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Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg Hardcover – March, 1987


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This tautly structured true-crime tale relates the tragic collision between Berg, a Jewish talk-show host on Denver radio, and the Bruders Schweigen, a neo-Nazi group based in Idaho with members drawn from all over the West. Singular, a Denver Post staffer, tells in alternating chapters the story of Berg's life and the lives of those who murdered him in 1984. Unfortunately, the tapes of Berg's programs reprinted here do not capture the nervous energy that obviously excited and attracted his many listeners; the working-class right-wingers who abhorred him are more tellingly limned. The material on these fascists is chilling, as it raises questions about how many like them there may be in the country who hate blacks, Jews, leftists, homosexuals, Hispanics and other minorities with enough vehemence to commit murder. Photos not seen by PW. 50,000 first printing.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 1984, Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg was shot to death by members of "The Order," a violent neo-Nazi clique. An outspoken, colorful, and abrasive personality, Berg was targeted because he was Jewish and he voiced liberal opinions. By 1986, The Order's founder was dead and most of his followers were in prison. Singular, a reporter, attempts to tell two stories: that of the brief rise and fall of an American Nazi gang will attract readers' attention. Details of Berg's life are less interesting, although his death does personalize the danger extremist groups pose. Judged on its own journalistic terms, this book is startling and readable. Recommended for public libraries.Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Beech Tree Books; 1st edition (March 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688061540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688061548
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kevin lewis on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember hearing about the assassination of a radio talk show host that I was unfamiliar with, yet he was huge in the midwest, in the 1980s.
I wanted to read up on this incident, yet none of my libraries had anything about it. I went to Amazon, found this book, ordered it for less than $5, received it in a week and found it to be a great read. For anyone who appreciates true crime stories, this is a great book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Wolinsky on November 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alan Berg was radio shock jock, but he was nowhere near as renowned as Howard Stern, and his show was only broadcast in Colorado. He was murdered in the mid-1980's by white extremists, who would later be all over the news in the Oklahoma City bombing. If their motive was to kill a Jewish liberal with a big mouth, the question is this; why did they bother to assassinate Alan Berg? Did anybody take him seriously enough to want to kill him?

Alan Berg was a man who'd accomplished many things; he'd been a lawyer, an entrepreneur, clothing store owner, and radio personality. He was also a loser; he destroyed his lucrative law practice in Chicago by drinking too much, then ruined his marriage by having an affair with an employee. He got his job in radio as a fluke; his talent as a salesman got him a gig doing radio ads, and from there he ended up with a radio call-in show. But he had no particular talent; he wasn't a great writer or reporter, and he wasn't a comedian. He would just say shocking things.

There was value to this book when it came out in 1989. It was a warning to the FBI that the right-wing militia movement was gaining too much ground. These groups were all over the USA and they were over-armed and over-eager to get into a fight. They may have picked an easy (and trivial) target in Alan Berg, but they did move on to bigger things, like blowing up Federal Buildings.

Even terrorists start small. This was just the begining.
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Format: Hardcover
Alan Berg was the most obnoxious person on the airwaves since Joe Pine and until Morton Downey JR. came along.
The group responsible for Bergs Death was a group of Revolutionary self style Aryan Warriors that called themselves The Order, modeled after a group by the same name in the Legendary Turner Diaries.
Berg was targeted because for one, he had a run in with Order member David Lane. If the FBI had never been investigating The Order, they would never have found out who had killed Alan Berg.
He had antagonized and had angered so many people with his arrogant Liberal condescending rhetoric, that the list of people that possibly wanted to (waste) him was anybody that ever heard him.
Second, The Order members needed to see if they could actually be the Aryan Warriors that they were claiming to be by actually pulling the trigger on somebody that they had declared to be Enemy of their Aryan Race.
Another radio personality that loves to antagonize his listeners is Phil Hendrie from California. When he first got his start on talk radio in the very early 1990's on KVEN in Ventura California, a listener called in and with a very stern and firm voice said, "HEY PHIL, YOU REMEMBER ALAN BERG!" Several months later, somebody spray painted that very message on the side of the radio station. He was let go shortly after that with the radio station never giving a reason only saying that it was an in management decision.
The Death of Alan Berg lives on and when radio or TV personalities get too obnoxious to their listeners, still today more that 30 years after Berg's death, they will be reminded of what happened to Alan Berg just like Phil Hendrie was reminded of what happened to Alan Berg almost 25 years ago.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry L. Cox on August 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author is sometimes all over the map, but his stuff on the right-wing militia groups (and radical white Christians) was quite interesting and informative.
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