The Murrow Boys: The Fleeting Glory of Broadcast Journalism

Stanley Cloud, Author, Lynne Clson, Author, Lynne Olson, With
Stanley Cloud, Author, Lynne Clson, Author, Lynne Olson, With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $27.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-395-68084-1
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-395-87753-1
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In 1937, Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) was dispatched to Europe by CBS Radio as its European representative. Although the job consisted of finding entertainment for the radio, world events would soon intervene. With Hitler beginning his rampage, Murrow fought isolationism at home and provincialism at CBS to form a legendary group of electronic journalists. William L. Shirer became Berlin correspondent, and Murrow, holding down London himself, hired the vain, insecure Eric Sevareid for Paris. Streetwise New Yorker Larry LeSueur, covered Dunkirk. There were also Charles Collingwood, Murrow's ""Bonnie Prince Charlie,"" who loved the good life; Winston Burdett, onetime Communist later turned stool pigeon for a red-hunting Senate committee; and Howard K. Smith, Southern gentleman and Rhodes Scholar, who would take ""the last train from Berlin"" when the U.S. entered the war. With the end of the war, we see ""the boys"" as they evolve in a changing America, resisting television (they all, at first, hated it); McCarthyism (Sevareid, Murrow and, especially, Collingwood would be fearless); hubris (Shirer became so arrogant he was fired); and the CBS corporate structure (William S. Paley, corporate shark, would always win). Cloud, a former Washington bureau chief for Time, and his wife, Olson, former White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, have written a lively, colloquial history of broadcast journalism that is so exciting one's impulse is to read it in a single sitting. (May)
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