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Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and Its Triumphs Paperback – International Edition, November 22, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

At a time of growing skepticism about the press throughout the world, Pilger, an award-winning British journalist, offers a powerful reminder of its proud history of revealing truths. This collection of investigative journalism of the past 60 years includes pieces by well-regarded reporters such as Seymour Hersh, Edward R. Murrow, Jessica Mitford, and Eric Schlosser. He begins the collection with Martha Gellhorn's 1945 dispatch from Dachau, chronicling the release of prisoners and their horrific accounts, and ends in 2002 with Edward W. Said's coverage of Islam and terrorism. Pilger prefaces each piece with a biographical sketch and some context for the reportage on McCarthyism, the My Lai massacre, the thalidomide scandal, the war in Chechnya, the dubious 2000 U.S. presidential election, and the war on Iraq, among other topics. Pilger's collection is well timed and will appeal to readers concerned about media consolidation and the ability of the press to discern and tell the truth. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Tell Me No Lies is a celebration of the very best investigative journalism, and includes writing by some of the greatest practitioners of the craft: Seymour Hersh on the My Lai massacre; Paul Foot on the Lockerbie cover-up; Wilfred Burchett, the first Westerner to enter Hiroshima following the atomic bombing; Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting from the Gaza Strip in the 1990s; Gunter Wallraff, the great German undercover reporter; Jessica Mitford on 'The American Way of Death'; Martha Gelhorn on the liberation of the death camp at Dachau. The book - a selection of articles, broadcasts and books extracts that revealed important and disturbing truths - ranges from across many of the critical events, scandals and struggles of the past fifty years. Along the way it bears witness to epic injustices committed against the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor and Palestine. John Pilger sets each piece of reporting in its context and introduces the collection with a passionate essay arguing that the kind of journalism he celebrates here is being subverted by the very forces that ought to be its enemy. Taken as a whole, the book tells an extraordinary 'secret history' of the modern era. It is also a call to arms to journalists everywhere - before it is too late.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; New Ed edition (November 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099437457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099437451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,598,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By I. Martinez on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
While everyone is talking about integrity in our government, someone needs to look at the so-called "watch dogs" of government and how they became the fourth arm of government. Yes, the press. Tell Me No Lies, talks about a few rare journalists who told their stories and sometimes sacrificed a great deal as a result. The stories they tell are not pretty and shouldn't be read unless you are willing to believe them. Most of them have been told over and over, but people tend to forget them. They need to be read again so people are reminded.

We already know the federal government is trying to take all the power from the legislative branch of the government and the legislative branch appears to be willing to hand it over to the executive branch irregardless of the long-range consequences. And in turn our Judicial Branch appears to be willing to politicize itself to the point it wants to allow the Executive Branch to have more power than it was ever intended to have. In other words, we are walking into a dictatorship.

This book is a warning of what a democracy really is. It's a fragile balance between the three branches of government with a FREE PRESS that is not afraid to criticize, confront or tell the people of this country what in fact, the country is doing in the name of freedom when it kills people overseas in order to maintain its influence and keep "communism" out of areas when the threat was less real except in the minds of the politicians back here. Even the military that have to fight the wars speak up because they are there and are training thugs to do the dirty work to uphold dictators.

This book tells it all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the middle book in the John Pilger set that I bought. The others that I am including in a review trilogy include:
2002 The New Rulers of the World
2007 Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire

Although the book is daunting at first site, at 626 pages, it is MUCH easier to read than Laurrie Garrett's Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, for the simple reason that it is a collection of twenty-nine stories by different investigative journalists and can be read in pieces.

Use "Inside the Book" provided by Amazon to see the range of the stories. This is mostly about government terrorism against its own people, or in a few instances (e.g. thalidomide, fast food) government complicity in corporate atrocities against the paying public.

Eight of the pieces center on Iraq from 2002 onwards.

I put the book down thinking along these lines:

1) This is a treasure chest for any class at any level including high school. Students can be challenged to read one of the 29 pieces, then go and do research to find the "official" story, and then be lead through a critical thinking process that includes fact-finding, analytic tradecraft, and ethics.

2) Something like this is needed for the corporate world of white collar crime. Although there are some tremendous books out there, such as
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Format: Paperback
Pilger compiles 600 pages of the best investigative journalism since 1945, including his own riveting reports from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rouge. It's a feast of great writing. But the selection is heavy on horror -- Hiroshima, My Lai, apartheid South Africa, Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq. Or else it deals with awkward realities, like "The American Way of Death" or "Fast Food Nation." This is not the more usual feel-good, patriotic, ego-boosting sort of journalism. Pilger honors journalists who uncover things most of us would rather not know, and that many power holders wish to keep secret. As we know, contributor Anna Politkovskaya was only one of many journalists recently eliminated for exposing such things.
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Format: Paperback
`Tell Me No Lies' offers up a selection of the best investigative journalism since the second world war and starts off with a moving depiction of life in Dachau and finishes up with the scandalous second war in Iraq. Each articles or essay is introduced by Pilger and gives us a deeper insight into the conditions the article was written under and the impact it had. This looks at things as varied as the Vietnam war, the Lockerbie cover-up, miners strike, Israeli massacres of Palestinians, the Rwandan genocide and more besides. You will be left shocked at the complicity of western governments in some of the worst atrocities committed over the past 60 years and have your eyes opened to some of the worst abuses of power I have ever read of. The writing is always engaging and thought provoking and will leave you with plenty to mull over. There is also a middle photo plate section with photos of the various authors. All in all this is a shocking and worth while read.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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