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Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times Hardcover – May 10, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Moyers made two significant detours in his journalistic journey: an early stint at a Baptist seminary, and several years working in the White House for the man who'd given him his first broadcast journalism job at a tiny Texas station, Lyndon Johnson. The impulse that led to each, and the experience gained, gave his journalism a rare richness. Viewers responded to his integrity and authenticity, and the courage behind the smile---also rare. All of these are on display in this collection taken from talks and commentaries, along with historical perspective and informal reminiscence too informative and entertaining for prime time.
Moyers'words in this book on the dangerous trends of celebrity journalism and conglomerate control should be required reading for young journalists, if not all citizens. His evaluations of his private and public past will be equally useful and inspiring to readers who have grown up with him. This is a penetrating yet companionable volume, from an exemplary journalist who says he still believes, and still doubts.
He is a populist who believes that our elected representatives are supposed to represent the people who vote for them, not the corporations who give contributions to them. In any other place that is called bribery. In Congress, it is called a contribution.
Equally disconcerting to Moyers is his perception that Americans no longer thirst for the news and the political decisions that affect their lives on a daily basis. Americans care less even about the information that is filtered to them.
I was unable to connect some of the experiences he wrote here to his central theme, but I was always able to imagine the words on the page being spoken by the man with a calm, reassuring voice, the same man who received more than thirty years of Emmy and other awards for outstanding journalism.
Naturally, there is always someone like Bernie Goldberg who saw fit to place this patriotic American and gentleman on his list of 100 people who are ruining America. But, it took no time to feel good again. All I had to do was consider the source. (You don't make comparisons between a Goldberg and a Moyers.)
Read Moyers, watch Moyers every time you can. National treasures are hard to come by.
Mr. Moyers also includes an insightful chapter on President Johnson, reminding us of all the good things he did for this country-- Medicare, Medicaid, federal aid to education, the right of blacks to citizenship-- before he slipped into the great hole called the Vietnam War. I was so touched by Mr. Moyers' chapter "Where The Jackrabbits Were", that I read it twice. When the author was born in 1934 his father was earning $2 a day working on the construction of a highway from the Texas border to Oklahoma City. He describes the difficulties that the Moyers family and their neighbors had with little money and no doctors. Moyers makes it clear that he is not trying to idealize his past. About his father Moyers writes: ". . .Read more ›
The book is divided into four parts, the first two concentrating on the nation and the questions America faces in a new era. While the author devotes a lot of time to the war in Iraq, especially in Part One, he also writes passionately about the loss of good jobs and the lack of aid available for families who fall on hard times.
His critique of the media is solid, as Moyers has worked in the field since the 1950s. His essay "Making of a Journalist" traces his beginnings as a cub reporter at a small Texas newspaper. Elsewhere the author condemns the mega-mergers and vested interest of the modern corporate media, noting their silence during the reforms of the Telecommunications Act in 1996.
But while the author decries the trend toward corporate media domination, he isn't overly sentimental about the past. During his days as a cub, there was virtually no coverage of blacks in the paper, even though they represented half of the town: "Only white people counted in those days," he writes, "only their doings were considered newsworthy. What blacks did, felt, and thought never made the paper."
His final chapter, "Looking Back," is most revealing. Here we get a sense of the influences that have shaped the man. His piece "Where the Jackrabbits Were" tells of going home to East Texas to spend time with his father. Life was very rough there, especially during the Depression years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Now I'm reading Moyers on America, a book I'd seen in catalogs and almost bought on countless occassions. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paul Pommells
There is only one Bill Moyers. The arch of his career, the perspective and insights he has brought to the events in and of his life qualify as unique.Published on August 24, 2014 by Peter M. Herford
I selected Moyers on America because I felt the need to better understand the true condition of current America political economy. Read morePublished on October 4, 2012 by Jo
Amid a media circus increasingly filled with hot air and infotainment, Bill Moyers has distinguished himself as a thoughtful interlocutor, a deeply patriotic social critic, and a... Read morePublished on September 3, 2010 by Valerie J. Saturen
Throughout the ages, there have been authors, poets, artists and journalists,who have become compelled to speak, to alert us about those forces within the human society that are... Read morePublished on December 6, 2008 by Dogen
Bill Moyers is one great man. This book is a must read!!!!!
P.S. McCain, Palin and the rest of the neo-cons suck big donky dong!!!!
When George W. Bush began his second term, he promised the privitization of Social Security, tort reform and tax reform. Read morePublished on March 20, 2008 by Robert N. Sanders
Listen to Chris Wallace's closing remarks on Bill Moyers on Fox News Sunday (8/26/07) and you will understand who and what we are dealing with in Bill Moyers - a radical, pagan,... Read morePublished on August 26, 2007 by Me
Both Moyers and Whitman have helped to reaffirm my thoughts on where I stand in the political spectrum. I just recently decided that I would label myself as an independent. Read morePublished on June 28, 2007 by William S. Oetting