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on 3 August 2014
There were several occasions during this book when I had to put it down, simply because I was too angry to continue reading. The unthinking contempt that the News of the World, the Sun, and other newspapers displayed for privacy and the rule of law; the inappropriate political power wielded by Murdoch's papers over several British governments; the spineless refusal of the very same government ministers to stand up to Murdoch's empire; the casual complicity of Scotland Yard in the cover-up of the phone hacking scandal...

It is very difficult to get to the truth when those responsible for informing us, those responsible for protecting us, and those we've elected to govern us, collude together to deceive us. Nick Davies, Alan Rusbridger, and their colleagues at the Guardian deserve credit for exposing what appeared, on the surface, to be a phone-hacking scandal, but was actually, in Davies' words, a story about the abuse of power and about the secrets and lies that protect it.

Using what can only be described as relentless bulldog journalism, Davies and his colleagues uncover the truth. Its a fascinating account, and deserves to be read by everyone in the UK who has ever glanced at a newspaper, and probably in the rest of the world too.
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on 2 August 2014
Another Highlander here who avidly read this book in a day.

I followed this story in the Guardian from the beginning, incredulous that the rest of the media were so quiet, so craven. I expected the story to explode much earlier but it took the Millie Dowler revelations to make that happen. I won't give it away, but the manner in which the hacking of the phones of murder victims and their relatives is stumbled upon is one of the many places where you get to cheer on the hotch potch alliance that chipped away at the lies and obfuscation of the elite. In other places my jaw could not drop far enough at the sheer arrogance of News Corp, Scotland Yard the PPC and the DPP,

If you think you know this story already, take it from me, you don't.
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on 6 August 2014
As compelling as 'All The President's Men', as thrilling as 'Defence of the Realm'. A superb account of a six-year campaign of investigative journalism that shines a light into the darkest corners of media practice, corporate power, law-enforcement compromise and government compliance. It's an incredibly complex story which Davies navigates with considerable clarity - and provides an x-ray of what lies beneath the daily headlines.
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on 28 August 2014
What can I say about this book? This country is full of people who will never know the debt they owe this gentleman and his editor for at least partially and probably only temporarily, putting a brake on these people’s revoltingly arrogant exercise of power. Before I read this book, I believed I knew roughly what went on. I didn’t. Certain general assumptions, so fundamental I barely knew I had them, were burned to the ground by this book. The police force basically works (not this time); democratically-elected politicians experience pressure from the tabloids but can basically stand up to it and the papers have little effect on an elected government’s agenda (nonsense – prison ships?!!); fleet street newspapers, not just the one’s I read, will generally report the truth (not true – see the printed press silence which the NoTW employment tribunal case is greeted with). It terms of its emotional impact I find it hard to summarise. I thought it would be an elevating and enjoyable experience reading this book – a bit like watching “All The President’s Men” with Robert Redford. There is that in there, but actually I felt scared. It all, so often, hung by a thread, kept barely intact by two isolated men. Another tidal wave of dishonest denials, another spin campaign. For different people, no doubt, different details will stand out as a kind of crystallising summary. For me so many do. The hacking victim’s lawyers religiously removing the batteries from their mobile phones when they met; the Channel 4 documentary staff finding their phones had been interfered with; a guest at a party warning Simon Kelner (editor of the Independent) that he needed to be careful about his phone and him confidently ringing his voicemail to reassure the guest, only to find the PIN no longer worked; the author and Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor, discussing what aspect of their past private lives might appear in the tabloids in retaliation; the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan and the anti-corruption police intercepting vans following the lead police investigator, only to find they contain an NoTW photographer looking for dirt on him (they thought he might be having an affair, they said – with his own wife). But if I had to pick one, it would be the response to the Independent’s pre-election advert: “Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election. You will.” James Murdoch and Rebecca Brooks burst into his office immediately following publication. Mr M calling him a “f***ing f***wit”, Mrs Brooks saying: “We thought you were our friend”.

I guess with gangsters the levers are different, dead bodies in the river etc. Here there is only one in the background. Generally, they do people over publicly, and virtually as effectively. It is a good story, a truly gripping page-turner from beginning to end. But it is also a horror story, about democracy gone awry.

Finally, regarding the ex-NoTW journalist who reviewed the book below, Mr Coulson is not paying for “everyone’s sins”. He is paying for his own.
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on 20 August 2014
Extremely well written showing that in the midst of all the tabloid dross there are still journalists of ability and principle like Nick Davies. We have a moral responsibility to hold any future government to standards of probity higher than anything seen certainly since 1979, and we must move away from the crony capitalism of every government since Thatcher.
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on 30 November 2016
No detail overlooked. No piece of evidence left out. This book is a superior summary of everything wrong with the newspaper industry to the Leveson report itself.
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on 29 March 2017
Fantastic book. Who needs fiction when reality is as exciting and chilling as this book. Bought it after reading Flat Earth News and was not disappointed
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on 29 September 2014
Scathing attack on the Murduch empire. Reads more like a detective novel [which in many ways I suppose it was] rather than an account of exposing a major hacking scandal.
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on 11 November 2014
A first class book, it shows just how loathsome the world.of News Uk is and how lacking in ethics they are. I doubt the CEO and like could spell it let alone define it. The idea that News Uk thinks it matters is an insult to a right minded person - I wonder what will happen to Leveson's findings
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on 22 July 2017
An undoubtedly indepth account but a little drawn out and not particularly gripping.
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