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Ladies Who Punch

Staff Review: Ladies Who Punch

"Ladies Who Punch" by Ramin Setoodeh

Cover: 'Ladies Who Punch'

★★★★★

The View has been a staple of daytime television for more than 20 years. Since debuting in the summer of 1997, the show has seen 23 co-hosts come and go, and has had its fair share of high-profile arguments and controversies. For creator and executive producer Barbara Walters, the show started as a labor of love. For years leading up to the program's debut, Walters had yearned to produce a show where a group of women of various ages and backgrounds could discuss current events. It was also a way for Walters, who was already in her late 60s at the time, to give herself a sense of job security. 

Ladies Who Punch details how The View evolved from a passive, modestly-watched chatfest where the co-hosts discussed the day's hot topics to an all-out circus that resulted in a revolving door of co-hosts and provided constant fodder for tabloids, blogs and other news shows. The reader gets an in-depth look at how discussing politics and conflict became the show's trademarks, and how the program was absorbed into ABC's news division in recent years in an attempt to make it more tame and even-balanced.

The book also deliciously delves into all the major conflicts that happened on the show throughout the years, including the infamous 2007 on-screen fight between Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, which has become one of The View's defining moments. Nearly every co-host who ever worked on the show was interviewed for this book, including Walters, O'Donnell, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Sherri Shepherd, Joy Behar and Jenny McCarthy, which adds credibility to the narrative and gives the reader a firsthand account of all the behind-the-scenes drama. 

Is Ladies Who Punch a bit gossipy and scandalous? Yes. But so is The View, and that's why the show has thrived for 22 seasons and continues to today. 

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities