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Tick... Tick... Tick...: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes Paperback – October 11, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060558024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060558024
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,623,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Blum has written regularly for New York Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of Flash in the Pan: The Life and Death of an American Restaurant. He is the television critic for the New York Sun and teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives with his wife and children in New York City.


More About the Author

David Blum works for Amazon.com as the editor of Kindle Singles, the store for original, high-quality longform fiction and nonfiction on Kindle. He began his career as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and has worked as a contributing editor at New York Magazine (where he coined the term "Brat Pack"), Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. He has also written for The New Republic, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. In 2006 Blum became editor-in-chief of The Village Voice, and later served as editor-in-chief of the New York Press and 02138 Magazine.

Blum's first book, "Flash In The Pan: The Life and Death of an American Restaurant," was published by Simon & Schuster in 1992, and was named a notable nonfiction book of the year by The New York Times Book Review. His second book, "Tick...Tick...Tick...: The Long Life & Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes," was published by HarperCollins in 2004.

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
They're a bunch of brilliant, petty, inspired, horny egomaniacs!
Howard Gnome
Blum's depiction of the show's creator and resident genius, Don Hewitt, is tough but respectful, and it's filled with great stories.
Robert Kelton
My daughter has a list of "The 50 Greatest TV Shows Ever!" on her bulletin board and it lists 60 Minutes in 6th place.
Donald Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Howard Gnome on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up watching "60 Minutes." I have always wondered what Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley and the others are really like. Now I know. They're a bunch of brilliant, petty, inspired, horny egomaniacs! The book is fascinating and very often hilarious. "60 Minutes" is a real American institution and now I understand how it became one. In spite of, and because of, the people who created it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kelton on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As soon as I heard there was a book about "60 Minutes" available, I raced out to get it -- and ended up staying up all night reading it. I literally couldn't put it down. This is a wildly readable, well-reported and profoundly juicy account of the people who put together the best TV newsmagazine around. Blum's depiction of the show's creator and resident genius, Don Hewitt, is tough but respectful, and it's filled with great stories. I love "60 Minutes" and hope these guys live forever --even Dan Rather! I'm buying copies for my dad, my father-in-law, and everyone I know who reserves Sunday nights at 7 for the best show on TV.
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Format: Hardcover
60 Minutes is one of those television icons that all of us know something about. My daughter has a list of "The 50 Greatest TV Shows Ever!" on her bulletin board and it lists 60 Minutes in 6th place.

But how many of us have watched every broadcast? Probably no one saw them all but those who worked for the show from the beginning. Certainly, if you're under a certain age, you haven't watched them all because the show is older than you are.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Blum had captured as many of the pivotal stories over the years as possible, both in terms of how they were developed and how they were reported. These stories also include 60 Minutes's biggest flubs and embarrassments. As a result, you can catch up on stories you missed the first time around. You also learn details that you didn't know when you first saw the stories you have seen. And you will find out about the aftermath that was often obscure at the time. The key interview lines and responses are usually in the book.

Beyond that, you find out what it's been like for all of these prima donnas to work together all these years. Predictably, they get on each other's nerves and the blow ups can be explosive. Don Hewitt, the show's executive producer and founder, turns out to be one of those high energy, aggressive people who has a million ideas a minute . . . and most of them are worthless. So he's drove people crazy for all of those years. There's a convincing portrait of how his instinct for entertainment in news added a lot of profits for CBS but often undercut reporting professionalism. You will also learn about the personal vices, quirks and flaws of the key players.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Miller on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
John Stewart has just squeezed the life out of Tucker Carlson and his show Cross Fire. Now all of TV new's dinosaurs may soon be due for extinction.

What better time to read all about it! Tick, Tick, Tick is a must read history of 60 Minutes--the genetic originator of so many of the TV news formats that we now take for granted. Read it now before 60 Minutes the brontosaurus of bushwack journalism sinks into the media tar pits of history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While I am not quite as hot to trot about this book as some of the other reviewers, author David Blum tells a pretty remarkable tale. There is a lot of dirty laundry exposed here along with some pretty fascinating stories about the evolution of a show that was at its conception way back in 1968 a revolutionary concept for television. But Don Hewitt had a vision and the determination to make it happen. And no one can deny that "60 Minutes" has been one of the great success stories in the history of television.

But how did CBS, Don Hewitt and his rambunctious and ever-changing cast of charactors manage to pull it all off? In the pages of "tick...tick...tick....The Long Life and Turbulant Times of 60 Minutes" David Blum reveals that the "shop" as Don Hewitt likes to refer to the "60 Minutes" offices is largely occupied by ego-maniacs who genuinely dislike each other. I had read over the years that many of the correspondents and staffers at "60 Minutes" did not get along but I never realized the degree of rancor and bitterness that has existed. It is hard to imagine how a program of such consistantly high quality could emerge from such chaos. Blum also gives the reader a glimpse at all that is involved in getting a story on the air and introduces us to the producers who play a major role in making those important decisions.

"tick...tick...tick.....The Long Life and Turbulant Times of 60 Minutes" is at once a biography of its gifted but tempestuous creator Don Hewitt and a fairly thorough history of the program itself. For younger fans of the program who are too young to remember original co-host Harry Reasoner and features like "Point..Counterpoint" there is an awful lot here that they are probably unaware of. This is a well written book that managed to hold my interest throughout. Recommended.
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