Who can forget that iconic Republican debate? You know, the one where Megyn Kelly gave Donald Trump the figurative gut punch so many wanted to deliver, but were to afraid to. Anyone who likes Megyn Kelly from her reporting on the Fox News Channel would have been impressed with her performance.
With such a storied career of excellence, and given her high profile, it’s no surprise that Ms. Kelly was approached to publish a book. In 2016, Ms. Kelly penned her autobiography, Settle for More, published by HarperCollins. Ms. Kelly employs an easy, almost conversational style of writing in this book. Her years as a lawyer have made her writing proficient, while her years as a reporter create compelling story-telling throughout.
Settle for More weaves a tale from Ms. Kelly’s early years through 2016. Reading the book, you get the sense Ms. Kelly is simultaneously very driven and competitive, yet sensitive, and prone to self-critical evaluation. Through a serious of personal and professional experiences, Ms. Kelly came to define Settle for More as her life motto.
Ms. Kelly weaves her story through major periods in her life, such as being emotionally bullied in junior high, the death of her father when she was fifteen, going to law school and her years as a lawyer, finding her calling as a broadcast journalist, and more. As with most of us, you can see how various negative events in her life shaped who she is today: being bullied at school, the unexpected death of her father, getting divorced, and experiencing sexual harassment at work. And equally so, there were positive influences, including the willingness of her family to speak truth even when it hurts, finding a spouse who supports her without pandering to her, finding great mentors who encouraged and guided her career, and much more.
In the second half of the book, there are five chapters devoted to the lead up to that infamous debate, as well as details of the night of the debate, and the extended fallout after it. It provides some sordid reading, but also includes a positive example of how it’s possible to persevere through adversity. Support from family and friends is critical, but your own attitude has as big an influence as anyone else does. Throughout the relentless Trump campaign against Ms. Kelly, she remained the classy lady you see on TV; for that, she should be admired.
According to Ms. Kelly, the second last chapter was not planned as part of the book. Roger Ailes, former CEO and Chairman of Fox News was accused of sexual harassment. Ms. Kelly had also experienced unwanted sexual advances from Mr. Ailes. She used her start power to “Pay it Forward” by telling the internal investigators everything that had happened to her. In doing this, she played a small role in protecting those who could more easily have been bullied into keeping quiet.
My Thoughts on the Text
I’ll preface my thoughts on this book by saying that I’ve never found an autobiography I truly liked. It just seems, unfairly or not, to be a narcissistic exercise in self-congratulation mixes with self-flagellation. Settle for More was no exception to the rule for me. It is my conviction that one can never be a complete judge of oneself. And, publishing an autobiography when you’ve only lived half your life (at least by actuarial table) seems, at best, incomplete and premature.
Having said that, if you’re looking for a light read, or an alternative to your favourite fiction genre, then Settle for More fits perfectly. It’s well written and enjoyable to read in the same way that a salad is pleasant to eat, but not a heavy meal. If, however, you’re looking for a steak dinner, a book that will motivate and challenge you, and that will teach you great business and life principals, then I’d say you should Settle for More by looking elsewhere.
Tags: Book review