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Going There

Review

Going There

For many people, Katie Couric will always be associated with the “Today” show, but the before and after are not as well known. In her memoir, GOING THERE, Couric chronicles how she got started, her career path, what she has learned and the mistakes she has made, the losses she has endured, and what she is doing now.

Craving the spotlight from a very early age, Couric entertained her three older siblings and parents with her antics growing up. After college, she knew she wanted to work in journalism, so she started as an errand girl at ABC, then hopped over to CNN’s Washington, D.C. offices, and ultimately landed at “Today” where she became a household name and face.

"While the details of Couric’s career trajectory and her many ups and downs are engaging, her tales about operating in a predominantly male world stand out and will especially resonate with female readers."

While the details of Couric’s career trajectory and her many ups and downs are engaging, her tales about operating in a predominantly male world stand out and will especially resonate with female readers. It is difficult to read about her years at CBS, an incredibly misogynistic and male-driven entity; I empathized with her and all that she had to go through there. Sadly, this is not the only time that her gender creates issues for her, and she explains how she strived to combat those who tried to knock her down.

Couric’s career missteps, particularly her stint as the “CBS Evening News” anchor and her job at Yahoo, might not have occurred if those around her had provided better guidance and she had listened to them. To the casual and disinterested observer, her perky personality and constant smile (her trademark characteristics) do not lend themselves to some of the paths she chose. The flip side of that argument is that maybe these misguided career moves, while painful and publicly difficult for her, helped make her who she is today.

The personal and conversational tone that Couric strikes carries the book; she writes as if she is talking to a good friend as she relays her story. Readers will feel like they have spent time chatting with someone they know and, by the end, someone they know reasonably well. Her ability to look back on certain events with a fresh lens and frequently take responsibility for her actions versus making excuses for them makes her a more sympathetic figure. And occasionally she is harder on herself than the issue or event warrants, which is rarely seen in celebrity memoirs.

The title is apt because Couric does in fact “go there” as she documents her marriage to her first husband, Jay Monahan, their struggles, his cancer battle and his eventual death. Later in the book, she evaluates his Southern roots and obsession with Confederate reenactments and Robert E. Lee, and how these issues might have impacted their relationship in today’s world. She also details the destruction of her friendship with Matt Lauer amid his fall from grace and how hard it was to reconcile her interactions with him with his heinous acts against other women.

GOING THERE is an engrossing and entertaining memoir that will have special appeal to those who enjoyed watching Katie Couric on “Today” for 15 years.

Reviewed by Cindy Burnett on November 5, 2021

Going There
by Katie Couric

  • Publication Date: October 26, 2021
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316535869
  • ISBN-13: 9780316535861