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Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
During the fifty years he has been variously a reporter, a political spokesperson, and a broadcaster, Bill Moyers has demonstrated a deep commitment to understanding the workings of our government and the role of the individual in society. His essays and commentaries, such as the recent “Shivers Down the Spine,” “A Time for Anger,” and “Journalism Under Fire,” are argued o ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Anchor (first published 2004)
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Will Byrnes
May 20, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
The greatest sedition is silence
Moyers on America is a series of essays, written over an extended period of time, covering a wide range of subjects. There is considerable wisdom to be found here, much said about the search for meaning in life, what is valuable, and what is not. I found that I was using my book darts very frequently in the single day it took to read this. Moyers writes about growing inequality, the forced descent to the Gilded Age era of national rape by the wealthy of the natu
Jan 15, 2015 Jimmy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
I was sad to see the last episode of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS in December 2014. I think maybe he ruffled too many feathers with the truth. This book is from 2005. It contains essays from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

The great tsunami that occurred several years ago was helped along by the destruction of coral and mangrove trees that served as natural barriers to water. We are a world heading toward failure.

President George W. Bush worked at eliminating taxes on capital gains, dividends, esta
Aug 07, 2007 Joe rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody!
Shelves: non-fiction
Bill Moyers is amazing. This collection of articles and speeches perfectly attenuates every concern a cognizant citizen should have. In addition to eloquently addressing these matters, he goes even further to propose solutions to America's gravest social ailments. If you haven't read this book yet, you now have homework.
Dec 11, 2008 residentoddball rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: own-it
Not only is this book so incredibly insightful on society and politics and human nature, but it is written masterfully. Bill Moyers knows how to tell a story, and his are all true.
Mar 12, 2016 SmarterLilac rated it liked it
Unimpressed. Sort of like the educated version of Michael Moore's Stupid White Men. But I will give Moyers credit for including a couple of stories I've almost never seen anyone mention: LBJ literally taking to bed (as in, actually hiding under the covers) during the Vietnam years, actively resisting signing the Freedom of Information Act, (which Johnson did not support) and a moving story about a woman named Haddock who walked across the nation to discuss ordinary citizen's involvement (or lack ...more
Tom Sulcer
Dec 27, 2008 Tom Sulcer rated it it was amazing
Respected journalist Bill Moyers has an urgent warning for Americans: don't let democracy die. "You have to stand up and fight as if the cause depends on you. Allow yourself that conceit -- to believe in the flame of democracy will never go out as long as there's one candle in one citizen's hand."

Moyers sees, correctly, that "something is deeply wrong with politics today". The soul of democracy has been dying, he writes, "drowning in a rising tide of big money contributed by a narrow, unrepresen
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have been an "Ardent" fan of Bill Moyers, Dating back to his early days as a, "Journalist" and "Documentarian". I have found, at a time when so many Citizens, are looking to get "Real" news and as "Unbiased" an opinion of that News and the "truth" of whats going on in our world and our nation, Bill stands out as a Beacon of trust we should seek and want in that medium of Broadcasting and Journalism.

Amy Goodman also is one who I would recommend to read and listen to.

I learned in this book, the
Sep 24, 2011 William rated it really liked it
Both Moyers and Whitman have helped to reaffirm my thoughts on where I stand in the political spectrum. I just recently decided that I would label myself as an independent. My belief was that as an independent I would not already be swayed to one party or the other and therefore would have less bias in choosing whom I wanted to vote for. So far so good even though I still hold some connection to the Republican camp, of which Whitman has helped me see that there is a large moderate side to the Re ...more
Christy Baker
Moyers essays, for the most part thoughtful commentary on politics and ethics, were a mixed bag of brief and well written musings on everything from the Euphrates river and what it means to cross it to the decisions of LBJ and George W. Bush in the context of their times. Some of the material, esp. concerning that latter, feels a bit dated in its ire in a post-Bush political landscape. The gift of Moyers is his breadth-he writes of parenting and poetry as easily as investigative reporting and fr ...more
May 16, 2013 spoko rated it liked it
The bulk of this book is media analysis, and specifically journalism analysis. That's an important subject, of course, and one to which we could stand to devote more time. Still, I guess I didn't expect so much.

All in all, the book was good. But depressing. Moyers isn't a real optimist about the future of the American people, and frankly I didn't take much hope from the places he claims to take his. So, yeah, it is pretty depressing reading. Still worthwhile, of course. He's an insightful writer
Ben  Campopiano
Jul 21, 2008 Ben Campopiano rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
“You know you cant take a tank from blueprint to the battlefield; you test it over and over. That’s true of social programs as well. You cant take a poor kid and turn him around just by getting Congress to pass a bill and the president to sign it and one of those agencies in Washington to run it. You have to experiment and keep at it until you find what it takes.” –Lyndon B. Johnson

“Sometimes when that tide raises all those boats, some of those boats got leaks in the bottom.” –LBJ

Asked about his
Jul 05, 2008 Adam rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who care about the future of this country, and of the media.
Shelves: history, essays
I'll start this by saying I'm prone to a bit of hero-worship where Bill Moyers is concerned, so if this degenerates into fawning admiration, feel free to shake your head and move on.

Moyers has, in this collection of essays and lectures, tackled so many of the big questions I've asked myself recently: concern for the increasing influence of corporate America in government; the complicit role increasingly consolidated media are playing in allowing that to happen; the co-opting of religion by ultr
Jan 14, 2009 Painting rated it it was amazing
I liked Part Two: Soul of Democracy for reminders of what we need to keep democracy going and headed back in service to the people. I'm glad that he mentioned Doris Haddock for her attention getting walk across the America, which I barely recall being being much in the news, and Doris' public reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Capitol Rotunda (for which she was arrested!).
Mr. Moyers personal accounts of Lyndon B. Johnson portrays the president as a real person dealing with the ch
Kyle Kerns
Jan 08, 2012 Kyle Kerns rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2006
I kept comparing Moyers' book to "It's My Party Too" by Christine Todd Whitman, as they both dealt with similar subjects. Moyers, rather than giving many ideas on how to improve the current situation, seemed to just complain about the way things are today. This was a collection of speeches made at different times, so it was a lot different than reading a book with a single underlying theme. If anything, though, it was Moyers' frustration with lobbyists. Again, while I agree that something needs ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Jimmie rated it really liked it
One of the best journalists around. Will always value his words. Love him.
Aug 16, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
A collection of essays by Bill Moyers on topics he has covered over the years. A handful are a little dated, but most are excellent and insightful. Although not as powerful as listening to Moyers speak (maybe this would be a good book to get on CD/tape). Moyers has a way of providing moral clarity and practicality at the same time. His essay on his experiences with LBJ is of particular interest. I only wish this book had his current thoughts on the health care debate among its essays.
Jul 18, 2008 Joshua rated it really liked it
This is a compilation of essays and talks he gave through 2003. The problem with reading Moyers is that, in my case, he's preaching to the crowd. I kept saying, "Yes Bill, you are absolutely right." So why, then is this country still so messed up? Am I, and a circle of the enlightened obviously too small to make a difference, the only ones listening to you? Is everybody else deaf, blind and apparently dumb? It's tragic... just tragic. I despair.
Jim Davis
Aug 28, 2012 Jim Davis rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent look at America as seen through the eyes of an admittedly progressive journalist who's unashamed of his views and perfectly willing to criticize both sides of the aisle, as it were. It's a compilation, really, of speeches, addresses and articles he's written, and gives a unique perspective on the U.S., the world, and the business of journalism.
Aug 02, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
If you admire Bill Moyers, you will like this book. I miss him and his wisdom and inquiring mind on PBS.
Jul 31, 2007 Caitlyn rated it really liked it
I've been reading this for the past week or so while taking the train to work. Moyers is so brilliantly keen, and his observations are strict arguments that leave little room for dispute.
I'm especially fond of the initial chapter.
Kathleen Valentine
Jun 17, 2010 Kathleen Valentine rated it really liked it
Moyers is always worth reading --- one of the most moral and balanced journalists in America. His essay on aging is especially poignant.
Madelaine Landry
Heartwarming journalist -- always has been one of my favorites. this is an easy read and one which give you hope!
Oct 21, 2009 Marc rated it it was amazing
Moyers is fascinating, incredible, and sweet. Highly recommended.
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Billy Don "Bill" Moyers is an American journalist and public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the United States President Lyndon B. Johnson Administration from 1965-1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for ten years. Moyers had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and ho ...more
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