Cover image for The Murrow boys : pioneers on the front lines of broadcast journalism
The Murrow boys : pioneers on the front lines of broadcast journalism
Cloud, Stanley.
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Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
Physical Description:
x, 445 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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PN4871 .C56 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN4871 .C56 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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"The Murrow Boys is the first book to tell the collective story of the talented and spirited correspondents who, under Murrow's direction, formed CBS's pioneering World War II team. They were intellectuals and wordsmiths first, whose astute reporting and analysis were like nothing else on the air. These ten men and one woman - including such familiar names as Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingwood, and Howard K. Smith - invented the craft of radio reporting as they went along, winning the hearts of Americans." "All in their twenties and thirties and infused with the foolhardiness of youth, the Boys brought to vivid life the war's great events: Shirer, in defiance of Hitler's orders, was the first to break the story of the French-German armistice; Larry LeSueur landed with the second wave of Allied troops on Utah Beach in Normandy; Richard C. Hottelet was the first to report on the Battle of the Bulge. Young idealists, they believed they were here to change the world." "But their triumphant early careers would eventually play out in the fickle world of journalism at large. Back from the war, these correspondents became celebrities, hoping to revel in their newfound fame while maintaining impeccable standards and integrity. America's increasing desire for entertainment, McCarthyism, the rise of corporate sponsorship, and ultimately the birth of television all conspired to taint the tradition of serious journalism as the Boys had known it. A few successfully made the transition to television, vying for Murrow's attention all the while. Yet there lingered among them a rueful sense that they had already ridden out the high crest of broadcast news." "A dramatic, exhilarating narrative that portrays exceptional lives against the tumultuous backdrop of the last half century, The Murrow Boys is both a powerful reminder of the possibilities of broadcast journalism and a sharp-eyed account of where the craft went wrong."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Writer Lynne Olson graduated from the University of Arizona and began her career with the Associated Press in 1971. She was its first woman correspondent in Moscow from 1974 to 1976. She also worked as a reporter on national politics for the Baltimore Sun before becoming a freelance writer in 1981. Olson has contributed to publications including the Washington Post, American Heritage, Smithsonian, Working Woman, Ms., Elle, and Glamour. She taught journalism at American University in Washington for five years and has published several books of history.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

At first blush, this book by a husband-and-wife team of journalists may seem an oft-told tale, a further deifying of CBS News' Edward R. Murrow (already deified in numerous autobiographies by the "boys"). But it is much, much more than that; it is a thorough and scholarly documentation of radio reportage during World War II by the likes of Murrow, William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith, Hugh Downs, et al., which created a whole new journalistic industry. The Murrow Boys is written with page-turning verve; the largely egocentric, hard-drinking cast is presented in detail with all warts exposed. But the story is also a sad one, revealing the breakup of a fine network news operation by executives focused on the bottom line and, in more recent years, by the advent of local television newsrooms peopled with cookie-cutter personnel selected for good looks and ethnic balance and without regard for journalistic experience. This book gives one pause about the quality of the news we get on TV. Highly recommended for all libraries.¬ĎChet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. System, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.