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The Rise and Fall of the Murdoch Empire Hardcover – 1 May 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843587572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843587576
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Lisners, 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.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Neutral VINE VOICE on 27 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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By Yorda Smile TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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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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Format: Hardcover
I suppose the first thing to say about this book is that the title is something of a misnomer - the Murdoch empire has hardly fallen. The Rise and Slight Stumble of the Murdoch Empire wouldn't have been as catchy or as commercial. As Murdoch has said, the News of the World was a tiny part of News Corp's business.

Lisner's book is a good introduction to the world of Murdoch and News International but if you already know a fair bit, then you probably won't learn anything new apart from that Lisner earned a fortune as a freelance journalist writing for the Murdoch press and others when the Street of Shame actually existed.

The book begins with the phone hacking scandal before moving onto Murdoch's family - his father, Sir Keith, also owned newspapers, but unlike his son was happy to accept baubles: Murdoch's mother is a dame. Lisners is strongest on Murdochian matters when they occurred in Australia (Lisners also hailing from Down Under) - how Murdoch engineered the sacking of an Aussie premier is truly shocking - but is also good when detailing how Murdoch outfoxed not only Robert Maxwell but also the Carr family, then owners of the News of the World.

Lisners recounts some tales from well-known scandals but many have already been covered and in more depth - Gerry Brown's autobiography gives a more detailed account of Jeffrey Archer and the package at Victoria Station, for example. Andrew Neil's book gives you more of a feel of what it is like to work closely for Murdoch. Tom Watson is better on phone hacking.

Lisners wrote many stories for the News of the World and says that Barry Askew could possibly have been the greatest editor of that paper but blotted his copybook when he was admonished by the Queen.
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