“Compelling… this book couldn’t be more timely.” – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review
FROM THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism
Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.
Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.
From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.
None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.
Unbelievable is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?
Katy Tur is a correspondent for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. Tur is the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She lives in New York City.
…Tur's short and breezy campaign memoir is the story of how she soldiered on. It is also the familiar tale of how a relatively inexperienced woman is looked down on and underestimated, both by the candidate she covered and by her network superiors. By the end of Unbelievable it's clear how wrong they all were in thinking they could run over "Little Katy" (Trump's snide name for Tur)…Like a plucky Jean Arthur character in a '30s screwball comedy, Tur evolved into a seasoned campaign reporter and never let Trump get under her skin. Meanwhile, in between the personal blastsand in a pattern typical of his love/hate relationship with the pressTrump granted her interviews. He hated what reporters wrote about him but he could not exist without their attention. Tur does a good job explaining the dynamics of this weird, symbiotic relationship. The more personal story Tur tells in Unbelievable is also compelling.The New York Times Book Review - Jill Abramson
Compelling… this book couldn’t be more timely.Jill Abramson
On the potholed presidential trail during 2015–16, NBC reporter Tur was routinely scorned by Republican candidate Donald Trump, who called her disgraceful, third-rate, and more. During one rally, the atmosphere became so vicious that Tur had to be escorted to her car by the Secret Service. Incensed viewers responded vigorously by tweeting #imwithtur. Here's her ringside view of the campaign. With a 200,000-copy first printing.
One of Donald Trump's favorite media targets tells how she attained that distinction in this spry look at the 2016 campaign.NBC News correspondent Tur covered the presidential campaign from the very start, with Trump in her sights for more than 500 grueling days. At the beginning, she writes, she informed the disbelieving hosts of Today that, even after Trump's opening remark that "when Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," he was polling strongly in bellwether New Hampshire. "Trump wasn't part of anyone's plan," she writes, adding, "for that matter, neither was I." However, Trump managed to tap into a deep well of resentment and anger among disaffected voters who were content to trade in old notions of truth and decency for Trump's wild ride. Trump's own encounters with Tur were just as resentful and angry: he complained that she wouldn't look at him and was distorting words she was quoting verbatim, and she had a special knack for upsetting him. "His rage didn't register in the moment," she writes in a post-mortem of an early encounter. "I thought it was all part of his shtick. The reality show star. But watching his face on-screen, it's clear Trump isn't playing." Still, praise came from the author's colleagues, and even, on occasion, from Trump himself, who grudgingly allowed that Tur was better than most reporters. In Tennessee, "he tried to introduce me to a crowd…a hand on my shoulder like I was his wife." Trump's anger, page after page of it, is discomfiting, and Tur's reactions to it seem to verge on symptoms of PTSD. Even so, her own back-of-the-envelope analyses are borne out by subsequent events, as when she writes, "Trump is crude, and in his halo of crudeness other people get to be crude as well." A thoughtful account of covering what the author rightly calls "the most unlikely, exciting, ugly, trying, and all-around bizarre campaign in American history."