Broadcasts from the Blitz: How Edward R. Murrow Helped Lead America into War

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U.S.A. 2007 Soft Cover New 5 x 8. Provides a gripping account of Murrow's reporting from the London blitz and its central role in rallying the United States to the defense of ... Britain and Europe. Illustrated. Read more Show Less

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Washington, D.C. 2007 Trade Paperback New 9781597971027 208 pages, with index, bibliography, source notes and 8 pges photo illustrations.

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Overview

With the words “This is London,” Edward R. Murrow’s groundbreaking radio broadcasts from 1939 to 1941 brought the blitz into America’s living rooms. Countering the tide of U.S. isolationism, Murrow told his huge audience that the United States could not avoid a confrontation with Hitler and that the bombs it heard falling during his reports would eventually be targeted at American cities. But although often cited as the paragon of journalistic objectivity, Murrow had a clear agenda—to bring America into the war—and he slanted his broadcasts accordingly. And behind the scenes, he helped the British court U.S. public opinion and secure American funds for a British intelligence operation.

Broadcasts from the Blitz examines Murrow’s work and life during this crucial time. It also profiles unsung heroes of those days, such as U.S. ambassador John Winant and Winston Churchill’s confidant Brendan Bracken, and villains as well—such defeatists as Joseph Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh, who believed England was doomed. Other compelling characters include Eric Sevareid, Mollie Painter-Downs, and Nancy Astor, whose “Cliveden set” was accused of being too cozy with the Germans. They and many others mixed in a London that remained vibrant even as it was being battered. Broadcasts from the Blitz is a story of courage—of a journalist broadcasting live from London rooftops as bombs fell around him—and of intrigue, as the machinery of two governments pulled America and Britain together in a common cause. Finally there is the drama of December 7, 1941, when Murrow was the sole journalist to meet with Roosevelt. Broadcasts from the Blitz is for all those interested in the influential career of an extraordinary man and in the relationship between journalism and politics.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Before the iconic Edward R. Murrow challenged Sen. Joseph McCarthy on television, he battled Nazism and Americans' World War II isolationism on the radio. As Seib shows in this succinct account, Murrow's groundbreaking CBS radio broadcasts from wartime London from 1939 to 1941 helped mobilize the United States to join the war. Seib (journalism, Marquette Univ.; The Player: Christy Mathewson, Baseball, and the American Century) examines Murrow's role in establishing the burgeoning medium of news radio as an effective tool in disseminating information in general and political propaganda in particular; FDR and Churchill were among the political figures who appreciated the power of information to shape public opinion and governmental policy. While emphasizing Murrow's "This is London" broadcasts during the Blitz and the interconnections between media and politics, Seib also provides glimpses into Murrow's personal life and character. For more in-depth information on Murrow himself and the historical significance of broadcast journalism, readers can turn to Bob Edwards's recent Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. Seib's well-documented book is recommended for academic and large public libraries, especially those with communications or World War II collections.-Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597971027
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/31/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Seib is a professor of journalism and public diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He is the author and editor of many books, including Headline Diplomacy: How News Coverage Affects Foreign Policy; The Global Journalist: News and Conscience in a World of Conflict; Beyond the Front Lines: How the News Media Cover a World Shaped by War; Media and Conflict in the 21st Century; Broadcasts from the Blitz: How Edward R. Murrow Helped Lead America into War (Potomac Books, 2006); and New Media and the New Middle East. He is coeditor of the journal Media, War, and Conflict and lives in Pasadena, California.
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