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Good Times, Bad Times: With a New Preface by the Author [Kindle Edition]

Harold Evans
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Harold Evans’s classic memoir, he tells the inside story of Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the Times of London and his rise to become a global media power

In 1981, Harold Evans was the editor of one of Britain’s most prestigious publications, the Sunday Times, which had thrived under his watch. When Australian publishing baron Rupert Murdoch bought the daily Times of London, he persuaded Evans to become its editor with guarantees of editorial independence. But after a year of broken promises and conflict over the paper’s direction, Evans departed amid an international media firestorm.
Evans’s story is a gripping, behind-the-scenes look at Murdoch’s ascension to global media magnate. It is Murdoch laid bare, an intimate account of a man using the power of his media empire for his own ends. Riveting, provocative, and insightful, Good Times, Bad Times is as relevant today as when it was first written.
This ebook features a new preface by the author, in which he discusses the Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking scandal.

Editorial Reviews


“Enthralling . . . an excitement worthy of [John] le Carré.” —Charles Wintour, The Observer

“Evans remains one of the great figures of modern journalism.” —The Economist

“Entertaining and important. . . . The book has caused a stir.” —The New York Times

“Extraordinarily well written. A vivid portrait of what it is like to be the editor of a great daily newspaper.”—Chicago Tribune

“If there is one living editor who has carried the fight against the forces of darkness with [the] most vigour, persistence and brilliance, that man is unquestionably Harold Evans.” —The Independent

“Brilliantly written, sustaining a sweeping power of narrative and packed with pungently witty character sketches that will remind Hazlitt. . . . Compulsory reading for all who wish to estimate the strength of foundations of British democracy.” —The Times Literary Supplement

“Much has been written about Rupert Murdoch by journalists peering in from the outside . . . Good Times, Bad Times is by a journalist who was engaged with Murdoch in a struggle to the death.” —The New Republic

“Fascinating . . . both an uncommonly entertaining tale and an important account of the tribulations of the press in an age of international media barons.” —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

“It’s a compelling book, a wonderful ‘read’. It is often very funny. It is also about journalism and good stories and editing. . . . One can think of a long list of prime ministers who have done less for publishing liberties in this country than Harold Evans did.” —London Review of Books

“Fascinating.” —Simon Jenkins

Book Description

Harold Evans reveals the inside story of Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the Times of London and Murdoch’s rise to become a global media power

Product Details

  • File Size: 950 KB
  • Print Length: 602 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (September 20, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NY4QFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written account of a dramatic editorship August 25, 2005
I grew up reading Harold Evan's Sunday Times - in the late 1970s it provided a window on the world that few other papers could. I particularly remember comprehensive coverage of Egyptian President Sadats historic visit to Jerusalem; ongoing coverage of Soviet dissidents and a very welcome (I'm Irish) editorial urging Britain to consider withdrawal from Northern Ireland. However, from today's perspective, the paper's foreign coverage seemed to be written from a point of view which could be summarised as `what would the world do without Henry Kissinger?' [Indeed this has always seemed to be Mr. Kissinger's view also]; and that Soviet unreasonableness was a product of American hawkish unreasonableness and that balance, compromise and reasonableness were achievable with enough negotiation. My memory is of positive disdain for the emerging tax revolt in California and absolute dread at the more confrontational foreign policy approach being urged by followers of Governor Reagan. A major positive for me was the explanatory diagrams and the furtively taken photographs of Soviet missiles (SS-20s?) being deployed in Russian forests. I was reminded of these diagrams in 2002/3 when the modern Sunday Times gave excellent descriptions - supported by diagrams - of Saddam's mobile chemical/biological weapons labs - which turned out not to exist.

In saying all the above, I mean both to pay tribute to Harold Evans and to put in context the criticisms I have of this book - which contains descriptions of his triumphs as Sunday Times editor and his difficulties as Times Editor under Rupert Murdoch.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars snapshot in time of (perhaps) a dying profession June 2, 2012
This book covers the remarkable career of an editor from about 1960 to 1983. He edited the Sunday Times and then, when Murdoch bought it out, he took over the Times itself as well. He began as a courageous challenger on neglected issues: there are wonderful stories of his pioneering efforts on Thalidomide children, the uncovering of the extent of Philby's espionnage, and many other adventures. Evans and his team braved threats from the government, law suits, and extremists. That is the first 3rd of the book. Evans also gives a wonderful explanation of the political ecology of a great newspaper: an independent staff working for a proprietor who believes in the journalistic mission of informing and serving society. It is a compelling plea, one that I believe in. He also gives a clear idea of the economics of the Times and hence, all British newspapers. Most significantly, the unions were out of control and damaging the company with strikes and ruinous disobedience. He also gives a wonderful history of the Times and the role it played in British society, with an analysis of the institutional factors that enabled it to have the impact that it did. It is absolutely fascinating and essential, a testament to idealism of a sort.

The rest of the book is about his professional relationship, and then desperate, cutthroat conflict with Rupert Murdoch, who is the most powerful media mogul of this time. After a long and enervating struggle with the unions, the original ("good") proprietor decided to sell quickly. Murdoch, who is nothing if not a business man of genius, was ready: he had the cash and a relentless drive to own the prestige of the Times, one of the world's oldest and greatest newspapers.

According to Evans, Murdoch was the exact opposite of the former owner.
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More About the Author

Harold Evans is the author of two critically acclaimed landmark histories of America: the New York Times bestseller "The American Century" and "They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators," selected by Fortune magazine on its own 75th anniversary as one of the best books of the previous 75 years. WGBH television made four documentaries based on Evans's work.
Evans first came to America in 1956 as a Harkness Fellow at the University of Chicago and Stanford University; he traveled through 40 states and reported for The Manchester Guardian his first-hand experiences of the civil rights battles in the Deep South. On his return, he became assistant editor of the sister paper, the Manchester Evening News, then editor of the leading provincial daily, The Northern Echo, where he succeeded in getting a resistant government to establish a life-saving program for the detection of cervical cancer, and won a royal pardon for a man wrongly executed for murder.
Appointed editor of the influential London Sunday Times in 1967 and then of The Times in 1981, Evans was voted by British journalists the greatest all-time editor and also awarded the European gold award for the investigations and campaigns he led: his Insight team exposed the spy Kim Philby, tracked the cause of the crash of a DC-10 airliner near Paris (then the world's most deadly crash), and won justice for the children affected by thalidomide.
Settling in America in 1982, after a famous battle with Rupert Murdoch, he was editorial director of US News & World Report, founding editor of Condé Nast Traveler, and president of Random House from 1990 to 1997. He remains a contributing editor of US News, is editor at large at The Week magazine, and is a frequent broadcaster on American affairs for the BBC.
In 2004 he was knighted for his service to journalism. He is now an American citizen who lives in New York with his wife, Tina Brown, and their son and daughter.

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