmmm. The guy who helped me find it also bought one. That's two you've sold! Your mom had me crying today on Oprah. Please give her a big hug. She seems like a very special lady. It is brave of you both to open your hearts like you did. Thanks AC, for the update on Barbaro. My horse had surgery, and it was very emotional and stressful. You asked last night if they show pain. They do. I can usually tell right away how he is feeling, and he always makes me feel better. Have a super day, and enjoy your succcesses with your book ! I'll try and read it asap.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago, Il : 4:01 PM ET
I preordered your book weeks ago through Amazon and received your mothers book as part of the package. Her book was sent immediately and was a wonderful read. I found her memoir to be fascinating. I was amazed at her willingness to be so open and honest in light of the fact that life seems to have given her many reasons not to be so. She really comes across as a strong, optimistic woman. I also read your article in Vanity Fair and am looking forward to reading the complete story. I wanted to tell you that my husband, whose interests are usually focused on some sporting event or another, also read your mothers book and the Vanity Fair ariticle. He found them both to be fascinating as well. Can't wait to watch Oprah to hear more. By the way, any chance of a book signing in Utah? Maybe just a quick stop at Borders when you are here checking out the polygamists? I know, I know..I am over 40 so I am encroaching the age where groupie becomes stalker....
Posted By Anonymous Mary Salt Lake City, Utah : 4:01 PM ET
Okay, now I'm crying. You don't make it easy do you? Could be I know how you feel, much better than you've ever wanted anyone to know.

If you read the comments from Tuesday, May 16th, you'll get a small glimpse of where we've both been. You see, I lived with my grandparents for six years so I too, love that part of the "south".

My Mother died in July, 1978, right after I returned from a two week visit with them. Same reason your Dad died. I still won't let myself cry, and I still keep thinking I need to call her.

Anderson, right now you probably feel very naked, having stripped away everything right down to your soul, but you really aren't alone. Sometimes hard to believe though, I know.

Just keep doing what you do the best, in the best way you know how, and don't ever apologize or feel ashamed for being what God meant you to be.

Take care, Anderson, stay safe.

Posted By Anonymous Maggie C. Grain Valley, Mo. : 4:12 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Thank you for your courage in writing this book. I've had a prelude of what's to come by way of the "Vanity Fair" article. So I think we should thank your mother as well, as I'm sure you wouldn't have written it without her blessing.

I've always enjoyed your newscasts because your intrinsic honesty shows itself as you report. As an "ordinary" viewer and reader, I relish the opportunity of seeing inside the stories of the dramatic events you witnessed as well as getting to know you better.
Posted By Anonymous Eugenia Stefan, Orlando FL : 4:18 PM ET

I came over to the US from London when I got married 6 years ago. I was so dissapointed in the state of the news media. I really miss the indepth coverage and impatiality of the BBC when it comes to reporting.

I started watching you on CNN when 360 was on in the afternoons and was immediately addicted. Your ability to see real people and situations as opposed to "stories and events" set you apart from all those would be reporters cluttering up the air ways.

Your compassion really come through in your reports and writing and it helps us to remember to be comassionate too.

I love your show and am really looking forward to reading the book. Will be watching you on oprah today !
Posted By Anonymous R. Dasani, Phoenix AZ : 4:20 PM ET
Congratulations, Anderson! I'm sure it's nerve-wracking to release something so deeply a part of you into the wild like that, but hopefully it also feels very liberating. I've only seen the Vanity Fair excerpt so far, but I was impressed that it really did sound like you, even on paper, which isn't always the case with memoirs. Best wishes, I'll be reading.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Minneapolis, MN : 4:26 PM ET
Looking forward to picking up your book and reading it as I am sure it will be as interesting and thought provoking as your show is. Such a true statement about how loss is a bond that many people can relate to. I lost my dad at the age of 11 due to suicide about 30 years ago. Unless you have experienced that in your immediate or even extended family you can't comprehend the impact and how it effects everyone in the family. Unfortunately, suicide has become even more common. At least it is something that is talked about more openly now which hopefully may help.

Keep up the good work. Let's hope the upcoming hurricane season will be friendly to those in the Southeast.
Posted By Anonymous Mary H. St. Louis, MO : 4:32 PM ET
Am watching Oprah and hearing about your book and your brother's story made me remember an article I read in Scientific Amerian February 2003 titled
"Why? The Neuroscience of Suicide" Having had some history of depression and suicide in my family, this article actually gave me comfort in the understanding that there is a chemical imbalance behind suicide. The hope is that in the future they may be able to treat suicide.......thank you for bringing it more into the limelight; to me it continues to be, along with domestic violence and lung cancer among the next breakthroughs.....the battle is more about the stigma....then the progress can continue for an answer to these types of tragedies...
I hope you read the article and it helps you.
Thanks again and much success with your book
Posted By Anonymous Monica, MIami, Florida : 4:39 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I just read your excerpt from "Dispatches from the Edge" and I must say that I wish I already had the book in my possession. I am looking forward to reading your book and hope it goes on sale in Montreal (Quebec) very soon. I am presently taping the Oprah show so that I can watch your interview at home tonight. I enjoy watching AC360 (even though it keeps me awake some nights), and I respect your approach to reporting. Hope you visit Montreal for a book signing!
Posted By Anonymous Nancy Sebastiano, Montreal, QC : 4:40 PM ET
Hi Anderson:

I pre-ordered the book and I am waiting patiently for it to arrive. I am looking forward to seeing you on Oprah.

As a Katrina survivor, I appreciate everything you did during those terrible days after the storm and what you are still doing to make sure no one forgets. You are MY HERO. You are a good man with a conscience and a heart full of compassion and honesty.

Please let us know if you do any book signings (especially in Austin or New Orleans). I, like so many others, would be honored to meet you.

Good luck and thank you for writing this book. It is an unselfish and giving act.
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., Austin, TX : 4:47 PM ET
You don't need to worry about what people will make of it, Anderson. At this point in your life you're Midas. Everything you touch turns to gold.

We've all been looking forward to your book not just because you have a fan base that is strong and willing to eat everything you serve up, but because your sensitivity comes through smoothly. We all appreciate the dignity you offer the people you're reporting on whether they be in hurricane ravaged New Orleans or deep the terror of Rwanda.

You give them a voice, Anderson, that no one else would be willing to listen to. I don't think we can afford NOT having you around.

This Native American contemporary of yours appreciates your efforts and looks forward to insight you have to offer, beit in book form, or on the couch with Ms Winfrey.

Posted By Anonymous Marisol, Aurora, Colorado : 4:48 PM ET
Wow! your book kept Oprah up late!!
not only that, but she also felt it
was necessary to email ya @ 0100..

as your Mom said --
"follow your bliss" ...
remember to ALWAYS stay grounded..

Congrats! AC -
Posted By Anonymous Rodrigo D, Boston MA : 4:52 PM ET
Anderson: I want you to know that I enjoy your show and feel that you are a breath of fresh air to watch and listen to in what is increasingly a carnival-like media. Your courage and humanity come through in all of your journalism and I certainly look forward to reading your book. I just watched you on Oprah and I must say you and your mother seem like beautiful people who have survived tremendous loss. I am glad you have each other.
Posted By Anonymous Susan Frank, Philadelphia, PA : 4:58 PM ET
Congratulations, I'm really glad that you've finally written a book and have put it out there for the world to read.

Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, North Logan UT : 5:00 PM ET
Great writing runs in the family evidently. I've read and enjoyed your mom's books and your father's book "Families" and your various columns in Details; I'm really looking forward to reading "Dispatches from the Edge" and I hope that we will see more books written by you in the future.
Posted By Anonymous Fay, Vacaville, CA : 5:01 PM ET
Anderson, congratulations on the book's release. I was riveted by the excerpt in Vanity Fair and the one posted here as well. I will say that while I do look forward to reading your book in its entirety, I don't expect that it will be an emotionally "easy" read, seeing as how you've experienced some terrible personal tragedies and born witness to still worse ones on a global scale.

In any case, I wish you great success with the book and your newest endeavor with CBS, too. Hopefully Amazon will deliver my pre-ordered copy sooner, rather than later. Oh, and any chance you'll do a signing on Long Island? Some of us "country mice" can't get to the Big City on weeknights!!
Posted By Anonymous Claudine, Saint James, NY : 5:05 PM ET
Hey Anderson, If we choose to read the book!! Borders/Waldens had my name on it and I picked up today. I have read 50 pages and I cannot put the book down. I love your writing style. Actually, I did put the book down to watch Oprah, but will finish the book before I sleep tonight. Of course I watch AC/360 so I do get to bed late. This book must be therapeutic for you. I think that feeling aspect of you has returned as evidenced by your reporting over the last year.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn MI : 5:05 PM ET
Hi Anderson! :)

Wishing you all the best of luck on your new book. I bought it today and I look forward to reading your memoirs. I am sure it will be a good read for me. You are an amazing journalist who covers just about everything in today's news of the world. It is a real privilege and honor to get to know you everyday on your show AC360. Keep it real and keep on going. Thanks for your reporting!
Posted By Anonymous Monica, Anaheim Hills, CA : 5:12 PM ET
Only someone who has experienced an intense human loss could understand the motivation which drives your life. Some people who experience such personal pain become bitter and angry at life, and others somehow manage to become better people, using their painful experience to help others as you are doing. You are a good man, Mr. Cooper and I look forward to reading your book.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:17 PM ET
I'm not sure if emphatizing with the despondence, desperation, poverty, famine and diseased 'subjects' of your reports is necessary to be true to the heart of the subject. Coming from a privileged background probably have hindered rather than help you towards your maturity in your chosen profession.

However, one need not be poor to hear the cries of hunger, or to be a soldier to see the horrors of war, or to be an immigrant to feel the loss of leaving everything behind... one just needs to be a human being to experience these emotions and a damn good reporter to bring these things to everybody else's attention. You Anderson Cooper are both.
Posted By Anonymous J. Harding St. Louis, MO : 5:22 PM ET
You're a pretty cool writer and I like your style. I've read your stories in 'Details' and they are endearing. I'll get the book tonight at 'Barnes & Noble' at The Grove Los Angeles.
Posted By Anonymous Lonnie, West Hollywood, California : 5:34 PM ET

I just picked up a copy of your book and am very thrilled to begin reading it. I ended my lecture early so I could come home and start reading, so now I'm going to have a hundred confused Med students coming in tomorrow. Although I'm sure it will be worth it.
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Lewisburg, WV : 5:44 PM ET
Just received my copy today (pre-ordered since February); I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I heard you were writing one. I think you are very brave to be revealing your personal losses to a mass audience. Hopefully others who have endured similar loss will find comfort in it.
Posted By Anonymous Valerie, Montreal, QC : 5:50 PM ET
Hello from the conservative side of your bloggers, and congratulations ! Enjoying your style of writing - and wish you didn't have to hold back your views politically, but I understand your role as reporter. When you retire I want to hear your opinions ok?!
Posted By Anonymous Tina - Chicago IL : 6:06 PM ET
Saw you on Oprah this morning.
My heart went out to both you and your mother s you discussed the loss of your brother.
I am anxious to begin reading your book.
You are to be admired.
Posted By Anonymous Ed Stefanik. Tinley Pk., IL : 6:11 PM ET
I read the article about you in Vanity Fair. I laughed out loud at the Steven Seagal story and I was deeply moved by the rest of the story. I'm hoooked. I'm not a fan of non-fiction but I'll be buying your book right after work tonight. Thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing...and I've only read excerpts!
Posted By Anonymous Tracy Fuller, Simi Valley, California : 6:20 PM ET
I saw part of your Oprah visit. You have a soul and yet are totally cynical
Life sucks but the option is worse. Besides, we'll all die and in 100 years most every thing that we struggle with will be forgotten.

There is so much that is unfair and awful about life. The human species is the most dangerous and destructive life form on the planet. We kill, our priorities are totally screwed. Everything is money and power. Our own government is destroying our country. The older I get, the harder it is to "keep the faith".

I may buy your book, because you are smart, cute and have a soul.

Keep the Faith, Patrice
Posted By Anonymous Patrice Hook, Spring Hill, FL : 6:29 PM ET
Anderson:I just watched the Oprah piece. I thought the interview seemed very natural. I know you were embarrassed about the talk about your family's wealth. (I wish Oprah had not hammered away at that, but I think she was asking what she thought the viewers wanted to hear) I liked when you said that we all need to earn a salary.
I couldn't help but cry when your mom's eyes welled up with tears when she spoke about your brother. There is no closure when a child dies, and I appreciate her candor.

I haven't read your book yet but plan to before you come to Dallas for your SMU lecture. I am looking forward to that.

I did read however your brief piece in the NY Times Magazine. I was so touched by the photo of the three Rwandan women. I couldn't help but wonder whose eyes they were looking into when the photo was shot.

Anderson, you are the most "real" reporter on television. Please don't ever become more of a talking head and less of a compassionate soul.

Truly yours, Kerry
Posted By Anonymous Kerry Michele Liebrecht, Dallas, Texas : 6:32 PM ET
I just watched you on Oprah, and was very touched by what you and your mom had to say. I am planning to purchase your book, and cannot wait to read it. From what I have read so far today online it sounds like a great book to read. It must have been very difficult to put emtion into words. You are very genuine and even though I have never met you, I could sympathize with you and your loss. I have lost both of my parents. It is so hard to move on with your life. I have been watching you since Katrina last year. Watching your reporting gave me a lifeline, something to hold on to. Depression is a very hard illness, you have to work at it evryday. Thanks for being there thru means of television. We need more people like you in this world. I hope to be coming to Arlington,VA for your book signing. I would love to meet you. -
Posted By Anonymous Terrie Ford Colonial Heights,VA : 6:41 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I read your book this weekend -- I couldn't put it down. Congratulations!
Posted By Anonymous Holly, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada : 6:45 PM ET
Anderson, We watch you every night,your coverage of Katrina got us started. Watched Oprah today,can't wait to get the book. You have a special gift to tell the human stories. The coverage of the Sago mine tradegy was also Great. Thank you for all you do to bring the news to us each night
Posted By Anonymous James &Jeannie houston, Tx. : 6:52 PM ET

I saw you on CSPAN over the weekend talking about your book and your father's book at the Book Expo. I picked up your father's book at the library ("Families: A Memoir and a Celebration" ) and one of the things that made such an impression upon me was how he spoke with such pride about you and your brother.

I am sure he is looking down on you today with an enormous amount of pride as your book is released.

Congratulations on your accomplishment.
Posted By Anonymous Chelsea N. Santa Monica, CA : 7:12 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I watch CNN evryday over here in Auckland, New Zealand. Your presence on TV comes across as warm, genuine and down to earth. Always look forward to catching you on CNN and certainly will look forward to reading your book when it gets here !!

Posted By Anonymous Auckland, new Zealand : 7:51 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I'm about halfway through your book I bought today and I only put it down to watch you and your beautiful mother on Oprah.You definitely have a wonderful work ethic after everything your family has been through. You have met some interesting people on your quests too that I have been reading about. I also look forward to seeing you on Larry King this week too. I love that your writing is so raw, open and flowing. We have all seen tragedy and I admire that you can write about it so freely. I know it took years for your finished product to come to fruition but it's worth it.
Posted By Anonymous Marilyn, Warner Robins, GA : 8:00 PM ET
Read your book, Anderson. Good story telling. Must have got this from your dad.

I wonder how you can witness and endure so much pain. I would have cried my eyes blind if I were at Niger.
Posted By Anonymous Yean, Houston TX : 8:15 PM ET
Hi Anderson, great read so far. I like your writing style. I wish you only the best with the new book. I read that you holiday in Rwanda, and wanted to know why?
Posted By Anonymous Kunbi, NYC, NY : 8:18 PM ET
Hi there Anderson,
It's Tuesday night and I just returned from my local Borders. I bought your book and intended to have a cup of coffee and just skim it before leaving. Needless to say, I sat mesmerized for a matter of hours. I could not put it down. Not only are you a gifted journalist, but you truly have a way with the written word. Any journalist can write about war zones and natural disasters, but you really brought the tragedies to life. I felt I could actually visualize what you encountered. Thank you for sharing your experiences, both professional and personal.
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth Bryan, Gainesville FL : 8:39 PM ET
My husband and I were glued to you and Aaron Brown as we watched our beloved city (where we met and fell in love) fall into chaos last August/September. Congrats on your book and thank you for all your work to keep NOLA in the conscience of the American public. Reading the excerpt, I am in awe of your ability to weave the personal and political together in such a poignant way.
Posted By Anonymous Peggy O., Merion, PA : 8:45 PM ET
3 years ago i was walking my dog under a bridge and a man jumped off and landed right in front of me. i was only 16 years old. i was reading your article in vanity fair and it was good. it's nice to hear the family's side of what happened.
it's nice to hear you are wondering if anyone saw your brother fall. i often wonder if the family of that man think of me. i wonder if they know that i think of thier son every day. there are certain things i'll never forget like the look on his face as he fell and the sound that he made when he landed. i think the worst thing about all of this is i didn't even know his name.
i think at the end of the day me and that family have the same questions. i often feel alot of guilt. i wonder if he knew i was under the bridge would he have jumped still?
your story has really helped me and i will be picking up your book. thanks
Posted By Anonymous Holly, toronto, ontario : 9:40 PM ET
Anderson!! (((HUG)))

Hope you've had an awesome day! and I cannot wait to get your book. You are my biggest role model and I wish to one day be like you. This world truly does need more strong headed, tender hearted, ppl like yourself. May God continue to bless you and your family xo
p.s. Happy early birthday :D
Posted By Anonymous Dinah, Ottawa Ont. : 10:09 PM ET
Congratulations Anderson on writing your memoirs. Reporters like you have a unique oppurtunity to witness all the tragedies/natural disasters/wars etc., And you are also the first hand witness to all the sadness and pain people who face these tragedies experience. Iam glad you choose to write about all your experiences and share it with us so that we also get to understand the pain and tragedies that people go through when natural disasters hit them.
Glad you choose to give a voice to all those unfortunate people so that all of us get to share their pains.
Your book must be good since you write very well I loved specially these sentences you wrote in this blog entry"I've have seen people lose their lives because of the color of their skin, the ideas in their heads, or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time"..very well written meaningful sentence and so true too...
Iam sure your book will touch many lives.Best of Luck.
Posted By Anonymous Madhavi, Indianapolis : 10:10 PM ET

I can't tell you how appreciative we are of your committment to our great city of New Orleans! Your hard work and determination to get us heard is incredible! We are indebted to you for bringing to light all of the issues that we as survivors deal with each and every day.

I can't wait to get your book and read it! You have dealt with your own tradgedy but have tucked it away to help out others. Your compassion and commitment is immesurable!

What a world this would be if everyone shared your compassion, honesty and faith.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Posted By Anonymous Gretchen Schneider, New Orleans LA : 10:37 PM ET

Thank you very much for finding the courage to talk about the tragedy of your brother's suicide - it and mental illnesses are too often swept under the carpet but can affect our loved ones and ourselves at any time.

And please thank your mother too for talking on Oprah today about what must be a parent's worst nightmare. I think you both offer a great deal of hope by your examples and by your openness and honesty, even if there is never closure. And I hope that the way in which you both are touching millions of lives now will give you some comfort whenever the sadness seems overwhelming.
Posted By Anonymous Chris DeWitt, Austin, Texas : 10:45 PM ET
I would first like to say that you are a hero to many young adults. I am currently a university student and I make room every night to watch your show. I find it moving, not only moving but it touches base with the underling events full blown. Events that are occurring in North America and around the world., just as the name of the program suggests. Not only that but you do not produce any bias as you stated on Oprah, I think that being a reporter it is important to produce information that reflects both sides and it is hard to find that . To tell you the truth I never watch Oprah, but I had today off from work and university is out for the summer and I was channel surfing and came across you as her guest. I ended up watching the whole show. I am so grateful that she puts such people of inspiration. I enjoy hearing about your life, which I have always wonder about. Everyone that knows me knows how much I love watching your headlines. You actually make me want to consider becoming a reporter when I graduate from university. I look forward to reading your book, and all I have to say now is good luck and keep up the great work.
Posted By Anonymous May, Toronto Ontario, Canada : 10:45 PM ET
Hello Anderson,

Looks like this will be a good book to read while camping!! You and your staff keep up the good work!!
Posted By Anonymous Michael J. Perry, Everett, WA : 10:47 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I think I'm a little too late to give a comment, but if the moderator hasn't gone home for the day I'd like to say a few words..First,Congrats..Second, always remember that it doesn't matter if you sell one book or one million..You're a good writer and it's YOUR story..It's obvious reading the comments that you are touching many lives..At the end of the day that's all any of us humans can hope for..Good for you..I wish you the best with the book and I hear warm milk helps writers cramp..Just a suggestion, since I have the feeling you will be signing alot of books..Take Care Good luck..
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton,Calif. : 10:50 PM ET
Mr. Cooper,
Take a vacation, you deserve it. Your stories are timeless, thanks for sharing.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Cincinnati OH : 10:54 PM ET
Anderson, you are a caring journalist an it shows. You are also a very caring person....I enjoyed seeing you with your mother today. Your mother is a giant of a person, but I think she's lucky to have you for a son.

Can't wait to read your book.

Elizabeth Ann, Bristol, Va..
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth Sims, Bristol, Va. : 10:56 PM ET

Thank you for sharing the gifts of your life even when they don't come packaged with ribbons and bows.

Thank you for being authentic. I think that's the word I never heard used on Oprah but you exuded.

Thank you for reminding us that our responsibility is to run with the information you reveal...that although your job is to bring it out, ours is to run with it.

Every life matters. Yours. Mine. Everyone's. I'm grateful you use your platform to spotlight others. In spotlighting one life, maybe other people will look at theirs and realize they matter too.

Posted By Anonymous Vikki, Greensboro, NC : 11:18 PM ET
Dear Mr. Cooper,

I feel you have once again reinforced why I watch your program on CNN, read your essays and now your book. I truly appreciate your intelligence and wit.

Best wishes on all of your endeavors.
Posted By Anonymous Regina, BG, Ohio : 11:28 PM ET
Dear Mr. Cooper

Congratulations on your book. You truly are an amazing raconteur. You offer such honesty, passion, and respect in both your book and show. Many will forget the atrocities that happen around the world. But thanks to men and women like you, people will be reminded. Their faces will not be forgotten. Thank you for putting your heart in every broadcast and segment. You are appreciated.
Posted By Anonymous Gladys Villarreal, Baytown Texas : 11:32 PM ET
I appreciate so much seeing someone who is introspective and self-aware in regards to their motivation for commiting themselves so passionately to one's career. I am from Mississippi and also lost my dad when I was young so I have always felt that I understood your need to get to the heart of the issue and convey that to others and reading the VF excerpt just confirmed that you are reflective about the relationships between your personal life and how you approach journalism. Thanks!
Posted By Anonymous Evelyn, New York, NY : 11:40 PM ET
Thank you for your insight. You have really distinguished yourself by sharing with us your humanity. I am so grateful that you are a reporter.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, West Hollywood CA : 11:41 PM ET
Anderson! Even though I can't watch your news..(cuz i do not live in the u.s.) but I'm really excited about your book. actually i pre ordered your books and audio book. and read excerpts from ur book in vanity fair. i 'm looking forward to reading entire book. it's really testing my patience!! i definetely think that it's more than just personal memoir.
it will enlighten every single reader!!
i really admire what you've done!!
it's impressive!!
thanks anderson!
Posted By Anonymous Kim Go Woon seoul ,south korea : 11:48 PM ET
Anderson, I have been watching you since Rwanda. Just please keep doing what you are doing and stay genuine and legitimate. We as a society are glad you found your bliss.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy, San Diego, CA : 11:59 PM ET
As with many, I began watching you with your coverage of Katrina & have since become a regular viewer of 360. Sharing your life with us on Oprah today shows a personal side of someone whom we let into our homes on a daily basis. I intend on purchasing your book and I am sure that it will be as good as Oprah says it is.
I do hope you know that you do impact your viewer's lives and you have definitely opened up my ways of thinking on several issues. Congratulations on the book and wishing you the best in the future.
Posted By Anonymous Waqrren Foley - Saint Louis Missouri : 12:03 AM ET
Dear Anderson Cooper,

Your writing is full of feeling, it's apparent how much you care about what you are doing.

Keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Amy NYC : 12:23 AM ET
I can hardly wait to read your book Anderson, I hope it will be sold in Canada. We love your reporting and thank you for your honesty and your compasssion.
Keep up the good work
Posted By Anonymous Vancouver, Canada : 12:27 AM ET
You are so REAL. Watched you on Oprah tonight and cannot wait to get the new book in the morning. I love your attitude and empathy. You inspire me. I am hooked... Thanks for all that you do so well.
Posted By Anonymous Patti Henderson, Rock Hill, SC : 12:34 AM ET
Wonderful simply wonderful!! Such beautiful writing. Raw and real! Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Kelley, Santa Fe, NM : 12:40 AM ET
How is it? Being able to travel around the world to a thousand different places....meeting people who live in war torn countries, or suffering from forces beyong their control....

I've always wanted to be a anthropologist....but chose the vocation of an educator. I remember seeing you on channel one when I was in school.....I just want to say congrats on getting your dream.

Your interview with oprah today was interesting.....and your book looks promising...i'm sure there will be more to come.

Have a good day! If you ever need help with your next story I'm here for you:)

JaNae Anderson
Posted By Anonymous JaNae Anderson SLC, UT : 1:31 AM ET
Hi Anderson. Dreadfully late, but want to say hello and send you every good wish. I read your father's book and cherish my copy. I love it when you speak of him. I did see 'Oprah' today. I am always touched with your mother's love for you. Isn't it super she can share this time in your life with you. Congratulations. I look forward to your book. Wunderbar!
Posted By Anonymous Sidney in Montpelier, Vermont : 2:31 AM ET
Mr. Cooper:

I read the excerpt from your book in "Vanity Fair" magazine, and I was impressed not only by your natural gift as a writer but your ability to impart emotion as well.

I've always been fascinated by your mother's life and what she went through, and being born into the Vanderbilt family, you could have taken the easy path and cruised through life on your mother's connections. That you did not, and chose to go your own way and put yourself in harms way to report on the stories that need reporting - well you have my admiration. I plan to read your whole book.
Posted By Anonymous Susan - Akron, Ohio : 6:52 AM ET
As a writer myself, I understand how difficult it can be to show your inner self to the world. If you aren't careful, the few who don't like your book can come to outweigh the many who did enjoy it.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. It captured the smart, witty and insightful reporting we've come to expect from you.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea L, Stoney Creek, ON : 8:45 AM ET
Dear Anderson,

I read your book last night. I love the way you talk about your job travels and experiences in one chapter and then discuss your personal life in the next chapter. It is well written, well thought out, and so different from what one usually gets in this type of memoir. I loved it. I knew I would like it because I have really liked your past articles in Details magazine. I hope to hear more from you. Any chance you'll come to Nashville for a book signing? You have no idea (well, perhaps you do)how many would love to have a book signing experience here.

With respect,
Posted By Anonymous Tanya Touchstone, Nashville, TN : 10:04 AM ET
Anderson, thanks for sharing the excerpt here, and the article in Vanity Faire. I look forward to reading the entire book. I greatly admire your honesty and your humility, rare traits in public life these days. You're fortunate to have found your calling, and be in a position to truly make a difference in the world around you.

All the best...
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 10:19 AM ET
I ordered your book from Amazon in November before it even had a title and was very impressed with the excerpt in Vanity Fair. Can't wait to read the whole book. I have been a fan of yours since your channel one days ( I started teaching World Geography at about the time you started reporting for channel one) and have always found your reports to be compelling and insightful.
Posted By Anonymous Phaedra, Salt Lake City, UT : 10:25 AM ET
All I can say is thank you for telling your story! I've suffered from depression more than once in my life, and I'll always have to be on the look out to fall back into it. It helps so much to hear that someone else has been though it.

I watch your show every night, if you had told me a year ago I would be a fan of a news show I would have thought you were crazy, after all I'm 16, most of my friends are fans of anything on MTV. After hurricane Katrina I couldn't shut off 360... I hope to be a reporter one day, and listening to your story gives me the strength I need to forget about what other people say and go after what I love. As you and your mom said, "follow your bliss"
Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Claire, Marquette, MI : 10:51 AM ET
Anderson, thank you for such a poignant memoir. It is never easy to divulge personal issues, but especially so with the loss of someone close. I lost my friend, and a great love, to a drug overdose over 6 1/2 years ago (he was only 33) and I very much closed myself off to any type of emotion, especially regarding the loss of my friend. He had everything in which to look forward: a novel soon to be published, his new bride...and then he was gone. I skipped his NYC memorial service, and stayed away from the cemetery where he is buried in KY for at least 6 months. When I visit NYC I find myself walking through his neighborhood as if he isn't gone. I unknowingly lost my feelings, and buried myself in my work. Vacations seemed frivolous. "There is too much to do in such a short life," I'd tell myself, but the reality of his death put me in a state of unfeeling for quite some time. I let work become my new "love" - burying myself and keeping too busy to feel.

I appreciate your honesty in dealing with Katrina and the aftermath. On the second day of your coverage, I found myself unable to eat my dinner and breaking down into tears because it was also one of the first times in a very long time that I had felt that much emotion, sympathy, and heartbreak. The sense of helplessness that I felt brought back the same emotions I felt about my friend - and how perhaps I didn't do enough to stop what happened.

Your coverage of Katrina and your continued quest to make sure that this never happens this way again has inspired me to become an activist again. My friend traveled as a free-lance from war-torn areas, just like yourself, to report injustice and inhumanity. I can never be that brave, but I can have feeling again, and put my newfound emotions to use productively...to fight for people who are uninsured (like jockeys and a lot of middleclass Americans) and to help where there is political injustice, etc.

Thank you for being an inspiration, and for putting your emotions out there for everyone to read. Perhaps your courage will inspire others to be a little more than what they imagined they could be.
Posted By Anonymous Paula, Frankfort, KY : 11:03 AM ET
I work in a bookstore and started to read it when it came in. Sure, Katrina was bad, but it could have been even worse. We must stop dwelling on the past. What happened, happened for a reason, we just don't quite know what that reason is yet. 20, 30 years down the road something will happen that will make Hurricane Katrina look minor. We must go on and live our lives for the here and now and don't look back on the past.
Posted By Anonymous Tracylyn, Detroit, MI : 11:26 AM ET

I have always liked your reporting. It was so good to see you laugh and show different emotions on Oprah. A am an attorney/at home/working out of home mom. I plan to buy your book and read it on the train sometime. I was so hurt after hurricane katrina, as a biracial black person...you describe many of the feelings i feel.

Your cyncisim at tragedy and the racism and other stuff behind it all, it is me...and it also outrages me in the aftermath. But I have cooled down, and i need a fresh perspective so i look forward to reading your book.

My husband liked your quote about momma may have poppa may have, it outlines his theory and he respects your for that. I liked it because i am from a family of means, but i look at myself and my family, kids as my responsiblity and i don't take handouts from anyone including, the wealth of my family.

Your are rich in heart and love, and for this you are blessed.

I am going to Wikipedia to see if you are married. Just wondering if you found your "good thing" to share your interesting life with.

God bless you and your mother.

Trina R. (chicago)
Posted By Anonymous Trina Ruffin, Chicago, Illinois : 11:32 AM ET
I finished Dispatches from the Edge just now and all I can say is WOW. Truly an amazing book. It touched me in such a profound way. I am sure that the process of writing this book was somewhat healing for Mr. Cooper (I feel I need to call him Mr. Cooper as I respect his so much more after reading this book) but I am sure he had no idea how it would touch so many other lives. I can testify to at least one life it changed. Mine.

His vivid memory makes you feel as though you are there with him, side by side, experiencing the fear, excitement and horror he experienced not only in the aftermath of Katrina but also in Rwanda, Sarajevo, Sri Lanka, etc.

The flashbacks to his childhood and how it effects him today, how it shaped him into who he is today was just steller and what touched me the most. Even though he lost his father so young all I could think of was "How lucky he was to have such a father." Wyatt Cooper seemed like such a wise man, well ahead of his time.

I am so excited about Mr. Coopers book signing. I know it will be very brief but at least I will get to communicate to him how truly wonderful this book is and how it touched my life, made me realize things in myself. This book really does make you do a little soul searching.

Thank you Anderson for sharing this with the world.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 10:02 PM ET
Dear Anderson, You would be a great mentor for young kids surviving the death of a parent. Have you ever considered speaking with young kids on this topic? As a member of a support group for grieving spouses/children/parents, Willow House located in Northbrook, IL, you would be someone who could, possibly, connect with a young child as a guest moderator. Anyway, food for thought. Your book was very insightful, thought-provoking, and an eye-opener for all of us who are removed from the day-to-day violence occuring around the world and the natural catastrophes occuring within our own backyard. Looking forward to a book signing out here in the Chicagoland area. Let us know when you will be in our town. Thank you for your honest, refreshingly upfront newsreporting. Lisa E. Brown, Buffalo Grove, IL
Posted By Anonymous Lisa E. Brown, Buffalo Grove, IL : 1:01 PM ET
I bought your book 24 hours ago, after I saw you on Oprah. I just finished it. I am a 34 year old paramedic/RN who survived the May 3, 1999 tornado in Bridge Creek . Not to mention YEARS of helping people in all sorts of catastrophes; ALL pain is 100% to an individual, whether they are experiencing with 1 million other humans or alone. I sobbed while I read. The way you write...scattershot, back and forth, always moving, looking for the next shot of excitement, that NEED . Things that you swear you will never forget, but then bury, and then, inevitably, come back like a neverending boomerang.The panic. The freaked-out, "this is clearly inappropriate" looks from family and friends. The black humor. The isolation. The guilt.

I have literally fallen apart this year.I could have died. With the help that I have denied myself for nearly 15 years, I can be "fixed."

You understand. And you might make others, too. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Joann; Chickasha, OK : 3:36 PM ET

My name is Anita and I'm 18 years old and from Los Angeles. I purchased your book yesterday and as I finished it, I realized I did not get up even once. Thank you for allowing us into the reality of our world's tragedies. It pained me to realize just how much there has to be done all around the world. It really killed me when you wrote about the children involved in these tragedies, the children whose lives were lost and probably forgotten. Children like Aminu. The children who lived lives, smiled, laughed, breathed. yet there are no marks of their existance. Even though I never met these individuals myself, I really feel as though because of you and the way you noted them in your book, these children won't be forgotten, not in my heart.

No one deserves to be thrown to the side of road only to be forgotten and stripped of their dignity.

Thank you for instilling this feeling in me and changing not only my life.

And I hope you the best in finding feeling as I try to find mine and as I search for the 'bliss' I am meant for.

You are a great man.
Posted By Anonymous Anita Vuong, Los Angeles, California : 7:03 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Well I read your book in an hour and a half. It was excellent. I am very impressed of how good of a writer you are. I can't wait until your New Orleans book signing.
Posted By Anonymous Kourtny Reed, Youngsville, La : 10:32 PM ET

This book is breath taking... literally. I have to stop reading it to pause and reflect. You write in such a way that I am compelled to close the book, and stop reading. Not only I am overwhelmed with shock mixed with sadness because more than ever I realize that we are all the same, we all feel the same love for family, the instrinsic will to survive and the ceaseless pain and heartache of loss.

But this book is a reminder for me to appreciate that my life at this exact moment, sitting on my generic Ikea couch, hugged by the eggshell-coloured painted walls of a rental apartment, that I should be thankful every single morning I wake up, that I do so in a peaceful, free, safe country.

I haven't finished the book yet, I am in no rush to do so. I want to savour each emotion I feel and remember them because it's these emotions and stories, whether of anger, sadness or joy of being human, that I am more certain than ever of the reasons why I have chosen to pursue a career in journalism.

Thank you Anderson, for letting us into your life and for sharing your story.

All the best,
Posted By Anonymous Juli, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada : 11:54 PM ET
I like the passion and honesty that I see in your reporting, but I really love the rhythm of your words that I feel in your writing.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Charles, Green Bay, WI : 3:23 PM ET
I have admired you for many years, as I think you are a real human being and express your real feelings to the world each night.

The reason why you are so successful is because you are real - don't ever lose that.

The book excerpt was excellent, as all of your writings are.

You are a pleasure to watch and read and I hope you are allowed to continue to express yourself for all to hear.

Thanks for your continued contributions to the world!
Posted By Anonymous Julie Sisson, Conyers, GA : 3:29 PM ET
Congrats on your new book -I am very much looking forward to reading it! I would also like to thank you for your coverage of the tsunami in my husband's country of Sri Lanka. He had planned to go there on vacation at that time, but was unable to take time off from work. It was very hard for him to watch CNN and see his beautiful (I have also been there a couple of times.) country torn apart. Your interest and dedication to your profession has also inspired me to finish my business degree - I will be taking courses in journalism and communication as I also work in a local healthcare facility in marketing/public relations. Thanks again for your interest and dedication to your profession!
Posted By Anonymous J. Kulatunge, Sayre, PA : 3:34 PM ET
I have 25 pages to go to finish. Im deading it... finishing it that is. It is so true, real, tragic, honest, whole hearted. you have captured many of my thoughts and motives on paper. Thank you for your insight, your thoughts, and relentless hard work. I am so proud of you and your courage. Please share more. I watch you almost every night. You truly expose what most Americans would never know. You inspire me. Thank you
Posted By Anonymous vs Los Angeles, Ca : 4:29 PM ET

Congratulations on a very well written and honest book. I have always liked your work on TV and used to watch your show daily. Thanks for sharing the extraordinary accounts of your life with the rest of us.

Being from Mexico, I was glad to find out that you enjoyed the time you spent in Oaxaca and that you had the opportunity to enjoy one of the oldest celebrations in our country. Please come back to my country soon.

Keep up the good work!
Posted By Anonymous Ruth, Mexico City : 4:03 PM ET

I am a stay at home mother with two boys, 4 and 1. I have not read a book since the birth of my first son. It was with my 4 year old shopping at Target that I said to him, "I need to purchase the Anderson Cooper book". He asked "why"? I said, "I don't know".
Now I do know. What a memior!
Congratulations on your book and anchoring of CNN. You derserve it!
Posted By Anonymous Georgia, Glenview, Illinois : 5:55 PM ET
Hi, Anderson. I'm from Malaysia. I've finished reading your book and I would just like to tell you that you wrote a great book. It's candid, refreshing, witty and genuinely heartfelt. It's good that you didn't try to be anything but real.
You're a brilliant man but a little crazy - risking your life as you do especially your earlier years.
Anyway, I'm glad you've found peace. A much needed food for a healthy soul. But don't forget, love is also equally important.
So, I wish you all the love in the universe for all the love you've given to this world while you were on your quest to find your heart.
Keep up the good work. What you do have brought much awareness and better understanding of what is truly happening. Have faith that there will be enough of us to make this world a better place.
Take care of yourself and don't let your mother worry about you so much.
P.S. I think you're the first reporter/newscaster touted as hip, sexy and a sex object. Hmm...mm...interesting.

Laipeng Foong
Posted By Anonymous Laipeng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 1:54 PM ET
What an example of continued personal and professional growth!!

Keep growing!!
Posted By Anonymous MK Leesburg VA : 8:50 PM ET
Dear Mr. Anderson,

I have watched you for years in awe of your ability to comparmentalize. It was not until I watched your coverage of Katrina that I saw you struggle with the emotions you were feeling while covering a story.

You are a very gifted reporter, and you seem to have a passion bringing things into the light.

My wish for you, if I may be so bold to wish a wish for you, would be that you would some day be able to find a person, place or thing that allows you the desire to stand still , if only for a short while. A person, place or thing that gives you that feeling of peace and safety that you felt sitting on your father's lap with your head on his chest, listening to the beat of his heart.

You have followed your bliss and you have done it well. You are a blessing to this world.
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Minneapolis, Minnesota : 8:23 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

It is such a captivating memoir that I think it will be hard to forget the tragedies you wrote about.People do eventually move on but there is the media to keep reminding us of such tragedies.

After watching your show which airs sometimes on CNN international, I convinced myself to buy your book.The work you are doing needs to be appreciated for its sincerity and compassion.

Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Posted By Anonymous Anssuya, Singapore, Singapore : 6:14 AM ET
I thoroughly enjoyed your book and appreciate the candid, honest soul searching that is chronicled alongside your travels to places of horror in the world that most of us will never witness so up-close and personal. I will say that I think your dispatches are less from the edge and more to the "core" and to the "heart" of both humanity and your own personal pain and grief in a broken world. Though I have never watched your broadcasts I will now consider tuning in. Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Joan Gorham, Maine : 8:31 AM ET
Anderson, thank you for 'Dispatches From The Edge'.
Posted By Anonymous Priya.M.,Mumbai,India_Davis,CA : 12:02 PM ET
How Anderson Cooper’s book healed me!

In my past personal experience, the smell of death has been a horrific experience: Back in 1986, the autopsies during my time at the Surinamese Medical School and the plane crash victims at the Johan Adolph Pengel airport of Suriname. Their bodies burned beyond recognition. The morgue overloaded and they had to bring the bodies to the School of Medicine for the students to maintain preserving until family members could identify them. The mixture of burned jet fuel and rotten human flesh was a horrendous task for me to face and smell and it was the same time I decided to contemplate quitting medical school. For an East-Indian daughter that was like hard to tell my parents. My father was very hearth-broken about it. I became depressed and unhappy since then.
Then I moved to the United States. Years later -three weeks before 9/11- my father passed away. It was hard to venture close to ground zero, because I had picked up a whiff of what people described as a “stale smell.” I immediately recognized it and the similarity of it to the plane crash victim in Suriname. I remembered the way I had disappointed my father back then. My reaction was to run away from it all and I dived into another deeper well of unhappiness.
When I read “Dispatches from the Edge,” I learned from Anderson Cooper that there is another way to face death and the smell of it and the loss of a very loved one of mine, my father. There is another perspective to it, other than running away from it. It has thought me to find my inner strength back again.

Thank you for writing this book Anderson Cooper!
Posted By Anonymous Ratna Sadal, New York, NY : 6:06 PM ET
Hi Anderson.

I met you today in Miami at your book signing. You were really funny. I love your humanity -- you make a difference.

Take care and follow your bliss wherever it takes you ...

Posted By Anonymous Johana Urbieta Valdes : 12:49 AM ET
Anderson, thank you for being so brave on so many levels, what a fantastic book, no wonder it's a best seller !
It was one of those few books that you don't want to end. I didn't want it to be over. It touched me somewhere through my heart and "thunked" off the back wall of my spine, I really felt the density of your stories, it's difficult to descibe. Wonderfully written, thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Tonia, Nova Scotia, Canada : 4:21 PM ET

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book.
I am a young reporter just out of college and at my first job. Your book touched me as no other has before.
Thank you for showing the world there are reporters with grace and compassion, you are an incredible role model.
Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your life.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Fargo, ND : 1:16 PM ET
'ZEITGEIST' movie! Please watch!

Not sure if my previous post was accepted because although I included my name and city/state, it was not in the "name" box.

Anyway please watch this movie. It changed my life.
Posted By Anonymous Lance Gayhart Lexington, Kentucky : 3:23 PM ET
I aboslutely love your show, AC 360. I am going to say this in all due respect: Many people who make it to a high ranking position in the world tend to be conceited, but by reading the posting of what the book is about, it truly shows that you care and want the people victimized to be known to others and that is very gracious fo you.
I am 17 and a total "news junkie" and am persuing my dream of being a reporter. However, I am jealous that you are so gifted and talented at what you do. You truly make a difference in the world. Many Blessings to you as you continue to make a difference in the world and touch the hearts of others around the world!
Great writing too!

Rachel Fallin
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 2:17 PM ET
July 19, 2007

Dear Anderson,

I purchased your book last Thursday and finished it at 2am this morning (Wed). Quite a feat with a 2 year-old and a 4-month old. I never read biographies in order. So, I read your Epilogue first, then the Afterward and then I started the first chapter. When I finished the book, I reread the Epilogue and the Afterward. I love that your book begins with your father's death and ends with a memory from Bob Mahoney of your dad. You achieved your full circle! However all the tragedy you write about haunts me. I had some bizarre dreams while reading your book. The thought of 3 year-old girls being raped still haunts me.

In 2004, I was on maternity leave when the tsunami struck. My baby was born on the 16th and the tsunami struck on the 26th. I only remember that time because of pictures. Through my sleep deprivation, I didn't really understand the extent of the wave. I kept thinking, a wave? Don't they know not to fight the tide? I only kept catching bits and pieces of stories. But as video became available and stories started to seep out, I began to understand. And with that understanding came a feeling of helplessness. I couldn't just go -- I had a little baby to think about.

When Katrina hit, I was teaching full time, taking care of the little one.
Every night after her bedtime, my husband and I would watch your show. At first, we made fun of you-- as we make fun of all weather people -- weathering the storm. "Wow. It's blowing really hard here." But then reports of the damage started coming out. Was this really happening? How could they not send help? Thank you for all your interviews. I don't forget a thing -- ask my husband; and I won't forget Katrina.

This book has changed me and now I know I have to do something. The first thing I am going to do is recommend your book to my students. I would feel better if I knew the proceeds were going to a foundation. But I like it for several reasons. First of all, you give a first hand account of what has happened that wasn't on TV. My students need to learn what goes on behind the scenes of television. Secondly, you were absolutely insane to go to those countries with a fake press pass. High school students will be excited about your "bravery." Thirdly, you are a man who honestly and candidly talks about emotions and crying. More adolescents need to see that it's okay for men to have and show emotions.

I also want to contribute on a larger scale. Gads of thoughts flow through my mind. The best I came up with is that I will look into starting a club at my school (my students are quite wealthy) to send gift certificates to families so they can decorate and furnish their new homes. Is that a good idea? I don't know. Researching charities begins today.
Anderson, I know you have a big team, so I hope you get the chance to read my thoughts. I am glad someone did something with their journalism degree!
Best of luck to you.

Melissa D. Murphy
English Teacher
Burlingame High School
Burlingame, CA
Posted By Blogger MDM : 2:36 PM ET
QUOTE: I was hurting, and needed to be around others who were hurting as well".

You cannot imagine what that sentence meant to me. I am struggling with the death of my husband, 4 months ago, and I just started crying when I read that sentence. It is exactly how I feel. What else can I add?
Posted By Anonymous Chantal, Québec, Canada : 9:49 PM ET
Just finished reading Dispatches From The Edge and couldn't let Anderson Cooper's voice go, so I came here to absorb more. The world needs Anderson Cooper, a man honest enough to stand at the edge, where great kindness and massive brutality grapple for our souls. Thank you, Anderson, for your story. It is an American classic.
Posted By Anonymous Louise, Asheboro, NC : 9:07 AM ET
I just finished the book and enjoyed is not the word - just thanks for a good book with no spin.
Posted By Anonymous Quinta Wilkison, Wichita Falls, Tx : 2:43 PM ET
I'm addicted to your show AC360. I've grown to admire and respect you as a person and as a trustworthy journalist. But this book has touched my soul deeply and in many ways has allowed me to understand myself - a world traveller who sees human suffering and transforms that into love and compassion for humanity. Thank you Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous Russell, Toronto, Canada : 5:53 PM ET
Dear Anderson, I just completed your book and when I read about you, I read about me. Thank you so very much for sharing your life with us, and helping us to see our own reflections a little clearer. After meeting you in a small setting after your broadcast of 360 on July 16, 2007, I saw you as an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life with whom we completely identify. I know the feeling when you say, “After he died, nothing ever felt the same again,” because the death of our community, ourselves, and our souls after Katrina leaves us feeling unsafe and unsure about the future. Nothing feels the same. One day, in my post-Katrina world, I pray that I may come full circle where my life is no longer defined as pre-K and post-K. I’m glad we could help you, share a little of ourselves with you, and that it helped you toward completing your journey. Yours sincerely, Sandra Maureen Schott, St. Bernard Parish, Arabi, LA – Hurricane Katrina Survivor
Posted By Anonymous Sandra Maureen Schott, St. Bernard Parish, Arabi, LA : 1:37 AM ET
Dear Anderson :-) Thanks for this book.This book is well worth reading.It is a stirring story.I was moved to tears by the tragic story.My mom underwent open heart by pass surgery April 26,2001.The operation was completed successfully.Also I always appreciate you and your staff for your vivid and realistic show wich contains sufficient enough information from the tragic field. On weekdays, I set the alarm for eleven a.m(Korea time)to watch "AC360" show live from CNN.Thanks again for sharing your life with us.You are everybody's friend.May you be happy and success at your work.
Posted By Anonymous jung-hae kim, seoul south korea : 3:32 AM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.