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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmly entertaining but eye-opening. A must-read book.
I have long been an admirer of Jon Snow as one of the best journalists and presenter of the best news programme in the UK - in my opinion. As soon as I heard he had written Shooting History, I was eager to read his book. An amazing man, he shares with us an amazing life, from what appears a cold childhood, through his awakening to a wider world via Voluntary Service...
Published on 7 Nov 2004 by M. Wheeler

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better On The Road Rather Than In The Studio
I agree with some of the other reviewers: The book starts well & gives some interesting 'right on' views on world (especially Africa) events but somehow once the field based reporter starts to anchor the news the stories become less colourful, almost to the point of name dropping & just listing world events.

A well written book that makes a great one for that...
Published on 10 Jun 2006 by Tastydogs


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmly entertaining but eye-opening. A must-read book., 7 Nov 2004
By 
M. Wheeler (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have long been an admirer of Jon Snow as one of the best journalists and presenter of the best news programme in the UK - in my opinion. As soon as I heard he had written Shooting History, I was eager to read his book. An amazing man, he shares with us an amazing life, from what appears a cold childhood, through his awakening to a wider world via Voluntary Service Overseas, University and caring for the homeless, to his beginnings in journalism and what leads to his position as a great reporter and broadcaster, bringing world events to our living rooms. Reading Shooting History brought home to me how much I did not know, how much we have been lied to by our governments and how desperately we need people like Jon Snow to ask questions on our behalf and bring important, forgotten and hidden issues to public attention. The writing style is accessible and warm, the issues hard-hitting but mixed with his humour and touching on his personal emotions of the work he does, the people he meets, the things he sees. This is a truly fascinating, eye-opening and enjoyable book, one I would urge everyone to read. It sets out the recent history of world events in an accessible and thought-provoking way through the eyes of someone who has been on the spot, often behind the lines, bringing us the truth about what is really going on. I began by saying I had always admired Jon Snow. Having read this book I feel I not only know him better but I also know the world better, too, and I hold him in the deepest respect and admiration. Long may he continue to use his talents to bring us face to face with what is going on at home and abroad.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent: informs, educates and entertains, 30 Aug 2005
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This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
This is a terrific memoir: it is hard to classify, though: he mixes an account of his professional life with his views on world events, while the first part is essentially an autobiography of his life up to the age of 21. Here, his account of being brought up by an authoritarian pillar of the establishment and failing to please him is an excellent evocation of being a child in England in the early Sixties.
Yet the real heart of the book is Snow's years as a foreign correspondent for ITN. He tells his tales with flair, passion and insight.
Thus, on one page, you are wondering about Britain's failure to accept its responsibilities to Uganda in the 1970s; on the next, you are wondering about the fall-out from a whirlwind relationship he falls into, while covering events there: it's a beautifully written little vignette. For me, this made it a wonderfully entertaining read, though I imagine it would be frustrating for some.
That it is self-consciously subjective means that he can afford to be opinionated as he can't on Channel Four News. A good example of where this works well is in his chapters on America. As he covers the wars in Central America in which the States played an ugly hand in the 1970s, you sense his anger. Thus, it is all the more compelling when he becomes Washington correspondent in the 80s and is instantly seduced by America's can-do culture and sympathy for freedom of information and values he holds dear.
It's inevitably less interesting once his career takes him behind the News desk in the 1990s, but he still has a coherent and interesting take on world affairs which is worth reading.
Ironically, given his antipathy to the BBC, Snow has achieved the Reithian triumvirate: he informs, he educates and he entertains.
This would make a great Christmas or birthday present for anyone with a reasonable interest in world politics but wouldn't enjoy having to wade through a dry history. I am already planning it to give it to several friends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 13 Oct 2006
By 
R. Macpherson "RJAM" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
For those who think Snow degenrates into name-dropping, it must be kept in mind that good journalists are not circus perfomers - they will inevitably hit the news room, and shift in their opinions. The quality of news in Britain is disturbing at best, and having read several autobiographies of leading journalists it is refreshing to see Snow as the anti-establishment figure in the field, as well as the studio.

I enjoyed this almost as much as the Campbell interview on C4 News. The idea of a "new world disorder" might not be fully fleshed out, but this is compulsive reading nevertheless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, - my absolutley favourite read!, 1 Dec 2009
By 
Ms. A. Majeed (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've never known much about Jon Snow, except as the anchor man for Channel 4 News. I read a very short review on this book in a magazine, which mentioned that Snow was active in human rights, and that compelled me to buy the book.

I learnt more about the cold war, the history of Iran, the life of Pope John Paul, the events leading up to the Iraq war, Palestine, Israel, Adi Amin, and the dictators of Africa, than I could of in any history textbook.

From start to end, this book is a page turner. Think of any major event in the last 30 years, and yes, Snow was there, and he's written about it in this autobiography with raw honesty that captivates the reader. He's such a fantastic story teller, so much so that I couldn't put this book down and finished it in 3 days.

Since then, I've bought lots of copies as gifts for friends and family, who fell in love with it just as much as I did.

This is one of those rare books, that should be put as a compulsary read on the National Curriculum. Everyone should read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 13 Dec 2007
By 
S. Howse "gone4aburton" (London) - See all my reviews
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Simple as that. I never get time to watch Jon on C4 but it's always the most intelligent news programme on TV and doesn't pander to any party which I respect. Someone bought me this book and it sat unread for ages. Now I've read it I can't believe how revealing and interesting it is. Jon Snow could have done pretty much anything he wanted too as a young dude (I can picture him quite easily as a young radical) - MI6 even tried to recruit him. In a way it's a shame he didn't go into politics instead of reporting on them as he did in Washington in the 80's. The stuff he witnessed Reagan's administration is nothing short of criminal - the ineptitude of Reagan and Carter's administrations are truly staggering. The observations in the book go a long way to explain the dilemmas that are now being encountered with the 'axis of evil'. (30 odd thousand Islamist radicals from 43 countries were trained, financed and sent by the CIA to Afghanistan to fight the commie Russians - just one interesting fact). What is done in our name, with our money, by 'our' leaders is shocking. Thatcher was a bit canny herself securing between $30-$50 BILLION for an arms contract with the Saudis.

Jon has also mixed with some old luminaries throughout his career and his observations, comment and wit are really good reading and totally intriguing. I'm not as intelligent as Jon but reading this I felt like I was!

I'm about to buy two for friends of mine for Christmas - Amazon - Get some new ones up!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scandal: A respectable man in British journalism. Film at eleven!, 8 Nov 2007
By 
Dr. P. J. A. Wicks (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
I received this book as a present as my other half knows I enjoy Channel 4 news (pinko commie that I am). I also saw Jon Snow MC at an event on stem cells for the charity "Saving Faces", of which he is a patron. I was struck by how modest and self-effacing he was, and how genuinely interested he was in some fairly dense scientific and ethical issues.

Reading this book (on holiday) brought many smiles to my face and taught me a bit about people of Snow's generation (a couple above mine). His political activism at university contrasts strongly with my own cohort's almost total apathy and disengagement. His passion for Africa is something I've never shared but he conveys it in a very moving way, and he shines as a war journalist.

One thing this book did that I didn't expect was to give me a little bit more respect for the "old-school" journalists and mourn our fairly shallow level of interaction with the wider world that we have these days. The written press seems to consist mostly of press releases and sound bytes, delivered by people who have only a paper-thin understanding (and even less genuine concern) about what is going on in the world. We need more journos like Jon Snow to restore faith in the media, and perhaps even in politics...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but flawed., 24 Feb 2006
This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
As a fan of Mr Snow and Channel 4 News, this was an essential purchase.
The tale of his early life, student activism, work with drug addicts in Soho and time with the VSO in Uganda was fascinating, but by about half way through the book soon descends into a series of short anecdotes about major events.
For example, although painting a picture of how he feels the September 11th attacks on the U.S. may have fermented over the years, the day itself was almost glossed over. Although no longer 'on the road' by this time, I personally would have been interested to know more about what it was like in the newsroom as that day progressed.
There was enough material in this book for a couple of more detailed volumes. Nonetheless, for fans of books of 'recent' events by those that witnessed them, still a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate, 14 Nov 2009
By 
Dominic Buschi (Mainz, Deutschland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
For me the main reason to watch Channel 4 news is Jon Snow: He's intelligent, passionate and very witty and he tries valiantly to extract some meaning from the usual blah blah of our beloved politicians (mostly even he doesn't succeed, but at least he shows them up as the useless twats they generally are).
His book is a mixture of biography, travelogue, recent history and political manifest. Jon was present at most of the crucial events of the last 25 years and his recollections are absolutely fascinating and in the book he can be less neutral than on the news. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shooting History: A personal journey, 2 Dec 2008
By 
This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
A well written book about a character that one sees everyday and knows very little about. Details his more than colourful up bringing and early career. Talks about the people he has met and his own "private" opinions on charactors. A most interesting read and well written by a highly regarded member of the Broadcasting Establishment for the interested reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read!, 10 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Shooting History: A Personal Journey (Paperback)
Wonderfully insightful, genuinely engaging and at times, entertaining...And that's just the author!
Shooting History is an essential read for anyone interested in current affairs, politics or journalism. I'm sure people who are not interested in the above would still find the book enjoyable to read. Highly recommended!
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Shooting History: A Personal Journey
Shooting History: A Personal Journey by Jon Snow (Paperback - 3 May 2005)
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