Read The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism by Stanley Cloud Lynne Olson Online


Publishers Weekly described The Murrow Boys as "a lively, colloquial history of broadcast journalism that is so exciting one's impulse is to read it in a single sitting." It tells the swashbuckling tale of Edward R. Murrow and his legendary band of CBS radio journalists - Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith, William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, and others - as they "paint pictuPublishers Weekly described The Murrow Boys as "a lively, colloquial history of broadcast journalism that is so exciting one's impulse is to read it in a single sitting." It tells the swashbuckling tale of Edward R. Murrow and his legendary band of CBS radio journalists - Charles Collingwood, Howard K. Smith, William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, and others - as they "paint pictures in the air" from the World War II front. Brimming with personalities and anecdotal detail, it also serves up a sharp-eyed account of where the craft went wrong after the war, when vanity and commercialism increasingly intruded."This is history at its best," said Ted Anthony of AP News....

Title : The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism
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ISBN : 9780395877531
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism Reviews

  • Eric_W
    2019-03-25 08:52

    The “Murrow Boys” were a group of radio correspondents active before, and for a while after, World War II who were considered protégés of the great CBS journalist and smoker, Edward R. Murrow. Together they invented broadcast journalism, watched it become great and then wither under the influence of McCarthyism and the advent of television.Murrow and the aura of integrity became an icon that modern broadcasters tried to emulate and idolize. Dan Rather “donned the mantle so often in public” that he was asked to tone it down in 1987 by Eric Sevareid, one of the authentic Murrow Boys. “Rather is not Edward R. Murrow,” Sevareid said. Undeterred, Rather and CBS continued to trade on the past, “ignoring the inconvenient parts, such as the fact that Murrow and most of the Boys had been either forced out or sidetracked by the network’s bosses.”Radio news had been an oxymoron. Those who read the “news” barely knew of what they spoke. Often they were merely shameless shills for sponsors and mouthed the scripts handed to them -- much like TV newscasters today.Murrow came from a Quaker family. His real name was Egbert; he changed it after being unmercifully hazed by lumberjacks with whom he worked in the northwest during the summers he was in high school. His mother was so religious she refused to answer the phone by saying hello, for fear that she would be invoking the name of the netherworld. Fun was certainly frowned upon.Radio was still a new medium and Murrow was given a great deal of freedom to recruit. He hired the best newspaper reporters he could find, arguing that regardless of the medium the idea was to write well and provide honest reports. If there isn't any news, just say so. "I have an idea poeople might like that."He wasn’t concerned about their voices or their mannerisms. He had offered several positions to women, but the New York CBS office was adamantly opposed to such a radical idea. The people he did hire, such as Winston Burdett, Charles Collingwood, and Eric Sevareid,became famous in their own right. A virtual cult developed around Murrow. Unconsciously, many even imitated his style of clothing. He became a sort of surrogate parent; “Murrow chose people who needed him.”Paul White, of CBS, was the first to codify the concept of objectivity. It was severely tested by the war. Was it possible for a correspondent to "objectively" parrot Nazi propaganda when reporting from Berlin? The notion of objectivity meant different things to different people. To most people today, objectivity simply means agreement with their opinion.Radio was particularly vulnerable to pressure from government. The airwaves were still considered public property, and some New Dealers wanted all radio under government control. Comments from FDR's press secretary warning the networks to behave were not ignored by the broadcasters. The issue of objectivity was to create enormous rifts in the industry as broadcasters sought to interpret what they knew, to place events in context. When several of the Murrow Boys reported on how the rear echelons were wallowing in luxurious settings and making huge sums from the black market, the generals accused the reporters of ruining morale. Front line troops asked them why they wouldn't report the horrible conditions up front and the disparity with the rear. This same conflict was to bedevil the journalists in Korea and Vietnam. Radio brought fame to many of them. They were very good at their jobs. Celebrity was to affect them, too. “As long as a journalist and the outfit he works for are inconsequential, . . . it’s easy for them to believe in and stand for the verities of their craft: truth, reason, independence, freedom and the like. But when the reporter becomes a celebrity, or when his reporting affects masses of people, or when he and his outfit start to earn large amounts of money, then the pressures mount to conform, to protect oneself, to protect one’s income, to protect one’s outfit, to avoid giving offense.” A lesson many of today’s so-called journalists have forgotten or never learned.The shift to television was to have profound impact on the business of news. After the war, sponsors had become more powerful in dictating the content of news shows they funded. Television’s requirement for larger staff and more expensive equipment made this relationship even more symbiotic. Murrow and his Boys were skeptical. They thought television was lightweight. Images rather than content became important. Nevertheless, Murrow made the transition successfully with his critically acclaimed See It Now program. The transformation to television had been fast. In the three-year period between 1948 and 1951 the nation had moved to television. But even with Murrow running the show, his Boys were appalled when he was heard to suggest that the cameraman was just as important a member of the team as the correspondent. That was part of the radical change. No longer were they independent nor did they have anywhere near the freedom that had existed during World War II. But it was really the money that was making the difference. Eric Sevareid summed it up neatly: "I have been impressed with how timid a million dollars' profit can make a publisher or radio executive, instead of how bold it makes him." How little things have changed.Television news has become what the Murrow Boys feared, a vast, uninformative wasteland that celebrates image over substance, and happy talk over analysis. The networks cut costs by eliminating foreign correspondents, buying short video pieces from free-lancers and then layering local voices over the top. Broadcasters are hired for their looks rather than their brains. Frank Stanton recalled watching a network news broadcast one night and being appalled by the lack of knowledge of the reporter: "He had the technology, he had the pictures, he had the people to interview, and he asked the stupidest questions in the world. That didn't happen with the Shirers, the Howard K. Smiths, the Sevareids, the Murrows. They had a sense of history. They knew what was going on."Ironically, CBS continues to extol the Murrow heritage. "It is almost axiomatic that the more an institution breaks faith with those who built it, the more it sanctifies them." This is a wonderful, revealing, impossible-to-put-down book.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-02 11:41

    Whether you're interested in journalism or WWII history, The Murrow Boys is a book that will impress every reader as it follows the harrowing uncertainty of war from the perspective of the CBS journalists who covered its events and happenings.

  • Evan
    2019-04-23 11:30

    The Murrow Boys were a hotshot cadre of plucky young globetrotting CBS radio news correspondents created and supervised by the mesmeric Bogart-like newsman, Edward R. Murrow; who as cohorts smoked, drank, bluffed, blustered and whored their way across the battlefield theatres of World War II. They were the original Rat Pack of the remote feed; the Mad Men of the microphone. They not only scooped the competition (NBC, etc.) but each other. They hated and loved each other's guts equally. They tweaked and battled censors in France, Germany, Britain, Russia and in the supposedly free United States; they finessed the line between patriotically guarding facts in wartime and telling the unvarnished truth. As with many things, they brawled with each other over that conundrum, too. They were seen as a group but operated and thought as loners. They were men's men; former loggers and surveyors and canoers and sailors. More than one of them had stowed away in oceanic freighters, Jack London-style, prior to their news days. They evaded everything from bombs and shrapnel to Himalayan headhunters. They were rough-hewn and elegant, Teutonic-maned and bald. One, the golden-locked Charles Collingwood, was so urbane they called him Bonnie Prince Charlie. Whatever they looked like, plain (William Shirer) or handsome (Collingwood and Larry LeSueur), they were equally cutthroat and vain. They were masters of the subterfuge, not above stooping to unethical tricks to scoop a story. Some had been commies and one was even a spy. One was not even a boy but a woman--Mary Marvin Breckinridge--a socialite hired by Murrow against the objections of his sexist CBS bosses to report hard front-line battle news instead of the fashion and society trivia expected of women reporters of the time. The boys mostly came from modest American stock and lifted themselves by dint of moxie into celebrities, finding themselves blurring the line between journalism and entertainment in a time when such distinctions mattered. When they began their run in 1937, radio news was considered the vaudeville and whorehouse of journalism. Professional news societies shunned them. By the middle of the war, they had become so revered that Murrow was named president of a press club that had once turned him away. Despite the camaraderie the boys eventually and perhaps inevitably succumbed to the pull of conflicting loyalities, egos, goals and outlooks in the McCarthy era and afterward, reflecting a brother-against-brother story as old as Cain and Abel. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, they had a collective pride over what they had achieved and the legacy they had left.I bought this book for several reasons and partly because of the inevitable pull I have toward the many facets of World War II. One, Ed Murrow has always seemed a fascinating media icon of heroic proportions and the CBS news empire that he spawned under CBS president William Paley had a profound and legendary impact on 20th century American journalism, becoming the standard of quality for decades (though now decimated by trends inside and outside the company). Most of the TV journalists I watched as a youth (Howard K. Smith, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, etc.) were the spawn of the Murrow Boys, either as direct members of the group or closely related colleagues of it. Second, I wanted to know more about one of the group's charter members, Eric Sevareid (died 1992), who in the 1960s and 1970s was the intellectual editorial commentator on Cronkite's CBS Evening News. I would sit transfixed watching this great grey eminence whose monotonal authority greatly impressed me but whose 10-gallon words and complex sentences seemed to me as impenetrable as the Icelandic tongue. Sevareid was, indeed, a cogent and highly intelligent commentator--which can still be seen in the few clips of him that exist for viewing on Youtube, for example--but after his retirement from the airwaves in 1977 he seems to have fallen off the earth, another victim of the vicissitudes of fleeting fame. It's a shame because his likes are as foreign and remote as, well, Iceland, to a radio/TV wasteland now populated by the ignorant likes of pseudo-commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh or inane talk show juveniles like Jimmy Fallon.As it turns out, this book seems mainly to source Sevareid's own autobiography Not So Wild a Dream in telling his part of the story, and perhaps someday I will read that. In lieu of that, this is a well-told, well-balanced, and (far less than my review) non-hyperbolic account of an exciting and influential time in broadcast journalism and the motley crew who raised the field to a new level.

  • Mike
    2019-04-13 13:52

    This may be my favorite book of the year. Which is a bit funny because it was a freebie I got from the Kindle Lending Library, of which I am a big fan despite the large amounts of cruddy books you have to wade through to find the interesting stuff. Nevertheless, this is one of the good ones. The Murrow Boys is effectively a history of broadcast news, distilled through the lens of the few men, led by Ed Murrow, who changed the way it was delivered. Tracing their ascent as the first celebrity reporters for CBS in the late 30s, The Murrow Boys details the amazing stories of roughly half a dozen men very different from the kind of "correspondents" we generally know today. Nearly all of them ivy league educated, hired not primarily for the timbre of their voice and certainly not for their looks, reporters like Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingsworth, Bill Downs and Howard Smith were brilliant analysts who also happened to survive sinking ships, plane crashes and the D-Day landings in the course of their work, becoming famous and rich along the way as CBS's golden generation of radio newsmen. But The Murrow Boys doesn't limit itself to an account of their success. Following the war, television began its inexorable rise as the primary medium for news and entertainment in the world, and the Murrow Boys are shown as, at best, reluctant passengers. Despite the ability of some of the boys to transition to television news, a number simply refused to accept the changing times and were left by the wayside, exiled either literally to an overseas bureau somewhere, or metaphorically to a quiet role somewhere deep in the CBS offices, dusted off for the odd presidential debate or international event but otherwise left to moulder. The authors are not shy about detailing the shortcomings of each of the reporters, including Murrow. Affairs and alcoholism were de rigeur, and while they were indeed a "band of brothers," like any family there were ongoing rivalries, disagreements and outright fights. Nearly every man died sick from years of tobacco and alcohol abuse, and most died unhappy. The last few of the Boys, who lived to the turn of the century, are shown by the authors as having their memorial services turned into cynical marketing ploys, linking their careers to the struggling 3rd-place news division CBS had become in the years since.The Murrow Boys is organized as a series of chronological phases, beginning before the war and running through the 1990s, that "checks in" on each of the Boys and recounts their escapades. The authors also present a larger assessment of the trajectory of the broadcast news industry over the years, from its wild-west beginnings to its refinement into the money-driven, entertainment-first machine we are familiar with today. In the epilogue NPR is presented as the last bastion of the kind of reporting Murrow and the Boys would be proud to support, while particular scorn is reserved for flaky talking heads and men like Dan Rather, hired for their ability to read scripts rather than any skill at uncovering or interpreting news.If you have Amazon Prime and a Kindle, this is a no-brainer. Even if you don't, it's worth finding.

  • Mark
    2019-03-30 14:24

    To me, Murrow has always stood out as "The Man Who Took On McCarthy." I knew about his history of reporting from London during the Blitz and "creating broadcast journalism," but put more weight on the McCarthy pieces he did. This book not only presented a more rounded view of Murrow for me, but I also gained a much-needed understanding of the people Murrow put together during the war; the people who made a name for Murrow more than he did for himself. These were people who lived an adventure, and mostly got shoved aside and forgotten in the days of television.The writers seemed to cover a wealth of documentary evidence to put this picture together of The Murrow Boys, but they were also able to present the material in a way that kept me turning the pages. The stories were often intertwined, and the way the authors covered the different threads, quickly transitioning to another perspective of the same events, made the read seem more narrative than documentary, but without seeming to compromise the quest for accuracy.If you have an interest in broadcast journalism, I highly recommend this book.

  • Jeff Crosby
    2019-04-16 09:40

    The first half of this book--set in the years before and during World War II--is fascinating. The evolution of Murrow and his boys into the core of CBS radio news is engrossing when set against the backdrop of the war. For me personally, the second half of the book is less compelling. I enjoyed learning about these men and how their lives and careers proceeded in the post war years, but it was more fragmented. As some of them left CBS I found myself loosing the thread of each story. I don't think that is a weakness of the book, but an indication of my level of interest as the events moved into my lifetime.The first half is strongly recommended to those with an interest in World War II.The total book is recommended to those who have an interest in the history of broadcast journalism or these men in particular.

  • sue buechel
    2019-04-06 07:31

    A must readI remember a lot of these reporters at the end of their careers. Fascinating to read how they all started and what happened throughout their long careers. I think the news anchors and reporters today could learn a great deal from this book. I agree with this book that today's news broadcasts are totally lacking in reporting the news. I want news NOT celebrity gossip. Why are things happening, what are the implications, is there a history behind it. That's what I want.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-11 14:30

    History on air & in printThis is a great blow-by-blow accounting of how Ed Murrow & his boys ushered America into the age of radio journalism during WW II, and incidentally pushed CBS to the top of the news heap, where it would stay till that new-fangled TV pushed its way into our conscious.

  • Ann Holland
    2019-04-23 11:39

    How Ed Murrow and his "boys" created the golden days of broadcast journalism. The days when knowledge and integrity were valued, the days before corporate greed created the infotainment industry we have today.

  • Timothy
    2019-04-22 09:37

    I did not finish this book. PLan to in the future.

  • Greg
    2019-04-16 12:29

    This is a superb read for anyone interested either in Edward R. Murrow -- and the remarkable band of journalists he found to work with him during the crucial WW II years (these are the "Boys" of the title) -- or of the evolution of broadcast journalism, from how Murrow transformed the radio "news" to the sad denouement of "news" in our own time with TV "personalities" as central players.This book was coauthored by Lynne Olson (whose most recent work -- Those Angry Days -- I so admired) and her husband Stanley Cloud. It is wonderfully written, and many of the real-life exploits of the WW II radio correspondents are both vivid and hair-raising (in addition to live coverage of the Nazi campaign to reduce London to rubble, one correspondent had to be rescued when the British naval vessel he was on was sunk by Japanese planes, another had to bail out of a crashing plane over Burma [and then had to last weeks in the jungle there surrounded by head-hunters], and another barely escaped from a B-17 Flying Fortress when it was shot down in a bombing raid over Nazi-occupied France). The book is also frank about the personal foibles of these (almost exclusively male) war correspondents, including their excessive drinking, almost continuous smoking, womanizing (even when married), and the swelled heads that effected many as they became "stars" for the American and European public because of their remarkable courage, tenacity, and ability to tell a good story. The authors include a few excerpts from actual broadcasts which -- even though read and not heard by us -- still snatch one's breath away with the immediacy and "fate of the common person" sense of reporting.The story is taken to almost the present day as the last of these remarkable persons inevitably comes to the end of life. Like many who tasted the essence of life in the shared moments of excitement and danger of that terrible war, for most of these "Boys" their best years were in the past. The sadness of their aging decline was all the greater for the way they were almost ignored after television "news" soared and by their witnessing the degradation of radio from the insightful "you are there" kind of coverage and informed commentary they once provided to blow-dried "journalists" essentially reading the script of "news" written by someone else.It is good to be reminded that "once there had been giants among us," albeit ones with all too human clay feet.A remarkable, extremely readable, book!

  • Converse
    2019-04-21 11:44

    Murrow's "boys" were reporters hired by Edward R. Murrow for CBS before and during the Second World War, who were important reporters for some decades thereafter. They included William Shirer, Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingworth, William Downy, Howard K. Smith, and Larry LeSuer. Good female reporters didn't last long as management did not like hiring women, although Murrow hired a couple of good female reporters, such as Marry Marvin Breckinridge. Murrow seems to have a knack for hiring able, knowledgeable people. Some of the reporters stationed in Europe kept their posts for several years, enabling them to increase their knowledge and contacts. According to some who knew these reporters and could compare them with televsion reporters hired decades later, Murrow's boys were much more knowledgeable. During the Second World War, when demand for news was high and there was relatively little controversy about the war after Pearl Harbor in the United States, many of them became very well known and were cultivated by William Paley, the head of CBS. After the war, these reporters had the relative freedom of reporting and comment that they had enjoyed reduced. This freedom had never been absolute, as Cecil Brown found out during the war. They also had difficulty in making the transition to television, as they saw themselves primarily as writers. The "boys" seem to have had difficulty with the concept that the Columbia Broadcasting System was a business. A business, run with the intent of maximizing profits. And that doing "controversial" news or commentary, meaning displeasing to sponsors or affiliated local stations, would reduce, not increase, profits. As reporters are less valuable than, say, free-agent sports stars, they invariably lost disputes about editorial control with management. I found the book most interesting and enjoyable, as the reporters generally led interesting lives, both on and off the job. One aspect that struck me was the extent to which drinking hard liquor and smoking was what men did when socializing. I thought the book was well written and tried to give both sides of controversies, such as William Shirer losing his coveted radio program in 1948.

  • Heather Goss
    2019-04-20 10:30

    What a great example of what non-fiction can be. The title here doesn't lie: Although by necessity the authors discuss Edward R. Murrow, it's done almost wholly in relation to the group of young men (and a couple women)--the Boys--he recruited to report on World War II from the front lines. They were strewn around Europe and the U.S., so we get to know each one--his adventures, his great successes, his personal flaws--and watch how they weave in and out of each others' lives as they participate in the great early experiment of broadcast journalism. They're forced to jump out of crashing airplanes over Asia, race across Egyptian deserts to scoop competing journalists, struggle with the nascent technology of worldwide broadcast communication, get exiled from countries they're in and banned from returning to others, and get fired and hired and fired again. The authors are fair and balanced in the best of ways about these imperfect men, their intense talent and bravery but also their arrogance and moments of self-destruction. I also appreciated their recognition of how women were treated at the time, by Murrow (he recruited a couple) and the CBS staff in New York (get rid of them). Though the book was written in the late 90s, its also hard not to read into it the parallels in the second half--when television subsumes radio and ratings matter more than keeping people informed--with our current era in another time of shifting journalism standards and the medium on which we get our news. I really couldn't recommend this book more highly.

  • Sandra Ross
    2019-04-17 10:50

    I heard about this book while reading an autobiography on Walter Cronkite.What a gem it is!This was all way before my time. The closest I've gotten to anything by Edward R. Murrow was the movie "Good Night and Good Luck," which was loosely based on some of his life.This book brings the cadre of first-class CBS reporters that Murrow assembled to cover the prelude to and the advent of World War II to life. It shows them during this period and then how they fell apart personally and professionally - as a unit and as individuals - because of some of the very things that made them standouts in their fields (along with the usual corporate maneuvering and lack of leadership that leads to needless rivalry and competition, which will destroy the best of friends and colleagues).The inside look at each of these journalists is fascinating, along with the backdrop, in detail, of how and what they reported. If you don't like history from the inside, this is not the book for you.I barely remember a infrequent contributor to Cronkite's "CBS Evening News," which I grew up watching until he was replaced by Dan Rather (who I found arrogant and obnoxious): Eric Severaid. Little did I know his history with the Murrow Boys and it's a fascinating education.This is an excellent read. I highly recommend it.

  • Cynthia
    2019-04-23 07:44

    Fantastic study of pioneering journalists, by a famous journalist (stan cloud) and his wife, also a respected journalist. They did a fantastic job of not mythologizing these great and famous men (who were really a men's club, even though a few women were allowed on the periphery) but of laying out their (substantial) contributions to modern journalism. They also very clearly show their faults and shortcomings, their enormous egos, their boys-clubbiness, their smoking and drinking and other human failings (leading not to moral decline but early death; amazing how many of these men had completely destroyed their bodies before age 70). Even though Olson and Cloud are both contemporary journalists (in print) they really take down contemporary televisions newscasters (especially Dan Rather, who gets particularly rough treatment). Also an interesting little primer on World War II. The events and people in this book are already well-known, but this book gives so much interesting new information and gives it so well that it feels all new. note to self: right after finishing this book i started Citizens of London but decided to return it to the library rather than renew it because there was too overlap with the murrow boys. I do want to pick it up again later.

  • Doug Ebeling
    2019-03-25 12:52

    Enthralling, these men led exciting lives during a fascinating time. Their individual contributions to the coverage of the war were impressive and this book makes each of their individual stories come alive in a way that is almost novelistic. They each certainly had enough adventure in their various pursuits of the story of covering World War II for a brand new medium that was unproven and not respected until they came along and showed what could be done. Unfortunately their later lives were often filled with disappointment as the humdrum life of peace could never compare with the excitement of covering a war. And as the medium that they helped create increasingly turned away from enlightenment and education and towards mindless entertainment for the lowest common denominator as profits and corporate interests took precedence over what had been a glorious adventure. The ends of their lives and careers are as touching and moving as the exciting roads they took on the way.

  • Don
    2019-04-07 14:30

    Even if you think you have no interest at all in broadcast journalism, (And I can't imagine anyone thinking that), you owe it to yourself to give this gem of a book a try. There are so many reasons to recommend it. The experiences these journalists had were truly amazing. Their reports influenced public opinion for many years and their work formed the cornerstone of radio and TV news broadcasts for many years. (It's too bad that the values in which they believed have been replaced by what we now see on the nightly news; thank God for NPR.) equally interesting are the stories of these men, both individually and as a group. The authors do a fine job of allowing the reader to know each player and to gain a real understanding of who they were. The writing is so outstanding that I simply could not put this down.

  • Michael
    2019-04-18 11:43

    It is a sometimes romanticized account about often romanticized men. I learned a lot about Murrow but more about the men he hired and this thing they created called broadcast journalism. Eric Sevareid once told America after victory in Europe that they would forever be strangers with their soldier sons coming home from the war. He may have feared but not truly known how difficult their own transition to post-war reporting would be. For as much as their network would forever celebrate them, it also did a good job of marginalizing them. It was a very good book and I'd recommend it to anyone, whether you're a journalism nut like me or not.

  • Joan L. Draper
    2019-04-03 08:41

    if you remember any of them - this is a must read. Olsen and Gould go into a great deal of depth in telling the story of Murrow and his boys, of their closeness and of their of their giant egoes. And yet they come off as very human with all the plusses and minuses every human has. Mistakes are made as all humans make mistakes,they are no different. Murrow has the great ability to pick men with talent equal to his own. And with those giant egoes, their are bound to be hurt feelings. I read this book immediately after reading " Citizens of London". They go together like ham and eggs. The pair would make a great gift for an older reader. Joan Draper

  • Anna
    2019-03-29 08:47

    Great read and page-turner. History of real people written without strictly academic manner. Journalists who would go anywhere where something important was happening. Each of them could be a hero of a book himself. Story of complicated personalities and full of anegdotes connected to them. Those people were great examples of their craft, which went wrong in years after WWII, when vanity and commercialism appeared in a place of profesionalism.

  • Tracy
    2019-04-17 09:42

    These guys were certainly amazing reporters. They knew their topics first hand and were not talking heads. Unfortunately, the smoked, drank, ran around on their wives, and let their egos get in the way of relationships and that sort of life catches up with you in short order. They also could not transition to television yet couldn't let go and let the next generation take it on. Very good read, but sad in the end.

  • Katy
    2019-04-09 08:23

    It was a fascinating read that offers insight into, not only the lives and motivations of these amazing men and women, but to the hand that they had in shaping today's broadcast journalism at its best (and the pain they felt in seeing broadcast journalism at its worst). The authors do a good job of not putting the "Murrow Boys" up on pedestals, highlighting the faults along with the strengths of all, even Murrow himself.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-12 07:33

    Well written, but so hard to finish. I fell in love with Lynne Olsen's later work "Citizens of London" and was disappointed that this didn't have the same magic. After the war ends, this book loses steam. It picks up a bit with McCarthyism and the fight with CBS over truth vs. objectivity in reporting. A great resource for anyone studying the history of broadcast journalism, but anyone else should run out and get "Citizens of London" if they want a great read.

  • Brian Page
    2019-03-31 15:25

    A beautifully written but ultimately tragic tale. On one hand I should hope that every journalism student would read this book. On the other hand, I'm not sure that anyone younger than say, 50 or 55 will really be able to identify with the times, the extraordinary people, and the milieu so evocatively described by Cloud and Olson. It's a heartbreaking story told with great beauty.

  • Betsy
    2019-04-02 13:36

    This is a book that focuses on Edward R. Morrow and the men (and one woman) who pioneered radio news broadcasting for C.B.S. during WWII. It is an eye-opening book about war and its aftermath when new enemies put in an appearance. Television changed everything as did politics which played an important part in the story.

  • Amy
    2019-03-28 12:48

    The pioneering suggested in the title all took place during WW II, and that was the part of the book I enjoyed the most. There was a lot more inner CBS politics than I really wanted to know, although it was interesting to see people that I remember (Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather) start to pop up in the later years.

  • Lisa of Hopewell
    2019-04-19 11:44

    Starts out well....hope it continues well.......Another one I forgot about. I don't know if I'll get it again. Finally there is someone actually named "Egbert!" Ed Murrow was really Egbert Roscoe.......who knew?

  • Rob
    2019-04-02 12:36

    What splendid lives these Murrow Boys led. The boozing, the incessant smoking, the womanizing, and the writing and reporting of course. There's even naming of names during the McCarthy era here. If you're at all interested in early radio news or World War II journalism, this book is for you.

  • Dina
    2019-04-24 14:31

    A great story. Journalists as adventurers, smart and independent thinkers. Substance over form. Makes you wish there was still that kind of journalism. A bit heavy handed about how great the "Boys" were, but hard to argue against.

  • Leaon Gronlund
    2019-04-17 09:28

    Excellent!For one who "grew up" listening to many of these Murrow Boys during WW2, this was a great book. It took me way back to a time long ago--very insightful, educational, entertaining.