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Rise and Fall of the Murdoch Empire [Paperback]

John Lisners
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2013

The complete story of the changing fortunes of the man who altered the face of the world's media forever

Rupert Murdoch, ruthless visionary, empire builder, and business genius, created a global media network which made him one of the most powerful and influential figures in the world, on a first-name basis with presidents and prime ministers. But recently, rather than controlling the news, Murdoch became the front-page story, as the world became gripped by the unfolding drama of the News International phone-hacking scandal. Within days of achieving outright ownership of the billion-a-year profit-making British Sky Broadcast satellite television station, Murdoch was forced to concede as his prize looked set to disintegrate before his eyes. The devastating events that overtook News Corporation with tsunami speed shocked the 80-year-old founder, as the most hurtful arrows were fired from the very institution he had carefully cultivated for so many years. Journalist John Lisners tells the fascinating story of Murdoch's amazing rise and fall. His graphic account of the culture, the methods, and the men who worked for Murdoch is as incisive as it is entertaining. He uncovers how Murdoch beat Robert Maxwell to the "News of the World," Rupert Murdoch's role in the firing of a Prime Minister, the bungled but lethal attempt to kidnap Murdoch's wife, and how the big News International expose stories were done.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd; Reprint edition (1 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782194274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782194279
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,379,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Lisners is a media lawyer and journalist who worked for many years as a freelance journalist supplying copy to News International newspapers, and was closely involved with editors of the "News of the World" over a 40-year period.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Going Down 27 July 2012
This book is amongst many that will appear about Murdoch and his media empire. Hopefully the others will be better. Certainly, they could hardly be worse than this semi-biographical account of John Lisners and his relationship with News International since 1966. His account of the unscrupulous nature of Murdoch's methods is provided in detail but without judgement, apart from the odd obsequious nod towards ethics. He quickly establishes the role of executives in the Murdoch empire was to agree with the master. "They have to follow the corporation's aim of beating the opposition at all costs. Colleagues must be part of the cult of the 'Mini-Me', a cloned version of Rupert Murdoch." The master, meanwhile, established relationships with decision-makers, a trail blazed by his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, which was to prove his ultimate downfall.

Although Murdoch claimed his father was not a rich man his base line was far in excess of the average wage. Sir Keith Murdoch received kudos on the back of a highly emotional letter to the Australian Prime Minister, with a copy to the British Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, in which he blamed Sir Ian Hamilton and the British military leadership for the heavy losses suffered by ANZAC troops at Gallipoli. It was, "a compound of truth and error, fact and prejudice" which led to the dismissal of Hamilton and set the tone for the Murdoch method of writing news for effect rather than for truth. Owning newspapers gave him the opportunity to meet and influence decision-makers, a strategy adopted by his son. Keith Murdoch boasted he had Joe Lyons elected as Prime Minister in 1932, his son backed Gough Whitlam in 1972 and, of course, "It was the Sun Wot Won It' in 1992.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do without 25 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Hardly does justice of its name, this book is something you could do without, if you don't desperately want to know what a great journalist freelancer the author is. I suppose he mixed Murdoch in his semi-autobiography just to make me take the book from the library. Hardly can say it was a great read. Full of clichés, tactically right (for whatever happens with the Murdoch saga) and comfortably avoiding expressing the straight opinion of the author about the whole million pounds Murdoch circus.

Misleading name on a mediocre work.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journalistic Hijinks 10 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Though I've never personally worked for newspapers, I spent three years working for Paul Raymond Publications, then located in Chronicle House, directly facing the Daily Telegraph, so I met a lot of the journalists in the glorious Street of Shame, retain fond memories of it, and love reading books about it. I bought The Rise and Fall of the Murdoch Empire for that reason, but also because I am presently fascinated by the ever-widening swamp of Rupert Murdoch's present troubles and the related phone-hacking and BSkyB scandals.

I was not disappointed. A practicing lawyer as well as a journalist, author John Lisners worked for various Murdoch newspapers as an investigative reporter, personally met Rupert Murdoch, was once temporarily banned from working for Murdoch publications because he offended the Great Man with certain sensational exposes, and clearly knows what he is talking about when he charts the rise and fall of News International and those associated with it, including Messrs Coulson, Hunt,Osborne, Cameron and the reportedly charming Rebekah Brooks. However, I also loved this book because it is filled with fascinating glimpses into the lives of a wide variety of dodgy characters, including crooked cops, violent criminals, dodgy politicians, professional prostitutes, demented celebrities, sinful men of the church, and general weirdos. How John Lisners managed to survive them all, I just can't imagine.

If you want a definitive picture of Rupert Murdoch and his empire, if you want to know how journalists interact with politicians, the police and the general public, if you want to be shocked, outraged and amused, I'd recommend this book. Personally, I loved it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rise and fall of the Murdoch Empire 28 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Worth a read for anybody who thinks that the Empire is dead. The Empire will strike back, this time it's the Digital Media that needs to be cautious.
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