- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Printing edition (1992)
- ASIN: B000NVFVVE
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,557,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Murdoch Hardcover – 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read a number of Murdoch "biographies", including, Murdoch: The Great Escape and Andrew Neil's view of Murdoch in "Full Disclosure". Neither of them have the depth and detail that this book does. But it is more than depth and detail which makes this book truly great. It is William Shawcross' ability to capture the feeling of enormous vision and ambition that Rupert Murdoch has which makes this book unique.
The story describes how his father built one of the greatest news networks in the Australia, the Herald & Weekly Times, yet had few significant assets of his own, as he was an employee of the company.
Thus, while a young Rupert dreamed of ringing the world with satellites that would brodcast news, information and communication around the world, it would be a company owned by his family which would be the beneficiary.
Upon his father's death, he moved to Adelaide, where he took over the Adelaide News, which he built into a formidable earner. He then bought numerous papers around the world, continuing is his dream until he had amassed a huge network of newspaper, television, theatrical and television assets around the world.
One of the most brilliantly told tales of the book is when Rupert went back to the Herald & Weekly Times in his home town of Melbourne and made an offer for the company. After much toing and froing, he bought the company for several billion dollars. "He bought the house his father built".
What makes this book a must buy is that it reads like a long term plan of the News Corporation.Read more ›
Shawcross presents a very balanced picture, light on both censure and praise, and manages to give enough personal detail to illuminate the public Murdoch without veering into a personal melodrama. The writing is occasionally a bit dry, but generally of a high quality & the source notes and bibliography are quite valuable in and of themselves.
However, little comment ventured as to Murdoch's underlying motivations or his relationships with family or friends.
Stops in early 1990s, so an update or second edition would be good.
Author seems a bit infatuated with his subject and reserves his criticism for Murdoch's competitors and critics like Maxwell and Harold Evans.
Murdoch explains that period away with the following answer: "If you're 20 and not a communist, you have no heart; and if you're 40 and not a capitalist, you have no head."
Shawcross then painstakingly builds a portrait of a man who - over the next 30 years - slides clear across the spectrum to become Maggie Thatcher's biggest champion. There's a great blow-by-blow of Murdoch's battle with the press unions at Wapping, with Thatcher's tacit support.
Of course, things in Murdoch's world move quickly, so Shawcross put out an update edition (this one) in 1997. Now, we need an update to the update. So much has transpired in these six years. We need Shawcross' take on:
- The continued rise of the Fox Network (expecially Fox News)
- Lachlan and James Murdoch's increasingly large roles at News Corp.
- The DirectTV takeover attempts (Part 1 and 2)
- Continued efforts to penetrate India and China
- Wife #3 Wendy Deng + two new young children
...and much, much more. Never a dull moment with the man who fellow (now ex-) mogul Ted Turner heads up the world's leading "evil empire."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Rupert's mother indicated during an interview on the occasion of her 99th birthday [in 2009] that Shawcross' biography was indeed the best & fairest... Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by Penelope Davies
Alice Schroeder's Snowball is a 5 star biography.. one which I will not forget. When compared to it, this book comes off light and breezey. Read morePublished on January 1, 2011 by Nicholas K. Chalko
Our world is dependent on broadcast media, and the more rapid our lives change, the more we depend on impersonal and mass-produced flows of information. Mr. Read morePublished on May 11, 2007 by JNG
Very well documented personal (a combination of gambling instinct and dour puritanism) and business biography of the media tycoon. Read morePublished on August 27, 2002 by Luc REYNAERT
The book is quite exhaustive about his beginnings - and his attitude towards competition, employees and enemies, I was hoping to read more about the political favors that he most... Read morePublished on December 6, 2001 by P. GUPTA
This a good look at the life and business career of Rupert Murdoch, which still left me with a lot of questions about the man. Read morePublished on July 31, 2001 by email@example.com