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Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism (Turning Points in History) Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0471477532 ISBN-10: 0471477532 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Turning Points in History (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 174 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 1 edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471477532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471477532
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edwards, who has hosted NPR's Morning Edition since 1979 (though he's just announced his retirement from that post, as of April 30 of this year), examines the charismatic career and pioneering efforts of renowned newsman Murrow for Wiley's Turning Points series. Murrow's broadcasting innovations were indeed significant turning points. Joining CBS in 1935, when radio news usually focused on such preplanned events as parades and flower shows, Murrow ran the network's European Bureau by 1937 and became a celebrity in 1940 with his stunning rooftop broadcasts of the London Blitz: "Listeners in comfortable living rooms all across the United States were hearing Britons being bombed in real time." Creating a cadre of WWII correspondents, Murrow flew on 25 combat missions, delivering dramatic reports on everything from the "orchestrated hell" of Berlin to the liberation of Buchenwald's "living dead." Mainly remembered for its famed 1954 attack on Joseph McCarthy, Morrow's groundbreaking TV show See It Now (1951â€"1958) put field producers on location, offering live remotes, split screens, original film footage and unrehearsed interviews at a time other TV news featured only a reading of headlines. 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. The book includes excerpts from memorable Murrow broadcasts throughout.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Edwards, former host of NPR's Morning Edition, brings perspective and knowledge to this memoir of radio and television legend Edward R. Murrow. The author chronicles Murrow's innovations in radio and television broadcasting, including live radio reports of the war in progress in Europe in 1940; exposure of the despotism of Senator Joseph McCarthy on CBS in 1953; the powerful television documentary Harvest of Shame on the deplorable conditions of migrant workers in the U.S.; and the first in-depth television news program, See It Now. Drawing on actual broadcasts and conversations with Murrow's colleagues, including Edward Bliss Jr., who wrote for Murrow at CBS and was later the first editor of The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Edwards brings to life the early days of radio and television and the innovations that Murrow sparked. In the afterword, Edwards analyzes the decline in broadcast news since Murrow's pioneering days. Readers interested in journalism will enjoy this slim book. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

My book is focused on this life in journalism.
Blaine Greenfield
This book should be on every ones book shelf that like to read books on just how American Journalism use to be.
L. Hobson
Edward R. Murrow is to broadcasting news just as Red Barber is to broadcasting baseball.
Bill Emblom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By L. Hawkins VINE VOICE on June 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't born till long after Edward R. Murrow passed away, so I hadn't considered reading this book till I heard Bob Edwards give a interview/talk about Murrow on the Atlanta stop of his book tour. The best way to sum up this fascinating book is with a quote from Bob Edwards the author, himself -- "Most Americans living today never heard Ed Murrow in a live broadcast. This book is for them. I want them to know that broadcast journalism was established by someone with the highest standards. Tabloid crime stories, so much a part of the lust for ratings by today's news broadcasters held no interest for Murrow. He did like Hollywood celebrities; they had no place on his news programs. My book is focused on this life in journalism. I offer it in the hope that more people in and out of the news business will get to know Ed Murrow. Perhaps in time the descent from Murrow's principles can be reversed." - Bob Edwards

Even if you aren't interested in the subject of the history of broadcast journalism, or if you've never heard of Murrow, you will still find this book a fascinating read. You can listen to an audio recording of Mr. Edwards' amazing hour-long interview on NPR.org which also includes audio samples of Murrow's historic broadcasts. Bob Edwards uses transcrips from Murrow's broadcasts in his book so you can get a sense of what Murrow's voice was as he reported on some of the most important events in recent history. A truely engrossing and, paralleled with the 'standards' of today's journalism, enlightening read.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeRoos HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a timely book, what with CBS mired in a controversy that seems connected with wanting to make news rather than report news.

Murrow was simply the best at reporting the news and in informing the reader and viewer of problems which in turn empowered the viewer to be more of a participant in their government, community and world. This is such a great book if only because it speaks to the value of honesty, integrity and ethics. Three elements missing in today's network 'news' that seems geared more to ratings and money than public service via the public air waves.

Bob Edwards was such a favorite of mine when he was on NPR which alas seems to be wanting to follow the failed path of the three alphabet networks. Edwards is a rare breed because like Murrow and even Cronkite he came across as trusting the listener to use their own brain to think and reason, rather than in need of a substituted brain on half power.

Shy 200 pages I do wish it had been another hundred pages longer. Also read World War II on the Air: Edward R. Murrow and the Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation. Suggest that the powers that be at CBS also read these two books.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Frank Baker on May 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am too young to have heard the eloquent broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow. But that does not lessen my appreciation of him.
In my office hangs a Murrow poster: a Museum of Broadcasting photo of him with the ever present cigarette dangling from his fingertips.
From my father's album collection, I inherited one of the "I Can Hear It Now" LPs, and I have listened to it many times. In my video
collection, I own the very first "See It Now" broadcast Murrow did for CBS, which includes a very young Don Hewitt in the control room.
Up until recently, it was not possible to locate any of Murrow's original broadcasts, but that has recently changed.
For those who teach and want to add a valuable resource to your collection, I recommend: World War II on the Air: Edward R. Murrow and the
Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation, a book/CD compilation.
Aside from the poster, LP, and videotape, I have the comprehensive biography of Murrow written by Joseph Persico and a copy of "See It Now,"
a book that combines images and text from some of the best of those CBS News broadcasts of the 1950s ( including The Case of
Lieutenant Milo Radulovich).
This spring (2004) I came across Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism a concise book by former
National Public Radio host Bob Edwards. The book begins by quoting from the World War II broadcast which many will agree is
Murrow's most famous from atop a building in London as German bombers approached.
The poet Archibald MacLeish paid tribute to Murrow saying: " You burned the city of London in our houses and we felt the flames that
burned it. You laid the dead of London at our doors and we knew that the dead were our dead....were mankind's dead....
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I probably wouldn't have read this book if it hadn't been written by Bob Edwards. (I have a three foot pile of unread books. It used to be four feet, but I slowed my buying rate until I get caught up.)
Not reading it would have been a mistake.
This is a very readable, well written book. (I was actually through with the first chapter by the time it was my turn to get my book signed.) All of book in this series (Turning Point) are short and intended to be quick reads. Even though it is short, the book gives a good picture of the key events that shaped broadcast journalism today. It's surprising how many of the key people in television news well into the 1980's (and to a lesser extent, even to today) got their start with Ed Murrow.
For me, this book fills in the background to the TV news of my earliest memories. It explains how broadcast journalism got from the days of live radio relayed by short wave to the era of instant satellite transmissions around the world.
This book is definitely worth reading.
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