The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism
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The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Publishers Weekly described The Murrow Boys as "a lively, colloquial history of broadcast journalism that is so exciting one's impulse is to read it in a single sitting." It tells the swashbuckling tale of Edward R. Murrow and his legendary band of CBS radio journalists - Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith, William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, and others - as they "paint pictu...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 31st 1997 by Mariner Books (first published 1996)
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Eric_W
The “Murrow Boys” were a group of radio correspondents active before, and for a while after, World War II who were considered protégés of the great CBS journalist and smoker, Edward R. Murrow. Together they invented broadcast journalism, watched it become great and then wither under the influence of McCarthyism and the advent of television.

Murrow and the aura of integrity became an icon that modern broadcasters tried to emulate and idolize. Dan Rather “donned the mantle so often in public” that...more
Evan
The Murrow Boys were a hotshot cadre of plucky young globetrotting CBS radio news correspondents created and supervised by the mesmeric Bogart-like newsman, Edward R. Murrow; who as cohorts smoked, drank, bluffed, blustered and whored their way across the battlefield theatres of World War II. They were the original Rat Pack of the remote feed; the Mad Men of the microphone. They not only scooped the competition (NBC, etc.) but each other. They hated and loved each other's guts equally. They twea...more
Mark
To me, Murrow has always stood out as "The Man Who Took On McCarthy." I knew about his history of reporting from London during the Blitz and "creating broadcast journalism," but put more weight on the McCarthy pieces he did. This book not only presented a more rounded view of Murrow for me, but I also gained a much-needed understanding of the people Murrow put together during the war; the people who made a name for Murrow more than he did for himself. These were people who lived an adventure, an...more
Mike
This may be my favorite book of the year. Which is a bit funny because it was a freebie I got from the Kindle Lending Library, of which I am a big fan despite the large amounts of cruddy books you have to wade through to find the interesting stuff. Nevertheless, this is one of the good ones.

The Murrow Boys is effectively a history of broadcast news, distilled through the lens of the few men, led by Ed Murrow, who changed the way it was delivered. Tracing their ascent as the first celebrity repo...more
Greg
This is a superb read for anyone interested either in Edward R. Murrow -- and the remarkable band of journalists he found to work with him during the crucial WW II years (these are the "Boys" of the title) -- or of the evolution of broadcast journalism, from how Murrow transformed the radio "news" to the sad denouement of "news" in our own time with TV "personalities" as central players.

This book was coauthored by Lynne Olson (whose most recent work -- Those Angry Days -- I so admired) and her h...more
Cynthia
Fantastic study of pioneering journalists, by a famous journalist (stan cloud) and his wife, also a respected journalist. They did a fantastic job of not mythologizing these great and famous men (who were really a men's club, even though a few women were allowed on the periphery) but of laying out their (substantial) contributions to modern journalism. They also very clearly show their faults and shortcomings, their enormous egos, their boys-clubbiness, their smoking and drinking and other human...more
Converse

Murrow's "boys" were reporters hired by Edward R. Murrow for CBS before and during the Second World War, who were important reporters for some decades thereafter. They included William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingworth, William Downy, Howard K. Smith, and Larry LeSuer. Good female reporters didn't last long as management did not like hiring women, although Murrow hired a couple of good female reporters, such as Marry Marvin Breckinridge. Murrow seems to have a knack for hiring able, k

...more
Doug Ebeling
Enthralling, these men led exciting lives during a fascinating time. Their individual contributions to the coverage of the war were impressive and this book makes each of their individual stories come alive in a way that is almost novelistic. They each certainly had enough adventure in their various pursuits of the story of covering World War II for a brand new medium that was unproven and not respected until they came along and showed what could be done. Unfortunately their later lives were oft...more
Jeff Crosby
The first half of this book--set in the years before and during World War II--is fascinating. The evolution of Murrow and his boys into the core of CBS radio news is engrossing when set against the backdrop of the war.

For me personally, the second half of the book is less compelling. I enjoyed learning about these men and how their lives and careers proceeded in the post war years, but it was more fragmented. As some of them left CBS I found myself loosing the thread of each story. I don't thin...more
Michael
It is a sometimes romanticized account about often romanticized men. I learned a lot about Murrow but more about the men he hired and this thing they created called broadcast journalism.

Eric Sevareid once told America after victory in Europe that they would forever be strangers with their soldier sons coming home from the war. He may have feared but not truly known how difficult their own transition to post-war reporting would be. For as much as their network would forever celebrate them, it al...more
Patricia
Well written, but so hard to finish. I fell in love with Lynne Olsen's later work "Citizens of London" and was disappointed that this didn't have the same magic. After the war ends, this book loses steam. It picks up a bit with McCarthyism and the fight with CBS over truth vs. objectivity in reporting. A great resource for anyone studying the history of broadcast journalism, but anyone else should run out and get "Citizens of London" if they want a great read.
Anna
Great read and page-turner. History of real people written without strictly academic manner. Journalists who would go anywhere where something important was happening. Each of them could be a hero of a book himself. Story of complicated personalities and full of anegdotes connected to them. Those people were great examples of their craft, which went wrong in years after WWII, when vanity and commercialism appeared in a place of profesionalism.
Rob
What splendid lives these Murrow Boys led. The boozing, the incessant smoking, the womanizing, and the writing and reporting of course. There's even naming of names during the McCarthy era here. If you're at all interested in early radio news or World War II journalism, this book is for you.
Katy
It was a fascinating read that offers insight into, not only the lives and motivations of these amazing men and women, but to the hand that they had in shaping today's broadcast journalism at its best (and the pain they felt in seeing broadcast journalism at its worst). The authors do a good job of not putting the "Murrow Boys" up on pedestals, highlighting the faults along with the strengths of all, even Murrow himself.
Tracy
These guys were certainly amazing reporters. They knew their topics first hand and were not talking heads. Unfortunately, the smoked, drank, ran around on their wives, and let their egos get in the way of relationships and that sort of life catches up with you in short order. They also could not transition to television yet couldn't let go and let the next generation take it on. Very good read, but sad in the end.
Brian Page
A beautifully written but ultimately tragic tale. On one hand I should hope that every journalism student would read this book. On the other hand, I'm not sure that anyone younger than say, 50 or 55 will really be able to identify with the times, the extraordinary people, and the milieu so evocatively described by Cloud and Olson. It's a heartbreaking story told with great beauty.
Amy
The pioneering suggested in the title all took place during WW II, and that was the part of the book I enjoyed the most. There was a lot more inner CBS politics than I really wanted to know, although it was interesting to see people that I remember (Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather) start to pop up in the later years.
Lisa Hayes
Starts out well....hope it continues well.......

Another one I forgot about. I don't know if I'll get it again. Finally there is someone actually named "Egbert!" Ed Murrow was really Egbert Roscoe.......who knew?
Robin
A must-read (an an interesting and educational and entertaining one) for anyone who grew up listening to The Murrow Boys on the radio or watching the beginnings of television. I loved this book.
John Price
Well written account of the rise and fall of broadcast journalism in the USA. The authors kept things interesting throughout.

If you like American history I recommend this book
Greg Jones
This book is an excellent read. It chronicles the triumphs,, tragedies, brotherhood, and bittersweet partings, of Edward R Murrow and his band of correspondents.
Linda Underwood
Great book. Story of the start of radio and TV new and those who were hired and tutored by Murrow. Story of the early start of Eric Severide, Cronkite, etc.
Jeremy Pack
Highly readable. Eschews technical details for the politics and intrigues of a fledgling industry and gives deeper insight as a result. Fascinating!
Nolly Cantey
I can still hear the voices
Glenn
An interesting account of the pioneers of broadcast journalism. A far cry from what passes as news now on television.
Jim Blessing
This book discussed in detail the career of Edward (formerly Egbert) Roscoe Murrow and his "boys." I was OK.
Mike Chambers
I'd a dork, but a historical text about journalism was right up my alley. And Murrow was from Washington.
Scott
Finally finished this thing. It was a great book on how the men who shaped American news came to be.
Peggy
Just added to my Kindle - $2.99; looks like a good read and I love reading history.
Garth
Multiple bio of compelling personalities living through interesting times. Well written.
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5368077

I was born and raised in and around Los Angeles and graduated as an English major from Pepperdine College. After college, I was a naval officer for six years.

I am also a former journalist (the Monterey Peninsula Herald, Time magazine, the Washington Star, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner) and, now, am the author or co-author of books, both fiction and non-fiction. With my wife -- the writer and his

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