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Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and The Corruption of Britain [Hardcover]

Tom Watson , Martin Hickman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 April 2012

'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'

Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been hacking phones, blagging information and casually destroying people's lives for years, but it was only after a trivial report about Prince William's knee in 2005 that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy. A five-year cover-up then concealed and muddied the truth. Dial M for Murdoch gives the first connected account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdochs' News Corporation went to "put the problem in a box" (in James Murdoch's words), how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.

The book is full of details which have never been disclosed before in public, including the smears and threats against politicians, journalists and lawyers. It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation towards pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.

By contrast, many of the main players in the book are unsavoury, but by the end of it you have a clear idea of what they did. Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the organisation which it portrays to emerge unmistakeably. You will hardly believe it.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st edition (19 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846146038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846146039
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Even if you are familiar with the News of the World phone-hacking saga, you will be gobsmacked by this account. It is a tale of stupidity, incompetence, lying, downright wickedness and corruption in high places. (Peter Wilby Guardian)

The authors weave the events of the past decade into a compulsive narrative that includes not only phone hacking but email interception, surveillance, burglary, cover-ups, political influence and - at its darkest - murder. Anyone who has lost track of what happened, or why it matters, should read this book (Jonathan Heawood Daily Telegraph)

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... a gripping account that will likely be a go-to source in years to come. (Publishers Weekly)

I'm not planning on reading it. (Rupert Murdoch) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tom Watson is the MP for West Bromwich East. He campaigns against unlawful media practices and led the questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch when they appeared before Parliament in July 2011. He is the deputy chair of the Labour Party.

Martin Hickman has worked for the Independent since 2001, and has driven the paper’s coverage of the phone hacking scandal. He was named Journalist of the Year by the Foreign Press Association in 2009.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of reportage 31 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback
The week I bought and read this book started with the three main political parties agreeing a framework for future regulation of the press, with much indignation coming from, of course, the press and in particular the Murdoch press. On the Wednesday the two main stories were the budget and the fact that the Deputy Editor of The Sun had been charged with corruption offences. And on the Thursday The Sun led with a headline stating the budget had been approved by 'the ministry for information'. The irony that The Sun and it's owner were criticsing the government for bringing in tighter press regulation could not be lost. And if you want a full understanding of what led to this state of affairs then I suggest you read this excellent book.

The book reads like a thriller I found myself wanting to read it at every opportunity. It shows just how far corruption within News Corp had gone. You are probably familiar with most of the events in this book, but having them all together in one volume like this really does shock. We now know how low they were prepared to go but the piece where Lesley Ash points out she is not Lesley Chapman really does bring it home. The police, the government and the PCC were all afraid of Murdoch and his bullies in the newsrooms. It took a few brave journalists and politicians to stand up to them and finally bring them to book. What is truly shocking is how the police were prepared to ignore the evidence of the level of hacking that was going on that was right there in front of them. No wonder there are so many miscarriages of justice in this country.

If, like me, you believe Murdoch has been a bad influence in this country read this book it will confirm your worst fears.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome exposé of Britain's Watergate 26 Mar 2013
By TimM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being an avid political junkie, and, as a Liverpool football supporter, a long-standing opponent of News International, I was eager to join the dots of all the phone-hacking stories and this book does it brilliantly. Tom Watson deserves immense credit for sticking with this despite all the obstacles placed in his path. I recommend this to anyone who believes in freedom and justice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and eye-opening 12 Jan 2013
By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I agree with the favourable reviews here - this is a readable and extremely well-informed account of the practices at News Corporation unearthed before and during the Leveson Enquiry. Even allowing for Tom Watson's far-from-impartial stance on the matter, it is a shocking catalogue of malpractice and corruption involving press, politicians, political "advisors" and their ilk and the police. Watson and Hickman actually manage to preserve a reasonably matter-of-fact tone much of the time and their evidence and research is unarguable.

If you have any interest in the matter, or in press and political ethics in general this will interest you, and I recommend it as a fascinating and eye-opening read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read 19 Mar 2013
By Jeff
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put it down. The book joins the dots of a decade of corrupt and illegal news gathering by the Murdoch press. It deserves to reach a wider audience and would make a wonderful documentary or movie.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Staggering Expose' 27 July 2012
By Mr. N. Morgan VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This hardback book comes with a "Day-glo" red dust cover which should mean that it's not easy to misplace!

Just as everyone should watch the film "Schindler's List" so that hopefully such atrocities as the Holocaust will never occur again, so all should read this book as it shows what happens when great power and wealth are acquired and controlled by a few, and as a result the great and the good are forced to cow-tow to these despots in order to retain some degree of public esteem.

As the old saying goes... "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!" And according to this book (and the Leveson Inquiry) that is just what appears to have happened from within the Murdoch Press in particular. The main scandal that comes out of the book for me is their being so ably assisted by successive British government (including all prime) ministers since the Iron Lady's reign in the early 1980s as a consequence of their fear of the damage the Murdoch Press can do to their public reputations should they ever happen to get on the wrong side of it. For instance, remember Murdoch's The Sun 1992 Election Day front page? It contained a picture of the then Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock's head inside a light bulb accompanied by the caption "if Neil Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave the country please turn off the lights." Of course, there was no attempt in that headline to influence the election outcome was there?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By DJ Bez
Format:Hardcover
It is hard to review a book like this subjectively. Firstly, I am surprised that Murdoch himself has not been profiled by the likes of Tom Bowker who has done very enlightening alt-bios of Branson and soon Sugar. But whatever you think of those two businessmen, Murdoch needs not a book but "a whole conference". Despite the authors own disclosed vested interest, the book reads well and whilst I would say it often does come over as 'angry', it is neither overblown nor paranoid in tone.

The content should disgust you but the indifference and inaction should motivate you. 4 stars only because I suspect volumes 2 and 3 are needed to complete the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The fall of a society
This book simply exposes the corruption at all levels of government, the police and the tabloid media. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Keith Myhill
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
This book is really one that everyone in the world should read. Prepare to be utterly sickened about the sellout of democracy by the people elected to protect it... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Querulous Enquirer
5.0 out of 5 stars Murdoch,s NEMESIS.
Well done Tom Watson. you made them tremble and squirm.They now know what its like to have their private life dissected and outed in the public domain. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Murdoch's nemesis
When you read books like this, you have to be careful about the aim of the authors. It is a good read and an important piece of modern history.
Published 2 months ago by Jambro
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading!
absolutely brilliant, well researched and written - what an expose on the dirty dealings within the Murdoch empire. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eva E. Mcdiarmid
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond democracy, beyond the law, beyond belief.
To say the media has gone to town with the whole phone-hacking affair is no understatement. We think we know everything there is to know and, still, there is so much more to the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Moonless
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read
The title says it all. To say that this organisation was all-pervasive is to understate the case. All credit to Tom Watson for his courage in publishing this. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Z.Beeblebrox
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
This is an eye-opening book which sheds light into the murky dealings of not only News International but also the tacit, unspoken complicity of the Met Police and government. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cromarty Forth Tyne
3.0 out of 5 stars Write O for Obsession
Useful but flawed book about the phone hacking scandal engulfing The News of the World, the police and politicians. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Trevor Newstead
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, loads of interesting details
Like most people I followed the hacking scandal on and off so I was familiar with the main points already. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tennyson1453
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