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Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism | [Bob Edwards]

Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

Long before the era of the news anchor, the pundit, and the mini-cam, one man blazed a trail that thousands would follow. Reporting live from the streets and rooftops of London as Nazi war planes rained terror from the skies during the Battle of Britain, Edward R. Murrow brought the stark horror of war and the shock of breaking news events directly into American living rooms for the first time, and that was just the beginning.
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Publisher's Summary

Long before the era of the news anchor, the pundit, and the mini-cam, one man blazed a trail that thousands would follow. Reporting live from the streets and rooftops of London as Nazi war planes rained terror from the skies during the Battle of Britain, Edward R. Murrow brought the stark horror of war and the shock of breaking news events directly into American living rooms for the first time, and that was just the beginning.

In Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, one of America's most celebrated broadcast journalists tells the dramatic and inspiring tale of how America's first and greatest newscaster changed the way we receive, understand, and respond to the news. Former NPR Morning Edition host, Bob Edwards, reveals how Murrow pioneered the concepts of radio reports from foreign correspondents, nightly news roundups, and live "you are there" broadcasts. He explains the impact of Murrow's London reports on public opinion, encouraging aid to Britain, and how the high standards that he lived by influenced an entire generation of broadcasters.

This brisk and incisive account tracks Murrow's postwar career from the revolutionary television programs See It Now and Person to Person through the legendary 1954 broadcast that helped bring down the Red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy, to his many run-ins with his boss, CBS founder and president William Paley. Once close friends, Murrow and Paley clashed repeatedly over the now-familiar conflict between journalistic integrity and corporate profits.

©2004 Bob Edwards; (P)2004 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Edwards delineates a brief but striking portrait of a driven man, a fearless fighter who set such a high standard for himself and others that he became a legend, leaving a lasting impact in newsrooms even after his death in 1965." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    D. Littman OH 12-18-04
    D. Littman OH 12-18-04

    history buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting book, easy-listening"

    It is hard to beat a short biography, on an individual of great historical interest, someone who shaped the media as we experience it today, read by the author, and the author is a radio personality himself. That is the package we have with "Edward R Murrow ..." This audio book is a breezy biography, not an in-depth review of Murrow & his times, but neither does it drift downwards into the superficiality that is often found in books of this category. I completed the book knowing quite a bit more about Murrow & about his importance & his influence & his struggles. And I completed it wanting to know more about him. There are a number of good, lengthy biographies of Murrow & I plan to sample at least one of them. Now, this book does not get the full complement of 5 stars for two reasons. The first is my feeling, perhaps unfair, that the author could & should have written a book that was 50% or 100% longer, because this one simply does not satisfy sufficiently. It is good for the length it is, read well, well organized & so forth. The second is that at the very end it descends into a sort of fawning rhapsody, just the last 10-15 minutes, that was irritating. Nevertheless, given the subject matter, momentum & outstanding narration, I recommend the audio book very highly.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-25-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An brief history of Edward Murrow"

    This book was recommend by one of the people I follow. I had just finished two books on Walter Cronkite where a there was a great deal of information about Murrow. Murrow pioneered radio news broadcasting and Cronkite pioneered television news broadcasting. In this short book Edwards covers Murrow's early life and then in WWII his shift from education into news broadcasting. The majority of the books is about WWII and includes a few of his most famous broadcasts from the bombing of London. The book briefly goes into his work after the war and his battle with Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow was a friend of William Paley the founder of CBS, the book covers their working together in WWII to their battles over what news broadcasting should be after the war. Murrow left CBS and was appointed to a committee by President Kennedy and he helped design the PBS network. Bob Edwards both wrote and narrated the book. Edwards is a well known newsman from PBS. The ending of the book sort of leaves one sad for the state of television and radio according to Murrow's' view. If you are a history buff this is a must read book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven new york, NY, USA 06-25-05
    Steven new york, NY, USA 06-25-05
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    "murrow- one of a kind"

    Let me start by agreeing with the that Murrow was one of a kind, arriving at a time that allowed his type of reportage and innovation,
    neither of which would have flowered in today's media.
    I found this book of great interest and it managed to whet my appetite for more. There can be no doubt from the book of the author's negative view of today's media, but this is limited to the last half-hour or so. I would have preferred a longer book that went
    into more detail, including more on his life before radio, but generally I can heartily recommend this book on a man of more parts than I realized. Some of Murrow's work is included, from old recordings, and this too is a bonus, though again I would have wished for more examples-if they exist!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-14-06
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-14-06
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    "Enjoy listening to Bob Edwards!"

    I'm guessing that the movie "Goodnight and Good Luck" was based on this book. It's thorough and engaging -- a must for anyone who's not familiar with this period of history. Not just about radio journalism, but aldo about politics, integrity and human foibles, it is wonderfully narrated by the author (which doesn't often work). Those of us who miss Bob on NPR in the mornings, will smile while being educated and entertained.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Nashville, TN, USA 03-26-06
    Jonathan Nashville, TN, USA 03-26-06
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    "Very Good"

    Well written and very good use of some original broadcast recordings of Murrow. I was concerned that the book may be a bit slow, but it moves along well and always held my interest.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niall bremerton, WA, United States 06-25-12
    Niall bremerton, WA, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    "This is NOT a book about the McCarthy battle"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book is about Murrow- not so much what he accomplished in his career or his epic and important battle with Senator Joseph McCarthy which is but a couple paragraphs (you just have to watch Good Night and Good Luck) this is more about where he was born and where he went to school and what friends he had and so forth- Exactly all the things that was NOT interested in. There are very few quotes from Murrow himself and the ones they chose were mostly odd at best. Only get this book if you only care about his objective history


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There was a bit of Murrow in war correspondence and that was nice- I wish there was more of the man himself talking or at least being quoted


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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