cover image Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain

Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain

Tom Watson and Martin Hickman. Penguin/Blue Rider, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-39916-263-3

A thriller on par with the legendary All the President's Men, the story of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and British phone hacking scandal makes for political drama at its finest. Hickman, the reporter for The Independent who pursued the story; and Watson, a relentless Labour Party Parliament member who helped lead the government investigation that toppled the nearly 170-year-old News of the World, have produced a gripping account that will likely be a go-to source in years to come. News of the World reporters hacked voicemail messages of royals, actors, and soccer notables to drive newspaper sales in the hyper-competitive world of the tabloid press. Led by Rupert Murdoch, the paper's executives exerted enough pressure on police and politicians to foil years of investigations. An elaborate cover-up that passed off the hacking as the work of a "rogue reporter" and a private investigator was initially successful, but what ultimately undid the tabloid and brought down top execs like Rebekah Brooks were the revelations that reporters deleted voicemails of a murdered teenager, deceiving police and her family into thinking that she might still be alive. Anyone interested in the media scandal of the decade and its reverberations across the pond won't be able to put this book down. Photos. (May)