Hot Best Seller

Off the Record

Availability: Ready to download
 

Peter Mansbridge invites us to walk the beat with him in this entertaining and revealing look into his life and career, from his early broadcasting days in the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill to the fast-paced news desk of CBC’s flagship show, The National, where he reported on stories from around the world. Today, Peter Mansbridge is often recognized for hi Peter Mansbridge invites us to walk the beat with him in this entertaining and revealing look into his life and career, from his early broadcasting days in the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill to the fast-paced news desk of CBC’s flagship show, The National, where he reported on stories from around the world. Today, Peter Mansbridge is often recognized for his distinctive deep voice, which calmly delivered the news for over fifty years. But ironically, he never considered becoming a broadcaster. In some ways, though, Peter was prepared for a life as a newscaster from an early age. Every night around the dinner table, his family would debate the news of the day, from Cold War scandals and Vietnam to Elvis Presley and the Beatles. So in 1968, when by chance a CBC radio manager in Churchill, Manitoba, offered him a spot hosting the local late night music program, Peter embraced the opportunity. Without a teacher, he tuned into broadcasts from across Canada, the US, and the UK to learn the basic skills of a journalist and he eventually parlayed his position into his first news job. Less than twenty years later, he became the chief correspondent and anchor of The National. With humour and heart, Peter shares never-before-told stories from his distinguished career, including reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the horror of 9/11, walking the beaches of Normandy with Tom Brokaw, and talking with Canadian prime ministers from John Diefenbaker to Justin Trudeau. But it’s far from all serious. Peter also writes about finding the “cure” for baldness in China and landing the role of Peter Moosebridge in Disney’s Zootopia. From the first (and only) time he was late to broadcast to his poignant interview with the late Gord Downie, these are the moments that have stuck with him. After years of interviewing others, Peter turns the lens on himself and takes us behind the scenes of his life on the frontlines of journalism as he reflects on the toll of being in the spotlight, the importance of diversity in the newsroom, the role of the media then and now, and the responsibilities we all bear as citizens in an increasingly global world.


Compare

Peter Mansbridge invites us to walk the beat with him in this entertaining and revealing look into his life and career, from his early broadcasting days in the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill to the fast-paced news desk of CBC’s flagship show, The National, where he reported on stories from around the world. Today, Peter Mansbridge is often recognized for hi Peter Mansbridge invites us to walk the beat with him in this entertaining and revealing look into his life and career, from his early broadcasting days in the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill to the fast-paced news desk of CBC’s flagship show, The National, where he reported on stories from around the world. Today, Peter Mansbridge is often recognized for his distinctive deep voice, which calmly delivered the news for over fifty years. But ironically, he never considered becoming a broadcaster. In some ways, though, Peter was prepared for a life as a newscaster from an early age. Every night around the dinner table, his family would debate the news of the day, from Cold War scandals and Vietnam to Elvis Presley and the Beatles. So in 1968, when by chance a CBC radio manager in Churchill, Manitoba, offered him a spot hosting the local late night music program, Peter embraced the opportunity. Without a teacher, he tuned into broadcasts from across Canada, the US, and the UK to learn the basic skills of a journalist and he eventually parlayed his position into his first news job. Less than twenty years later, he became the chief correspondent and anchor of The National. With humour and heart, Peter shares never-before-told stories from his distinguished career, including reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the horror of 9/11, walking the beaches of Normandy with Tom Brokaw, and talking with Canadian prime ministers from John Diefenbaker to Justin Trudeau. But it’s far from all serious. Peter also writes about finding the “cure” for baldness in China and landing the role of Peter Moosebridge in Disney’s Zootopia. From the first (and only) time he was late to broadcast to his poignant interview with the late Gord Downie, these are the moments that have stuck with him. After years of interviewing others, Peter turns the lens on himself and takes us behind the scenes of his life on the frontlines of journalism as he reflects on the toll of being in the spotlight, the importance of diversity in the newsroom, the role of the media then and now, and the responsibilities we all bear as citizens in an increasingly global world.

30 review for Off the Record

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Off The Record is the memoir of retired journalist and news anchor Peter Mansbridge. Last year, I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Peter Mansbridge’s book, Extraordinary Canadians, a look at everyday overachievers who receive little to no fanfare day-to-day. With Off The Record, Mansbridge turns the spotlight on himself bringing us his life story inside one of the year’s most anticipated books. In his memoir, Mansbridge brings the reader into his early years as an immigrant from Eng Off The Record is the memoir of retired journalist and news anchor Peter Mansbridge. Last year, I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Peter Mansbridge’s book, Extraordinary Canadians, a look at everyday overachievers who receive little to no fanfare day-to-day. With Off The Record, Mansbridge turns the spotlight on himself bringing us his life story inside one of the year’s most anticipated books. In his memoir, Mansbridge brings the reader into his early years as an immigrant from England, growing up in the Glebe, a middle/upper-class Ottawa neighborhood. Several years later, an off-chance meeting with a CBC employee in Manitoba allowed Peter to leave his airline job to explore a career in radio. From there, as a reader, you’re off to the races. Peter keeps each chapter brief as he unfolds his life story in what is almost akin to a series of anecdotes. I would go so far as to prefer this storytelling method to some memoirs out there that come across as over-indulgent with every aspect of one’s life scrutinized and analyzed to death. The subject matter here is light and breezy. You aren’t going to find a whole hell of a lot of controversial topics in these pages as Peter is more concerned with entertaining his readers and informing them just how much work went into anchoring a national news program. His reflections into covering major stories like 9/11 were eye-opening, showing just to how tough it must have been to be the calm voice in the room when the world is on fire. I don’t know if this one will end up in my honorable mentions, let alone my best-of-2021 list, but Off The Record is a solid memoir with wide-spread appeal. A good palate cleanser of a read that can be enjoyed in small bites.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Really enjoyed his insights into many national and international events and the participants that occurred prior and during his long career.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Teddy

    I moved to Canada from the U.S.A. in January 1993.  First on a work visa, then as a landed Immigrant, and eventually became a citizen. I first learned about Canadian politics from Peter Mansbridge, CBC News Chief Correspondent and anchor of The National on CBC.  His news style/personality, felt like a personal welcome to Canada, even though I have never had the opportunity to meet him in person. I was so sad when he retired. So, when I was invited to read his new book, ‘Off The Record’, I jumped I moved to Canada from the U.S.A. in January 1993.  First on a work visa, then as a landed Immigrant, and eventually became a citizen. I first learned about Canadian politics from Peter Mansbridge, CBC News Chief Correspondent and anchor of The National on CBC.  His news style/personality, felt like a personal welcome to Canada, even though I have never had the opportunity to meet him in person. I was so sad when he retired. So, when I was invited to read his new book, ‘Off The Record’, I jumped at the chance.  In it, he recounts his start in Churchill, Manitoba to his leap to The National.  Through his stories, he introduced me to Knowlton Nash, who was the anchor of The National before Mansbridge. He wrote about our past prime ministers.  Being interested in politics, I had read about them but he shared antidotes that I did not know which made them even more human to me.  He wrote about some of our national treasures like Jann Arden. He recounted his coverage of the Berlin Wall coming down and 9/11.  In turns he had me laughing and crying with his serious stories and the fun he had, such as the time he was asked to play the role of Peter Moosebridge in the Disney movie, ‘Zootopia’. LOL! There was his poignant interview with Gord Downie before he passed away.  I saw that interview and he made me cry again, as he recounted it. To me, Peter Mansbridge is a national treasure! To me, he is the Canadian equivalent to Walter Cronkite. He also wrote about Cronkite and other U.S. anchors. This is a book that I am sure I will revisit.  I am sure Mr. Mansbridge has many more stories to tell and I hope he writes another book.  I will definitely read it! Perhaps covid will not be an issue and he will tour with the next book and stop in Vancouver so, I can see him in person and get his books signed.  Even that very brief interaction would mean so much to me! Thank you, Peter Mansbridge, for welcoming me to Canada and teaching me about the many facets of the Canadian Way!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Mackintosh

    Love that this is a book of short chapters. Easy to read in spurts. Well written with some humour. Really interesting behind the scenes stories of a tv newscaster life. #indigoemployee

  5. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Canadian icon Peter Mansbridge writes about his life and how he came to be a journalist and ended up being one of the most well-known and trusted people in Canada. I like the way he told his story: short vignettes that made his story absolutely fly by. The reader definitely feels like he’s talking directly to them; his voice shines through. It’s not a memoir in the traditional sense, but more a recount of all the moments in his professional life that have had an impact on him (and often, the wor Canadian icon Peter Mansbridge writes about his life and how he came to be a journalist and ended up being one of the most well-known and trusted people in Canada. I like the way he told his story: short vignettes that made his story absolutely fly by. The reader definitely feels like he’s talking directly to them; his voice shines through. It’s not a memoir in the traditional sense, but more a recount of all the moments in his professional life that have had an impact on him (and often, the world)... kind of a behind the scenes look at world events, all told in a conversational tone and often with a touch of humour. As he told the story of how hard American broadcasting network CBS tried to woo him away from Canada earlier in his career, it made me glad that he turned down all that fame and money and chose to stay in Canada. What a loss it would have been for us not to have had him covering the news for us every evening!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A mildly interesting set of vignettes about Mansbridge's career in broadcasting. The stories were brief, and didn't have much depth. Also didn't go much into his personal life, which was really what I was curious about. A mildly interesting set of vignettes about Mansbridge's career in broadcasting. The stories were brief, and didn't have much depth. Also didn't go much into his personal life, which was really what I was curious about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    Peter Mansbridge was born in England and moved to Ottawa, ON, with his family when he was young. He didn't graduated from high school and instead joined the Royal Canadian for a couple years. Looking for a job, he ended up as a ticket agent/baggage handler in at the small Churchill Airport in Churchill, MB. The manager of a local CBC radio station liked his voice when he was doing announcements and hired him part time as a night time host. From there, he moved up and eventually became news ancho Peter Mansbridge was born in England and moved to Ottawa, ON, with his family when he was young. He didn't graduated from high school and instead joined the Royal Canadian for a couple years. Looking for a job, he ended up as a ticket agent/baggage handler in at the small Churchill Airport in Churchill, MB. The manager of a local CBC radio station liked his voice when he was doing announcements and hired him part time as a night time host. From there, he moved up and eventually became news anchor of CBC’s The National (from which he retired in 2017). This book is full of his random stories, starting with his family and childhood, moving from England to Malaya and finally Ottawa. He then tells us how he ended up with a broadcasting career, which no education or formal training. From there he tells of the wide variety of stories he has covered over the years, including the wars in the Middle East, being on an icebreaker in the Northern Passage, covering Princess Diana's death and 9/11, meeting world leaders and even telling of the Friendly Giant's death. I liked this book and the writing style. It is written at a high level and with honesty and at times humor. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2021/09...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Off the Record is a series of anecdotes by former CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge. They’re generally in chronological order, starting with his childhood and ending with his retirement from The National in 2017. Many of these stories give you a glimpse into what goes into producing the network’s flagship newscast, while others describe the people and places he encountered over his illustrious career. Some are folksy, while a few are poignant. It’s easy to read one or two chapters whenever you ha Off the Record is a series of anecdotes by former CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge. They’re generally in chronological order, starting with his childhood and ending with his retirement from The National in 2017. Many of these stories give you a glimpse into what goes into producing the network’s flagship newscast, while others describe the people and places he encountered over his illustrious career. Some are folksy, while a few are poignant. It’s easy to read one or two chapters whenever you have a couple spare minutes, because they’re not very long. I wouldn’t call this a memoir, since he left out parts of his life (for example, there’s no mention of his marriage to fellow newscaster Wendy Mesley). I found the book entertaining nonetheless. I watched Mansbridge on The National virtually all of my adult life, so it was a fun trip down memory lane, recalling various people and events. The 73-year-old is still keeping himself quite busy, producing his weekday podcast The Bridge and a couple documentaries a year.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I had spent a lot of time reading fiction and was ready for some non-fiction. This book didn’t disappoint. I always knew “of” Peter Mansbridge. I would watch him on election night. I would catch his news updates during hockey playoffs. I enjoyed when he would appear on a sports radio show I liked in Toronto. He always had entertaining stories so I thought, this book sounds interesting. I feel like I learned about Peter as a person, what he believes in and some of the things he values. It was like I had spent a lot of time reading fiction and was ready for some non-fiction. This book didn’t disappoint. I always knew “of” Peter Mansbridge. I would watch him on election night. I would catch his news updates during hockey playoffs. I enjoyed when he would appear on a sports radio show I liked in Toronto. He always had entertaining stories so I thought, this book sounds interesting. I feel like I learned about Peter as a person, what he believes in and some of the things he values. It was like the thread that wove the story together. I also feel like I learned about people, places and events that happened in the world. Things I remember as a kid, a university student and then as an adult. His front row seat to so much was wonderful. To be able “sit beside” him and hear the backstory, the person and the lead up was great. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Juniper

    Very readable vignettes. Some funny moments. Gossipy and light. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan Babin

    Peter Mansbridge is kind of an icon in my and I'm sure everyone else's household. He's a bit like Tim Hortons and poutine and as a kid/young adult and eventually adult hearing the dun-dun-dun chime of The National was just apart of everyday life. Having the opportunity to read his autobiography is an extreme privilege and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this. I'm going to get this book for family as Christmas presents because it's definitely a must-read for Canadians everywhere. Thank yo Peter Mansbridge is kind of an icon in my and I'm sure everyone else's household. He's a bit like Tim Hortons and poutine and as a kid/young adult and eventually adult hearing the dun-dun-dun chime of The National was just apart of everyday life. Having the opportunity to read his autobiography is an extreme privilege and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this. I'm going to get this book for family as Christmas presents because it's definitely a must-read for Canadians everywhere. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for this opportunity and to Peter himself for revealing his life to us!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    Peter Mansbridge is a Canadian icon recognizable instantly by sight and voice; after all, the man was in the public broadcasting (TV and Radio) for FIVE decades. I read his earlier book which he co-authored with a senior executive producer from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and enjoyed it very much. Off the Record is more like a "brag book" in which Mansbridge wrote about the stellar opportunities he was afforded in his long and profitable career trajectory. Here are a few things I Peter Mansbridge is a Canadian icon recognizable instantly by sight and voice; after all, the man was in the public broadcasting (TV and Radio) for FIVE decades. I read his earlier book which he co-authored with a senior executive producer from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and enjoyed it very much. Off the Record is more like a "brag book" in which Mansbridge wrote about the stellar opportunities he was afforded in his long and profitable career trajectory. Here are a few things I like about the book: 1) It is structured in short chapters showcasing vignettes of events and happenings to which the author had a "front row seat". 2) I like the postscripts, at the end of the short chapters, which provide current updates. 3) I like the honesty and smartly crafted re-telling which demonstrates Mansbridge, similar as in his heyday, as neutral. On TV he wore a poker face; through his words and pages he did not divert. 4) I like the conversational way in which he describes things as if he is sitting face-to-face on an interview with his audience. His wit and humour shine through and make for easy reading. Peter Mansbridge is to Canadians what Walter Cronkite is to Americans. After all, Walter Cronkite was his hero and someone Mansbridge always looked up to. This non-fiction book is definitely not a memoir nor an autobiography. His personal life is still left out although he did offer snippets which I found most interesting. The book showcases moments in the author's professional life. With much humility, Mansbridge wrote about how "he never made it to grade thirteen and senior matriculation." He never made it to University and with "no experience. No background in the business..." he went on to incredible heights. He was also honourably discharged from the navy when he was still trying to find out what he might be good at. Often referring to himself as a high school drop-out, Mansbridge seems himself amazed at how far he had risen. Mansbridge, at the time of his retirement, was a news anchor of the coveted spot titled The National. In 1987, Mansbridge was making 150K at the CBC but he went on to earn in the millions by the time he retired; a salary he described as "roughly the same salary that I had turned down thirty years before at CBS" in the USA. He stayed loyal to CBC remembering that "they had taken me from nowhere and been very good to me." Many times in his book, Mansbridge comments on the serendipity of his "airport connections" when unforeseen opportunities landed in his lap. For a start he comments very regularly how his "great voice" and a public announcement he made while a baggage handler for Transair in an almost remote airport in chilly Churchill, Manitoba, landed him a job. What should be noted is, not only how lucky one can say Mansbridge was, but the way broadcasting was in those days. In Mansbridge own words, "it took awhile for diversity to come to the CBC". In fact, I would add that it was a "white boys club". In describing what is the "it" factor or his je ne sais quoi, Mansbridge also humbly acknowledges that his "it" was based on trust and truth but he elaborates thus: When I think of how I got to those moments I mentioned, the answer is by standing on the shoulders of and being propped up by smart men and women I worked with in my career even when sometimes, they could have left me floundering. I haven't always behaved well. I haven't always deserved the opportunities I've had. But others either covered for me or found ways to smooth over any issues caused by my actions. I'm not talking about gross offences just silly things that I've seen others stumble over while I seemingly got a pass and was able to move onto "greater glory," if you will. I think that paragraph is very telling as it is. But let me not distract from the fact that Mansbridge is a very talented man. He also knows how to nurture and make the right connections and relationships. He refers to his many steady friends and their annual jaunts to golf courses in Scotland and Florida. Mansbridge came to Canada with his parents as a very young British immigrant; his father had a stellar career both in Britain and abroad as a diplomat and then in Canada where he became Chief Deputy Minister of Health in Alberta. Mansbridge acknowledges his privilege background and summarily alluded to this in his commentary on his Peter Jennings connection: ...We both came from successful families, we both grew up in Ottawa, we both dropped out of high school, neither of us graduated from university or college, and we both began our journalism careers in local broadcasting. And, obviously, we had similar taste in women... which brings me to the Mansbridge charm factor. He was married three times but this did not appear in the book except for a few sparse bits of his current wife, Cynthia Dale, and their current house in beautiful Stratford which in addition to its fine theatre, produced Justin Bieber and Lloyd Robertson (another successful TV personality) among others. I am a frequent visitor to Stratford myself enjoying many performances including musicals starring Cynthia Dale. I love that it has a town called Shakespeare and river called Avon. As journalists, Mansbridge explains "anchoring has its privileges ...we got to travel to some of the most spectacular places in the world...I've been around the world a few times... with millions of miles in the air". All of this on the corporation's dime. Bethlehem, Baghdad, Moscow, Germany, the breath-taking and beautifully spectacular Canadian North are just a scant few of the many exciting places mentioned in this book. Mansbridge covered a multitude of world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, royal weddings and funerals, the elections of a vast majority of Canada's prime ministers, state funerals, royal and papal visits, heads of states and U.S. presidential visits, space travel, natural disasters of a vast scale like the tsunami affecting Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and others, wars and ongoing neighbourly conflicts such as Palestine and Israel, and countless others (too many to mention). No wonder this book has 70 chapters and countless name droppings. One is hard pressed not to like the man. I enjoyed the insights he offered on systemic racism, Indigenous rights, the state of affairs on news and broadcasting today - "bullshit baffles brains" and "the blurring of the lines between traditional news and opinion." He is quick to point out and caution us not to drink from "a polluted news well" which is how he describes social media. Mostly I can detect how truly Canadian, Mansbridge is and how proud he is of the ways in which the world see us. I was touched by a story he highlighted from Sri Lanka: They were volunteers, just three Canadians who cared and whose caring affected a little girl's view of the outside world and, in particular, Canada. For the rest of her life, she'll always remember Canada. Whenever she sees our flag or hear our country's name, she'll think of those nurses and how they came across the ocean just to help her and her friends. It's selfless actions like that, that make Canada admired by many and the envy of the world. Mansbridge went on to rub shoulders with the who's who, became Chancellor emeritus at Mount Allison University, received numerous awards including the distinguished Officer of the Order of Canada, was bestowed numerous honorary doctoral degrees, and as he likes to say - Not bad for a baggage handler from Churchill, Manitoba. He is also proud of his "Peter Moosebridge" moniker in Disney's Zootopia. This book which I found some parts (and here I am borrowing one of Peter's own phrases) to be "a bit plodding, even boring at times" is for me, a rounded up five stars book. I read it as an eBook but would have loved to see the hard copy for the many pictures included. Yes - his lots of hair era to his current distinguished baldpate. With podcasts, documentaries, speaking engagements (which was very controversial when he was at CBC), and books, Peter Mansbridge is expected to enjoy a wonderful and monetary filled retirement. Thank you, Peter for sharing the wonderful highlights of your incredible career and providing your own perspective in retirement and "off the record" which by the way is a very smart title for the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Mufford

    A wonderful journey across Canada and around the world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charles Beale

    Goodreads: Peter Mansbridge: Off the Record, Simon & Schuster, 2021 Known to many over time as Mr. CBC, Peter Mansbridge catalogues his life’s work in Off the Record. While he was born in the UK in 1948, his family emigrated to Ottawa, Canada as a young boy when his decorated diplomatic father Stanley was offered government contract work. A self-proclaimed poor student, Mansbridge chomps at the bit to explore the bigger world. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy for two years, but couldn’t prog Goodreads: Peter Mansbridge: Off the Record, Simon & Schuster, 2021 Known to many over time as Mr. CBC, Peter Mansbridge catalogues his life’s work in Off the Record. While he was born in the UK in 1948, his family emigrated to Ottawa, Canada as a young boy when his decorated diplomatic father Stanley was offered government contract work. A self-proclaimed poor student, Mansbridge chomps at the bit to explore the bigger world. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy for two years, but couldn’t progress further due to him not having a high school diploma; not unlike fellow broadcaster, and equally successful Peter Jennings. Mansbridge’s first stint was a less-than-exciting manual labour job for Transair in Fort Churchill, Manitoba. It was here, however, that his broadcasting career took flight as a fill-in host for radio station CHFC - another less than exciting debut. Mansbridge grew to love the North and would return many times during his tenure with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a variety of feature stores - and the Polar bears. Peter Mansbridge writes his autobiography in the vernacular; it’s almost as if he’s sitting across from you in a bar and retelling you his adventures. Some of the phrasing is less than erudite, but this self-described common man shines through each and every one of his short stories. Mansbridge eventually had a number of much more lucrative offers from US news media giants, but in the end, he remained with Mother CBC until he retired in 2016 on Canada’s 150th birthday in 2016. He’s a ‘lady’s man’ with a dwindling head of hair. Peter marries three times, first to Part Dhillon, then broadcaster Wendy Mesley. He’s currently married to actor Cynthia Dale. Mansbridge has three children in all and two siblings. Off the Record is chock-a-block with interactions of the great and small. Along the way he tells the history of the burgeoning CBC as a world class news organization. There’s him meeting presidents, prime ministers and even a private audience with Pope John II, but he also plays soccer with destitute children in Sri Lanka, and buys former USSR hats and medals from a Soviet army soldier who knocks on his hotel room door in Moscow. Some of his most difficult interviews were with Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. There were technical glitches abound like the lack of electrical power provided while setting up for a feature in Tiananmen Square, China. Peter’s Mansbridge’s greatest honour was the Order of Canada, but the down-to-earth humanist made many friends across the globe that resonate with him just as strongly. Off the Record details a Canadian life well-lived. It is indeed a good read. Charles Beale

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I was torn between giving this a 4 or a 5. (Goodreads needs a rating system out of ten!) I decided on a five simply because of how quickly I finished reading it, always a sign of a captivating and well written book. Mansbridge was the face of CBC news for over 30 years before his retirement as a network anchor in 2017. His book follows a similar format to fellow Canadian Alex Trebek's, in that rather than a standard autobiography, the book is a series of collected anecdotes and stories, presente I was torn between giving this a 4 or a 5. (Goodreads needs a rating system out of ten!) I decided on a five simply because of how quickly I finished reading it, always a sign of a captivating and well written book. Mansbridge was the face of CBC news for over 30 years before his retirement as a network anchor in 2017. His book follows a similar format to fellow Canadian Alex Trebek's, in that rather than a standard autobiography, the book is a series of collected anecdotes and stories, presented in chronological order. For the most part, each short chapter stands alone with nothing muc to link each to previous or subsequent ones. I think this style of memoir makes to a quick and engaging read. Mansbridge doesn't offer too many surprising behind the scenes tales. Some of his anecdotes involve connecting with famous people and political leaders, while others involve ordinary people. A number talk about some of his CBC colleagues. He does offer a couple of chapters on the state of journalism, addressing to a point the lack of trust that many in society have in journalists today. He does try to see both sides of the story and reiterates how he worked hard to keep any biases out of his reporting, but then damages his crediblity somewhat with a couple of hyperbolic statements about Trump. That was my only minor issue in what is an interesting look at Canadian broadcasting and political history as seem through the life of someone whose job it was for over 30 years to describe that history to Canadians as it was happening.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    Off the Record taught me more than I expected. It focuses on the behind-the-scenes stories of Canadian news anchor Peter Mansbridge’s iconic career. I feel like he has been a household name in Canadian homes for an entire generation. He’s covered everything over the course of his career and he has so many interesting stories that he shares in this book. This book is written in a casual tone, like a friend talking to you, which I found really comforting. I have always been interested in history, bu Off the Record taught me more than I expected. It focuses on the behind-the-scenes stories of Canadian news anchor Peter Mansbridge’s iconic career. I feel like he has been a household name in Canadian homes for an entire generation. He’s covered everything over the course of his career and he has so many interesting stories that he shares in this book. This book is written in a casual tone, like a friend talking to you, which I found really comforting. I have always been interested in history, but didn’t study it past high school. Even though these stories weren’t that long ago (in the grand scheme of things), I ended up expanding my knowledge on events and places thanks to Peter Mansbridge’s stories. I also loved seeing all the photos to go along with these stories! One of the most heartwarming aspects of the book is hearing how the rest of the world speaks or refers to Canadians. I really appreciated reading those stories and they made me feel proud of my country. Thank you @thepetermansbridge for giving us a glimpse into your incredible career and sharing these stories from your own perspective. This book is really special. Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for my gifted advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pankaj

    Peter Mansbridge writes about the "two 'T's" - trust and truth. To me he represented both from the first time I saw him on television in Canada after arriving here in 1996. The National became a mainstay of our after-dinner, before bedtime ritual. Being the gentleman and an honourable man that he is, one did not expect any "juicy" behind-the-scene revelations from Peter. He does not disappoint. Readers are re-introduced to events and persona through Peter's experiences in bringing all these stor Peter Mansbridge writes about the "two 'T's" - trust and truth. To me he represented both from the first time I saw him on television in Canada after arriving here in 1996. The National became a mainstay of our after-dinner, before bedtime ritual. Being the gentleman and an honourable man that he is, one did not expect any "juicy" behind-the-scene revelations from Peter. He does not disappoint. Readers are re-introduced to events and persona through Peter's experiences in bringing all these stories into the public domain, eloquently, respectfully and with that special Mansbridge touch. Whether writing about the Vietnamese mother thrusting her baby into Peter's arms for "safekeeping", Gord Downie's last interview, failure on the part of all governments to honour their commitments to the indigenous communities or the contributions of the many colleagues and members of his production teams over the years who helped him get to where he is today, Peter is generous in sharing his views and expressing gratitude for the opportunities that came his way and the help he received. A pleasant, easy read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maurice Tougas

    If you're looking for insight into Canadian politics and TV news ... you may have to look elsewhere. Despite the juicy 'off the record' title, Peter Mansbridge, the longtime face of CBC News, reveals pretty much nothing. Perhaps because he was the impartial, unflappable anchor of The National for decades, Mansbridge remains pretty much opinion-free in this memoir. While I would have loved some behind-the-scenes gossip about the CBC or the prime ministers and other luminaries he has met, Mansbridg If you're looking for insight into Canadian politics and TV news ... you may have to look elsewhere. Despite the juicy 'off the record' title, Peter Mansbridge, the longtime face of CBC News, reveals pretty much nothing. Perhaps because he was the impartial, unflappable anchor of The National for decades, Mansbridge remains pretty much opinion-free in this memoir. While I would have loved some behind-the-scenes gossip about the CBC or the prime ministers and other luminaries he has met, Mansbridge keeps his opinions to himself. I would love to hear this opinion of the ultra-work CBC and how it has fallen from grace in the eyes of millions of Canadians, but Mansbridge is a CBC guy to his bones and says nothing negative about the network. (To his credit, he turned down offers from CBS to host their morning news show out of loyalty to the CBC, and to Canada.) Still, while Off the Record is pretty lightweight, I enjoyed it. As a former reporter, I am envious of his incredible, globe-trotting career. Since it's so hard to find good Canadian non-fiction, I recommend it. Just don't expect any revelations.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A man (and piece) of Canadian history… Peter Mansbridge, the CBC, The National. Huge pillars in my household growing up where the one channel you had, had it all. Hockey, Sesame Street, the news. And this news anchor, from my childhood to adulthood, was the face of it all. His deep, calming voice imparted all the news of the day – political and otherwise – and really was a mainstay in any household on my block. Where Walter Cronkite was the face and voice of US news, Peter Mansbridge was his Cana A man (and piece) of Canadian history… Peter Mansbridge, the CBC, The National. Huge pillars in my household growing up where the one channel you had, had it all. Hockey, Sesame Street, the news. And this news anchor, from my childhood to adulthood, was the face of it all. His deep, calming voice imparted all the news of the day – political and otherwise – and really was a mainstay in any household on my block. Where Walter Cronkite was the face and voice of US news, Peter Mansbridge was his Canadian counterpart… I couldn’t wait to hear the ‘behind the scenes’ of it all and he provided it, in that same mesmerizing voice. So many of the events of the day I can remember and to hear it all, feel it through his eyes, was a refresher and an eye-opener. Who didn’t want to be that fly on the wall, observing history in the making. And he got to be a part of so much of it. From the content to the writing style, this book invited me in to enjoy both new and old stories of our country and its place in the world. And enjoy I did! *I happily reviewed this book **Thank you to NetGalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawna Richardson

    I enjoyed reading this memoir. Peter Mansbridge has covered so many events in Canada, and in the rest of the world for Canada. He speaks of how many people have commented to him that they have experienced the events through his lenses, and that is very true. The one part I particularly appreciated though was when he described how Mike Duffy had saved the day for some news event through his quick thinking and ingenuity. Peter described it as one of ‘the most remarkable feat of peacetime journalis I enjoyed reading this memoir. Peter Mansbridge has covered so many events in Canada, and in the rest of the world for Canada. He speaks of how many people have commented to him that they have experienced the events through his lenses, and that is very true. The one part I particularly appreciated though was when he described how Mike Duffy had saved the day for some news event through his quick thinking and ingenuity. Peter described it as one of ‘the most remarkable feat of peacetime journalism’ that he had ever with. He concluded that chapter by saying ‘Senator Mike Duffy has certainly had his issues since that day but no one can take his reporter era away from him. He broke many a story over those years and has the awards to show for it’. In this time of cancel culture where a person is not even allowed to mention the good certain people have done for fear of a public outcry it was refreshing to see Peter Mansbridge affirm that there can be more than one side to a person’s history.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Seward

    Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for a gifted ARC in exchange for a honest review. As with the other Peter Mansbridge book I read (Extraordinary Canadians) I was expecting it to be a good read, but I assumed with my short attention span that stories told by a newsperson would probably force me to put the book down soon after starting. And, as with Extraordinary Canadians, I was proven wrong. The stories in his memoir Off The Record showed compassion, empathy, humanitarianism and love for h Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for a gifted ARC in exchange for a honest review. As with the other Peter Mansbridge book I read (Extraordinary Canadians) I was expecting it to be a good read, but I assumed with my short attention span that stories told by a newsperson would probably force me to put the book down soon after starting. And, as with Extraordinary Canadians, I was proven wrong. The stories in his memoir Off The Record showed compassion, empathy, humanitarianism and love for his fellow human beings. I loved that each story was short and to the point without losing any of the context of each situation. Peter told honest stories, even if it uncovered his past mistakes. There were stories in this book that made me smile, and some that brought a tear to my eye. Since the book is already out, I listened to some of this book as well and it really brought home how humble and down to earth Peter really is.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    I was so looking forward to reading this book but was devastated that it was so disappointing. I got about 1/4 of the way through and decided not to finish it (there are far too many other books begging to be read). I’ve always loved Peter Mansbridge on air and was delighted that he’d written this book, but once I got into it I was so disappointed. There was definitely very little depth beyond what we already saw during his newscasts (“so-and-so knew the subject so told me what to ask”) and very I was so looking forward to reading this book but was devastated that it was so disappointing. I got about 1/4 of the way through and decided not to finish it (there are far too many other books begging to be read). I’ve always loved Peter Mansbridge on air and was delighted that he’d written this book, but once I got into it I was so disappointed. There was definitely very little depth beyond what we already saw during his newscasts (“so-and-so knew the subject so told me what to ask”) and very little personal background (“while I was there I got married and had kids.”). It basically seem d to be a recap of interviews and newscasts I had seen him do, with little tidbits thrown in of some of the behind-the-scenes workings, as well as stories of how he ended up in the field of broadcast journalism (interesting, but not fascinating…)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 stars. Peter Mansbridge is a goddamn national treasure. I listened to this on audiobook which was a straight up pleasure to hear him tell the stories of his life’s work. I laughed and cried. His commentary on diversity (or lack thereof) and of indigenous rights is something you don’t hear from boomers that often. It’s interesting that he got to where he did with basically no education, no training, just a lot of luck (and likely also being a white man), which is also kind of acknowledges. My 4.5 stars. Peter Mansbridge is a goddamn national treasure. I listened to this on audiobook which was a straight up pleasure to hear him tell the stories of his life’s work. I laughed and cried. His commentary on diversity (or lack thereof) and of indigenous rights is something you don’t hear from boomers that often. It’s interesting that he got to where he did with basically no education, no training, just a lot of luck (and likely also being a white man), which is also kind of acknowledges. My only complaint was that i didn’t necessarily “get” the divisions between the different sections. But didn’t really matter.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Thornton

    Off the Record by Peter Mansbridge is a fairly entertaining read by an iconic Media Personality, and someone I grew up watching. Most of the major events of my life have been viewed through his lens, and I’m thankful for that. Given the vast amount of events and personalities Mansbridge has covered over his career, I was expecting a more journalistic “Off the Record” behind the scenes look into some of those events. However, that really wasn’t the focus of his book. It is more of a light hearted Off the Record by Peter Mansbridge is a fairly entertaining read by an iconic Media Personality, and someone I grew up watching. Most of the major events of my life have been viewed through his lens, and I’m thankful for that. Given the vast amount of events and personalities Mansbridge has covered over his career, I was expecting a more journalistic “Off the Record” behind the scenes look into some of those events. However, that really wasn’t the focus of his book. It is more of a light hearted review of his career. Either way, he is a very interesting personality. I sure would love to see a book of some of those Off the Record conversations.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Raimo Wirkkala

    Mansbridge takes the easy way out by producing a memoir-by-anecdote, which is fine because, for the most part, the anecdotes are good ones. This is an easy-peasy, enjoyable read because the anecdotes and recollections are presented in the literary equivalent of the 'sound-bites' so familiar to the author. This approach keeps the pages turning. It also deflects attention from the fact that Mansbridge isn't giving you all that much about his private life or the inner-machinations at the CBC which Mansbridge takes the easy way out by producing a memoir-by-anecdote, which is fine because, for the most part, the anecdotes are good ones. This is an easy-peasy, enjoyable read because the anecdotes and recollections are presented in the literary equivalent of the 'sound-bites' so familiar to the author. This approach keeps the pages turning. It also deflects attention from the fact that Mansbridge isn't giving you all that much about his private life or the inner-machinations at the CBC which he was witness to for 50-years.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Zettel

    This was a fascinating read. I have admired the work of career of Mr. Mansbridge for decades. What he brought to the journalistic profession is impressive to say the least. And being a former journalist, to hear his perspective of the state of news, the relentless calls for more transparency and faster information sharing, and stick handling the dreaded ‘fake news’ dogma out there - we (journalists and media companies alike) need to get back to the basics of reporting and report on facts not opi This was a fascinating read. I have admired the work of career of Mr. Mansbridge for decades. What he brought to the journalistic profession is impressive to say the least. And being a former journalist, to hear his perspective of the state of news, the relentless calls for more transparency and faster information sharing, and stick handling the dreaded ‘fake news’ dogma out there - we (journalists and media companies alike) need to get back to the basics of reporting and report on facts not opinion. This is worth the read. Trust me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

    I loved this book and when I was done, I told my wife she needed to read it because it was a Canadian story. Not a story by a Canadian, but a story about a Canadian, one who is proud to be a Canadian, and one who has been a trusted Canadian story-teller for generations. In the book, there is a brief moment where Mansbridge talks about earning viewers trust. He had mine! Whenever there was a major story unfolding, I had no hesitation as to where I was going - to the CBC and Peter Mansbridge. Than I loved this book and when I was done, I told my wife she needed to read it because it was a Canadian story. Not a story by a Canadian, but a story about a Canadian, one who is proud to be a Canadian, and one who has been a trusted Canadian story-teller for generations. In the book, there is a brief moment where Mansbridge talks about earning viewers trust. He had mine! Whenever there was a major story unfolding, I had no hesitation as to where I was going - to the CBC and Peter Mansbridge. Thank you Peter.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Peter Mansbridge was The Voice of News for most of my life. He was hosting so many of the News specials, especially in the years where my love of news began to take root and grow. He continued with the CBC until almost a decade after I’d left Canada to live in the U.S. So it was good to hear his memories of his life and work. This also works really well for “interrupted reading,” because most of the stories he tells are fairly short

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley B

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was such a mix of humour and heart. I found the chapters about what “it” is, the Northwest Passage, Gord Downie, and Canada especially powerful. More than anything, I loved how this book celebrated small moments that led to life-changing and memorable experiences, “airport moments”, and how many of these experiences would not have happened had he not been open, curious, and willing to take on those constant adventures.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Todd Friars

    Initially I was a bit disappointed with the format and content of the book - short stories and antidotes from Peter’s career. I was looking for more in-depth stories and insights from some of the people and events he had covered as the National’s anchor for 30+ years. I plowed ahead with the book anyway and began to appreciate each story for its humour or human touch delivered in a very humble unassuming way. In the end it was a very enjoyable read.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.