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Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and its Triumphs [Paperback]

John Pilger
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Oct 2005

Tell Me No Lies is a celebration of the very best investigative journalism, and includes writing by some of the greatest practitioners of the craft: Seymour Hersh on the My Lai massacre; Paul Foot on the Lockerbie cover-up; Wilfred Burchett, the first Westerner to enter Hiroshima following the atomic bombing; Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting from the Gaza Strip in the 1990s; Gunter Wallraff, the great German undercover reporter; Jessica Mitford on 'The American Way of Death'; Martha Gelhorn on the liberation of the death camp at Dachau.

The book - a selection of articles, broadcasts and books extracts that revealed important and disturbing truths - ranges from across many of the critical events, scandals and struggles of the past fifty years. Along the way it bears witness to epic injustices committed against the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor and Palestine.

John Pilger sets each piece of reporting in its context and introduces the collection with a passionate essay arguing that the kind of journalism he celebrates here is being subverted by the very forces that ought to be its enemy. Taken as a whole, the book tells an extraordinary 'secret history' of the modern era. It is also a call to arms to journalists everywhere - before it is too late.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099437457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099437451
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A first-rate selection of investigative articles from some of the world's best reporters" (Guardian)

"One of the most powerful and upsetting books I have read all year" (Ecologist)

"A superb anthology" (Glasgow Herald)

"Genuine objective journalism not only gets the facts right, it gets the meaning of events right. It is compelling not only today, but stands the test of time. It is validated not only by 'reliable sources' but by the unfolding of history. It is journalism that ten, twenty, fifty years after the fact still holds up a true and intelligent mirror to events" (T.D. Allman)

Book Description

An incisive anthology of investigative journalism, edited and introduced by the bestselling reporter and film-maker John Pilger.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book of a generation 14 Mar 2006
By Mr. M. L. Hawes VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A collection of the best works of investigative journalism from the past 60 years curated by John Pilger, arguably the best of them all.
Starting from the Second World War and a report on the aftermath of Hiroshima, through various takes on Vietnam, Iraq and other areas of terrible injsutices around the world, the book is brilliantly edited and written.
From a personal perspective I would say it is the most essential, important and terrifying book I've ever read highlighting the terrifying power held in a very few hands and the complete disregard of human suffering meted out by the corrupt regimes of the world. It engenders a feeling of intense rage, yet fills the reader with a desire to do something about it.
It should be on a school syllabus to wake up the minds of a generation who may feel helpless by a lack of quality information on how life is being controlled.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true picture of the modern world 10 Aug 2006
Books such as Mr Pilger's are absolutely essential in providing a true picture of the world that we are living in today. It makes for uncomfortable reading when you discover the full extent to which western governments (US and UK in particular) will lie and cheat in order to achieve an agenda that is veiled from public view. In many respects this collection of reports is unremittingly bleak, as it reveals man's enormous ability to kill and maim without conscience. However, it is only by exposing these injustices to the wider world that change for the better can be brought about.

Starting with post-Hiroshima Japan, everything in this book is still relevant today, and the powerful pieces on Palestine and Iraq provide a much needed counter-balance to the standard newspaper and TV drivel.

If you don't wish to live in the dark, read this brilliant and hugely important collection and spark debate amongst friends, relatives and colleagues. It is easy to accept the lies peddled by the mass media unless you are given an alternative way of looking at things.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
John Pilger is a great investigative journalist himself and so he knows what to look for when putting together an anthology of the best examples of the trade. The pieces in this book are moving eyewitness accounts of events we have all heard of. Yet these reports add so much more to our understanding of the horror and desperateness that the people in the situations felt. It is a shame that when these events are talked about the bare, hard facts are not combined with these descriptions.
Prepare to cry as the shocking reality hits you.
There is also a great introduction about the current state of journalism from Pilger. It must be admitted that this would probably be considered a 'left wing' viewpoint because of its criticism of a capitalist media, especially Rupert Murdoch. But for those who do not enjoy the introduction then the accounts will surely tug everyone's heartstrings.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent political mind bomb 15 Nov 2004
As a Pilger fan I found this book as brilliant as his others but with a new perspective. This time the stories are by other journalists and illustrates subjects other than those John usually writes about.
It indetifies some of the most outstanding writing of the 20th century and helps to highlight areas for further reading. It is the one of the best sources of inspiration a journalist could find..
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Pilger compiles 600 pages of the best investigative journalism since 1945, including his own riveting reports from Cambodia in the wake of the Khmer Rouge. It's a feast of great writing. But the selection is heavy on horror -- Hiroshima, My Lai, apartheid South Africa, Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq. Or else it deals with awkward realities, like "The American Way of Death" or "Fast Food Nation." This is not the more usual feel-good, patriotic, ego-boosting sort of journalism. Pilger honors journalists who uncover things most of us would rather not know, and that many power holders have wished to keep secret. As we know, contributor Anna Politkovskaya was only one of many journalists recently eliminated for exposing such things.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb body of journalistic work 27 Feb 2005
Australian reporter John Pilger has edited and released this compendium of great investigative journalism over the past sixty years, chronicling events from Britain to Cambodia, from Vietnam to Iraq. Like Pilger, the authors of these pieces are anti-establishment and have a knack of peering under rocks to expose corruption, deceit and abuse of power.
All of these pieces make for top-notch reading. Highlights include Martha Gellhorn's visit to Dachau; German reporter Gunter Wallraff's "Lowest of the Low", an exposure of Germany's illegal labour market; Uruguayan writer Edward Galeono's "The Upside Down World", a well argued philosophy on the how the world really works; an extra long section devoted to reporting on Iraq with pieces from writers like Robert Fisk and Jo Wilding; and the final concluding chapter from Edward W.Said, who died last year.
Riveting and thought-provoking work, this comes highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window on the world 29 Nov 2007
Not only is this a collection of great journalism, but it's a real lesson in modern history. There are a lot of stories in here that happened when I was fairly young - Lockerbie; The Miners' Strike - and which I consequently knew something of, but didn't know particularly well. The articles on these events really enhanced by knowledge of them, and the extraordinary insights and discoveries portrayed within really cast a light on a lot of events in today's world - notably the government's handling of Iraq - and the media's coverage of it.
Anna Politkovskaya's article on Chechnya, Edward Said on Islam, Jessica Mitford on the American funerals industry - a must-read for any fans of Six Feet Under - and Seumas Milne on the Miners stood out in this collection for me, although there's not a bad or dull piece in over 600 pages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Fascinating book edited and chosen by Pilger. Historical pieces about various investigative subjects. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. C. R. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarey Truths from the masters of investigative journalism
Everyone should read this book to understand what is going on in the world, past, present and will blow your mind... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Azzy
5.0 out of 5 stars A most insightful text
Pilger has chosen well. His intro is full of insights into the modus operandi of the dirty digger.
What he does through this book is to put journalism under the microscope. Read more
Published 15 months ago by alan combes
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to comprehend...
I think we have all heard something about all of the shocking historical events covered in this book, but I felt I needed to know a little bit more about what really happened, not... Read more
Published 20 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars TELL ME NO LIES
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant work again from Pilger.
Another excellent work from our greatest investigative journalist.
A very compelling read, which gives the full truth sadly lacking in the
establishment controlled... Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2011 by Xenophon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Sometimes when you sit down to read a book, or watch a film that has at it's centre some sort of conspiracy in the highest echelons of government, you can't help feeling - isn't... Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2011 by Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell Me No Lies
`Tell Me No Lies' offers up a selection of the best investigative journalism since the second world war and starts off with a moving depiction of life in Dachau and finishes up... Read more
Published on 26 May 2010 by Spider Monkey
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