The Fourth Estate
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The Fourth Estate

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  6,300 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Lubji Hoch survived World War II on luck, guts, and ruthlessness. At the war's end, renamed Richard Armstrong, he buys a floundering newspaper in Berlin and deviously puts his competitors out of business. But it isn't enough. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Keith Townsend, the Oxford-educated son of a millionaire newspaper owner, takes over his family's business...more
Published May 7th 1996 by HarperCollins Publisher (first published June 1st 1985)
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I gave up on this half way through.... how many times can you rewrite Kane & Able?
Arun Divakar
It has all the markings of vintage Archer. Two men : one rich and one poor start building global empires and come face to face against each other. Long winded story line of greed, money and the race for power. The makings are very similar to Kane and Abel but here the business empire is narrowed to only the media. Pretty fast read and beyond entertaining you for a few hours, there ins't much to it.

Now that we are on the topic, it is also the tale of two first class, solid gold, shining as bright...more
Raven and Beez
Read on blog!!


This is another one of Jeffrey Archers great books but if you have read A Prisoner of Birth before then I don't think this will interest you. It is not as fast paced as his other books that I have read. The thing that reeled me into this book was the rivalry among newspaper companies. I had never given a second thought to the way the newspaper industry works but if it's anything like this book then it must be one hell of a roller coaster. It's got humor in the most unexpected situa...more
I find myself giving this book three stars primarily because of the "How on earth did Archer get away with this" factor. I don't think anybody holds Jeffrey Archer up as a great writer, but he is an excellent story-teller, and therefore a provider of some very good entertainment.

"The Fourth Estate" tracks the lives - successes, failures, treachery - of two media barons, Richard Armstrong and Keith Townsend. The parallels with Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch are uncanny in the extreme, to the p...more
Despite his somewhat dubious personal integrity and a lack of any literary gravitas to his novels,I've always found Jeffrey Archer to be a consummate storyteller and weaver of gripping tales ... until now that is.
The Fourth Estate traces the lives and fortunes of its two protagonists, who are destined to become rival newspaper barons. Predictably, one is born with the proverbial silver spoon firmly ensconced in his mouth, while the other begins life in abject poverty. Their changing fortunes thr...more
Diana McMahon Collis
One of the best novels I've read in a long time. It's quite a fat read (just under 600 pages) but I managed to whizz through it in half of a week-long holiday in Mykonos. A gripping tale and it doesn't take too much imagination to pinpoint who the hero and anti-hero are based on! Or maybe antagonist and protagonist would be more accurate terms for describing the two newspaper barons depicted in The Fourth Estate. If you want a real insight into how the media operates and how the news is created...more
Yunee Ryan
i just finished reading the book yesterday. like in his first three books that i have read, the fourth estate revolves around lawyers, money and the loopholes in laws created by human.

when i read the first and second chapter, i dont have any ideas where the story is going to take me. when i move on, then i know the chapters are actually the ending of the story. this is the first time i ever read a book with two main characters that are put separately, and the characters didnt even meet face to f...more
If anyone is considering reading this, save yourself the time and just read (or re-read) Kane and Abel instead. The Fourth Estate has the same premise, only without any charm.

The characters are unlikable. The plot is boring and repetitive. I have read several of Jeffrey Archer's novels and this is the first one to disappoint me.

If you start to read it and force yourself to continue just because you hope it gets better, believe me, it doesn't!
Balaji Lakshmi Ramakrishnan
The first two chapters of the book will keep you like "WHAT THE!" and then the flashback. The Master of Storytelling, yet again, span a yarn, so fine, that it will make you wanting it to never end!
Richard Armstrong from Czech and Keith Townsend from Australia.
One born poor and the other born with a silver spoon.
One wants to learn and the other wants to quit.
One faces the war the other isn't slightly troubled by it.
One thing about this book is, you can never predict what will happen next.
The story of rivals and publishing moguls Richard Armstrong and Keith

An excellent read of greed and power that spans decades. The book starts at the end (1991) and then details the path of these two men in their quest and rise to control the world’s media. Dick and Keith will go to great lengths and expense to out do each other and others while building up their empire.

Read Cain and Abel about 9 years ago and this was similar, but still engaging and intense.
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This book was absolutely riveting. It is a long book, and I read in just three or four evenings. Every night I would come home from work, and simply start reading, ignoring everything else. I had a very hard time putting the book down. When I finished reading the book, I had to take 10 minutes to rest... and could not begin another book that evening. If only all books made me feel like that!

The book is written in Jeffrey Archer's clear style, with lots of dry humor. The plot advances quickly. It...more
Uke Jackson
Well, I read it all the way through. some one recently tweeted that my Beach Tales reminded him of Jeffrey Archer. I found that very weird. The Archer 1 or 2 books I read in the distant past are vague memories -- more of lumbering, laborious prose. I usually tend to go straight for the jugular, metaphorically speaking of course, when writing a story. Or at least that's what I think.

anyway, this book left me feeling pretty much the same. This is the fictional story of based on the real life press...more
All hail Archer !! Truly a master of story telling.
My views can be contrasting to many of readers here because this is first Jeffrey Archer book I’ve read. At the beginning, story starts from the end and goes into the flashback, and totally drives you crazy as you don’t know what’s going on? But suddenly all things started to make sense. And at the last of the chapter you find yourself at a position where it is difficult to put the book down because of some clue of change in the story.
This book...more
Zwei junge Männer kommen in den 20er Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts früh mit der Welt der Zeitungen und Zeitschriften in Kontalkt: der eine als Sohn eines Zeitungsverlegers in Australien, der andere als tschechischer Jude aus armen Verhältnissen.

Nicht nur ihr familiärer und geschichtlicher Hintergrund ist sehr verschieden, sondern auch ihr Charakter. Sie durchlaufen eine sehr unterschiedliche Entwicklung, die auch im ersten Teil des Buches getrennt voneinander in wechselnden Kapiteln erzählt wird....more
It doesn't help the review that half-way through reading this, I lost interest and the book got lost. And though I did like how the plot unfolded, I'm simply too much of a bum and the book didn't really leave enough of an impression on me for moi to be able to write a decent review.

Sooo... I'll sum up with Jeffrey Archer basically stole the life stories of the two media barons, Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch. Like Robert Maxwell, who became a Jewish refugee at a young age after his country wa...more
The Fourth Estate follows the fortunes of two men who are both trying to build up the biggest newspaper empire in the world. One of them is a Jewish East European immigrant who comes to live in Britain, the other is the son of a rich Australian newspaper proprietor. In the course of their business dealings they become bitter enemies& [return][return]I hadn� t read all of a novel in quite some time, constantly starting books and not finishing them, something I don� t like doing, so I decided...more
Smit Kothari
With ‘The Fourth Estate’ Jeffrey
Archer grabs a catchy storyline in
his shelf.But the storyteller of the
decade widens his horizon to
make it heart throbbing.Two men
at two different corners start
their journey to become world’s
biggest press baron.
In their topsy-turvy path from
nothing to everything, they try
every ‘modus operandus’ to cram
everything that comes their
way.Pounds or contacts, treachery
or bribery-they retort to
everything that fuels their
automobile to their
destination.Unending desires
lead th...more
Alan Mills
Two men, one starting as a poor Jew in eastern Europe, the other the son of a newspaper publisher in Australia, become worldwide media moguls, through a combination of drive, dirty play, and brilliant business skills. Inevitably, they increasingly come into direct conflict, contending for the same media properties.

Archer does his usual great job of painting likable characters, and moving the narrative along at a breakneck pace. He resists the easy out of making one of the men into a "good guy" b...more
Pari {Ridhee}
The book was good. I cant say great because I found some parts boring. When Archer tells the life-story of the two rivals, it is boring. But, when he comes to the main part, it starts to get interesting. In the end, though, he repeats the first part. Te story says about two newspaper barons, who are rivals. Both of them want to be the richest person in the world, but both of them come in the same amount of debt from the same bank. One has someone to guide him, the other doesnt know what to do. O...more
Simon Taylor
While Archer’s The Fourth Estate is a blatant fictionalisation of the careers of Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell, it’s nevertheless dramatic and interesting, and an intriguing look into what can be a very shady world.

Townsend and Armstrong (as Murdoch and Maxwell are rechristened) are built up slowly for the reader, each of their lives being described in alternating chapters. For the first few chapter couplets, there is symmetry between the events underlined by similar opening and closing line...more
Definitivamente Archer sabe como pegarlo a uno de un libro. Recuerdo que el primer libro que me le� de una sentada fue "Una cuesti�n de honor", del mismo Archer, hace como 20 a�os.

Cuando empec� a leer "El Cuarto poder", me pareci� que era un remake de "Kane y Abel", publicado por el mismo autor 16 a�os antes de este. Ambos tratan de dos magnates de los negocios, uno por herencia, y el otro hecho a pulso despues de nacer en la pobreza y sobrevivir a la segunda guerra mundial. Pero despues de inve...more
Benjamin Thomas
Jeffrey Archer is a master of the short story with a twist. This novel seems to be a number of short stories connected together in the guise of a full-length novel. And thus it loses the elements that could have made it a classic. In addition, it seems that most people who have negative comments on this book, are comparing it to "Kane and Able." I'll have to agree. This entry is a good read but Mr. Archer misses the mark when he fails to keep the reader rooting for the main characters. As the no...more
that was the longest read. ever, and the hardest.
since i know nothing about finance, it was interesting yet a bit difficult to read "the fourth estate"
I'm amazed about how can Jeffery Archer can WRITE a made up life, for a character beginning since they are 6 until they re in their 70s or even until they DIE . but yet again he IS J. Archer.

Richard Armstrong and Keith Townsend fights rules the biggest publishing empires of their history, they made up their minds about being enemies since day one,...more
My second Archer novel and the longest among my books till today.

I read it like a text book with the intention of completing it as soon as possible. The plot it good but after a while I felt bored, busy( like the people in the book) and exhausted. But I didn't keep it aside . I read it cover to cover and given it to my colleague who has given it to me.

The story about the two media tycoons Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch. In the book they are named as Dick Armstrong and Keith Townsend respectiv...more
Plamen Kolev
Fantastic book, the best I've read from Jeffrey Archer so far. I couldn't put it down until the last page and I really admire this aspect of the novel, as well as the great plot, the characters, the atmosphere, the whole feeling! Also, everything was so realsitic, like you're reading their

biobiographies, but more interesting than that. There is no good or bad, no angels or demons, just two media giants fighting to control the world, because as the title says it, the Fourth Estate is the press a...more
A truly fine story told by JA about how 2 men from humble backgrounds but with great ambitions make it to the top in the publishing and media world by sheer perseverance but do not know how or when to stop.
One is a jew who escapes from Nazi capture, works his way up the Newspaper publishing world but must eventually take his own life by jumping off his own yacht in the middle of the sea as he is unaware of the statutory requirements and will not listen to advice from professionals under his payr...more
Carolyn Delair
Dec 12, 2010 Carolyn Delair is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far so good. I did not realize the characters were based on real life people. I am currently 1/3 of the way through this book and am amazed at the real life stories of these people who are the definition of courageous and entrepreneurship. Did I spell that right?! It takes place during and post world war II told by a Jewish man from a destitute background and an Australian who had all the opportunities of the upper crust of the Australian colonies from Britain. Eventually as is described in t...more
Amy Victoria's girlfriend ❤
I found this book actually accidentally, but it immediately caught my eye. The story, the genre. It’s a quite captivating read. And as it is a biography you’ll find only the truth about the two here. Though I’ve to say some parts of their childhood lives were a bit dull. Otherwise it was very good and I especially enjoyed it from the part where they collide. It’s a book about power and the dominance in the world of the media.

Like I already said the part about their early lives is not so great, s...more
Bev Walkling
I would probably give this book a 3.5 stars. It is an incredibly long book and I think I would have liked it better if it had been shorter. I understand that it mirrors real-life media moguls and if this is the way they really do business - wow! At the start of the book I favoured one lead character over the other. My opinion changed as the book progressed but I ended up not really liking either of them. I still feel it was a complex story generally well-written.
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Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married...more
More about Jeffrey Archer...
Kane and Abel (Kane and Abel, #1) Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles, #1) Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less The Prodigal Daughter (Kane & Abel, #2) A Prisoner of Birth

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