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Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Dial M for Murdoch is a must read for anyone interested in Rupert Murdoch... lively, fast-paced, a tight narrative."
- The Guardian

“This book will tell those already obsessed with the saga a few new things, but for the casual reader it's a rip-roaring tour through recent British political and journalistic history, and how Rupert Murdoch has frequently sought to influence it.”
- Huffington Post

Dial M for Murdoch is a compelling tale of Murdoch empire’s scandals….[A] gripping and indispensible first account of the phone-hacking scandal that shut down the world’s biggest selling tabloid, News of the World, and the allegations of computer hacking, police bribery, and corporate cover-up that continue to hound News Corp…..[R]eads something like a cross between The Insider and All the President’s Men…[A] virtual revolution for a whole political and media class who had formerly lived in fear.”
- Peter Jukes, The Daily Beast

"An engrossing and useful read."
- British GQ

“True to its nod to the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, the book is a suspenseful tale of the ongoing phone hacking scandal in Britain from one of its key players…. Dial M For Murdoch has the urgency of a police blotter and is useful, both for those tracking the story daily or for readers interested in learning more.” –Reuters

“Provides a sense of how intrusive and unnerving Elveden’s in-house investigation must now be.” –Steve Coll,

“Required reading for news junkies and those interested in understanding Murdoch's seemingly ironclad grip on the news.” –Kirkus Reviews

 “A timely, informative, infuriating insider account of the News International phone-hacking scandal… Very powerfully written… Here, at last, is the scorecard you’ve been looking for.” –

About the Author

TOM WATSON is the MP for West Bromwich East. He campaigns against unlawful media practices and led the questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch when they appeared before Parliament in July 2011. He is the deputy chair of the Labour Party.
MARTIN HICKMAN has worked for the Independent since 2001, and has driven the paper’s coverage of the phone hacking scandal. He was named Journalist of the Year by the Foreign Press Association in 2009.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; First Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399162631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399162633
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Scharenborg on April 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Kindle yesterday evening. I started reading it at about 23.00 and just could not put it down, it is written in the "third person" which makes it very easy to read and understand. I still have about 100 pages left to read, but will do that this evening. This book has brought everything together about what #leveson is really all about! I can truely recommend it, but be warned, once you start you wont be able to stop reading!! great stuff
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Where to begin when trying to do a review of book which is still topical today,in Britain, as it was when found out the depths to which certain newspapers were willing to go to get a front page story, and hence sell their papers. No public or private life was safe; these newspapers did not care about the human or ethical cost.

The latest instalment being the arrest of Ms Rebekah Brooks, on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, as part of the investigation into phone hacking. Back 2010, the' Dial M book' claims that the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee decided not to push Rebekah Brooks to give evidence in early 2010 because they feared her retribution in the words of the former MP Adam Price, "if we went for her, they would go for us - effectively they would delve into our private lives in order to punish us."

As for the allegations of cosy relations between News Corporation and the police are concerned, a serving police officer was arrested in Jan 2012, a former royal protection and counter terrorism police officer was arrested in May 2012 and thus far Detectives from Operation Elveden have now arrested 27 people over allegations that journalists made illegal payments to public officials and police officers. As for political figures, well the books interesting reading on that topic as well.

The authors Dial M argue convincingly Rupert Murdoch shadow, if not his mode of business twisted the conditions in which hacking was expected to take place, not as an anomaly, but as part of a mode of doing business the success at all costs dictate which bent and ultimately break the rules.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's not too early to have a book on the British phone-hacking scandals that have dealt such a body-blow to the Murdoch news empire. Public interest in the matter is probably as strong now as it is ever likely to be, the amount of data that has got into the public domain could already do with a bit of summarising and editing for the public's own benefit, and one of the authors is a Member of Parliament who has done as much as anyone else to take the lid off a very interesting stew. We could do with hearing it all told his way while it is still fresh in his mind.

Britain has no right to privacy underwritten by the law, but not quite anything goes. In particular hacking into private phone messages or emails is illegal, and it slowly became apparent that Murdoch's News of the World was doing exactly that. The exposure started in a strange way, with a trivial piece of news that Prince William had strained a tendon in his knee while kicking a ball around: big deal indeed, until someone thought to ask where the story had come from. Gradually other, more newsworthy, cases of hacking came to light. The British public would still not have had a fit of moral outrage if these stories had all been about which footballer was having it off with whom. When the victims of the intrusion were the families of murdered children, then some basic sense of decency kicked in.

That is to say, it kicked in among the general public, not in the News International office. To start off with, they denied all. Then it was allegedly a single rogue reporter. Then it was a few rogue reporters. Gradually, the walls of the fortress fell down, weakened by the implausibility of the defenders' stories and the persistence of the attacks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mari on July 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dial M for Murdoch takes you into a world of corruption in the higher offices of London. It is brilliant in it's modesty and humility. It doesn't brag about it's achievements but states facts that would seem bizarre and unbelievable if it wasn't undeniably true. It shows the Murdochs and their ilk as corrupt, immoral, dishonest, incredibly greedy for money and power and willing to do anything to get what they want. The amazing thing is the book discusses these criminals objectively, even as one of the authors is being put through hell by other politicians and journalists.
It is a MUST READ. You will not believe how horrible politics and media can be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Candace Drimmer on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Watergate began with just a burglary. No big deal they said. And it wasn't until it the depth of the involvement of the powerful was unveiled, crashing the the house of cards of Nixon Administration and sending dozens to jail.
Dial M for Murdoch begins with published UK tabloid reports about Prince William's injured knee. News that wasn't public, when investigated it was found to have come from hacking of the Royals phones. No big deal said Murdoch's company, News International (NI), a.k.a. Wapping--for the offices where it is located. Just a "rogue reporter. That is until the cancer within British journalism exploded with the news that thousands of everyday people had been hacked by unknown dozens of NI employees. Shining a light on the dry rot of the power of Rupert Murdoch's 40% media share in the UK and to think--he wanted more of a share and almost got it thanks to his power with Her Majesty's government.
Non-fiction that reads like a John Grisham or Frederick Forsyth crime thriller, the co-author MP Tom Watson had a front row seat to the story as he became involved in investigating this. "For the first time Watson glimpsed the real picture of wrongdoing at Wapping, but the more he learned the more he realized that it involved the criminal underworld and some very dangerous characters." (p. 177)
When published in early 2012, a reported 200 police were reported as investigating phone hacking, computer hacking, conspiracy and the perversion of justice. In Parliamentary hearings, Watson asked Rupert Murdoch pointblank, "Mr. Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise." (p.
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