Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyFor this unauthorized biography of media baron Rupert Murdoch, a ``uniquely important'' information broker whose life has been ``an unending assault upon the world,'' Shawcross ( Sideshow ) had privileged access to Murdoch, to his colleagues and family. The result is a mostly nonjudgmental, flat profile of a driven, often ruthless, lonely man of ``invincible energy and ambition'' who put together a communications empire stretching from Australia to London to New York, Chicago and Hollywood. Shawcross perceives ``a certain dour puritanism'' in the king of sensationalist tabloid journalism. Murdoch's life was a series of takeovers, wins and losses that included the acquisitions of the New York Post, the London Times , Fox film and television, and HarperCollins publishers. Murdoch, an ardent supporter of Reaganism and Thatcherism, viewed himself as ``totally internationalist'' and saw his media empire as instrumental in promoting the Americanization of the world, but Shawcross fails to explore the implications of that prospect. Photos. Author tour. (Feb.)
Library JournalHere is yet another chronicle of the life and times of Rupert Murdoch (Thomas Kiernan's Citizen Murdoch , LJ 10/15/86; Michael Leapman's Arrogant Aussie , LJ 6/15/86; Jerome Tuccille's Rupert Murdoch , LJ 11/1/89). In part a biography of an opportunist seizing hold of a tabloid-hungry society, it also is a study of a complex financial restructuring and a comment on info-tainment and its impact on the mass media industry. It is exhaustively researched and is an occasionally forgiving story of media giant Rupert Murdoch and his empire (Fox Broadcasting, TV Guide , New York magazine, New York Post, London Times , etc.). Most compelling is the account of Murdoch's financial dealing with Ann Lane, a Citicorp vice-president who formulated the business plan to restructure and salvage Murdoch's News Corporation and devised the two guiding principles: ``We are where we are'' and ``Nobody get out.'' Recommended for large business and communications collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/92: there may be some demand due to the controversy that arose when novelist John LeCarre accused Tina Brown of misusing her position as editor of The New Yorker to dismiss Shawcross's book because it contained an unflattering portrait of her husband, Random House Publisher Harold Evans.--Ed.-- Jo Cates, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, Ill.
David RouseShawcross is a British journalist whose previous books have covered Eastern Europe, Watergate, Cambodia, and, more recently, the toppling of the shah of Iran in "The Shah's Last Ride" (Simon & Schuster, 1988). Here he takes on Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch controls a vast communications empire, modestly called the News Corporation, Ltd., which literally spans the globe and includes magazines, newspapers, publishing houses, radio and television stations, television production and distribution facilities, and motion picture studios. He publishes everything from bibles to sleazy tabloids, and his journalistic standards and business practices are controversial at best. He understands that information is power and has used his brand of communications capitalism to accrue and wield as much power as possible. There have already been four books published in the U.S. profiling Murdoch, three of which are still in print, but Shawcross' is better written and more thorough. He assures us that this portrait is an unauthorized one, but he was able to interview Murdoch and his colleagues and associates at length. This book appeared last year in England and Australia under the title "Rupert Murdoch: Ringmaster of the Information Circus" (Chatto), but Shawcross has edited out stories of lesser interest to American readers and updated information on Murdoch's Hollywood holdings.
- Simon & Schuster
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- 1st Simon & Schuster ed
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