Archive for the ‘Journalism Biographies’ Category

Newjack – Ted Conover – Audio Book

November 19, 2007

Newjack – Ted Conover : Guarding Sing Sing is the story of Conover’s rookie year as a guard at Sing Sing. It is a nerve-jangling account of his passage into the storied prison and the culture of its guards – both fresh-faced “newjacks” like Conover and brutally hardened veterans. As he struggles to be a good officer, Conover angers inmates, dodges blows, works to balance decency with toughness, and participates in prison rituals – strip frisks, cell searches, cell “extractions” – that exact a toll on inmates and officers alike.

The tale begins with the corrections academy and ends with the flames and smoke of New Year’s Eve on Conover’s floor of the notorious B-Block. Along the way, Conover also recounts the history of Sing Sing, from draconian early punishment, to fame as the citadel of capital punishment, to its present status as New York State’s “bottom of the barrel” prison.

This book will become a landmark of American journalism – the definitive presentation of the impasse between the need to imprison criminals and the dehumanization of inmates and guards – that almost inevitably takes place behind bars.

“Newjack is an astonishing work by a gifted – and dedicated – journalist. Ted Conover takes us into the dangerous, sad, amusing and instructive soul of one of America’s best known prisons.” — Tom Brokaw

For the first time, I am not able to write down what I think myself about this book for it has been said in many ways by great journalists and in a much better way than what I would have been able to write. Below is what they had to say abizut this brilliant book:

“Compelling…. Fascinating…. ‘Newjack’ is an important cautionary tale…. Conover is to be commended for having the chops to venture where few others would dare to go.” The Los Angeles Times

“Profoundly eye-opening….He brilliantly demonstrates how life in prison brutalizes both the kept and their keepers.” Chicago Sun Times

“This book takes a reader inside one of the many locked doors of America’s penal system. It is clear-eyed and sympathetic, intelligent and engrossing. It reminded me of some of George Orwell’s admirable journalism.” Tracy Kidder

“Those who craft theories and make policy must read this book if they are to understand how those theories and policies affect people …” San Diego Union Tribune

“A devastating chronicle of the toll prison life takes on the prisoners and the keepers of the keys. You can’t get more inside than this … Conover brilliantly conveys the confusion and frustration of trying to use the lessons of the Academy [for training guards] in a real-time situation.” Minneapolis Star Tribune

Listen to the sound sample of this great book here: Newjack – Ted Conover- Audio Book

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Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg – Audio Book

September 15, 2007

Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg : In Arrogance, Goldberg punctures the bubble in which the media elites live and work, a culture of denial where contrary views are not welcome. He shows how they base their stories on assumptions many Americans don’t share – which inevitably leads to biased reporting and slanted news. With blistering wit and passion, he names names and builds his case, revealing:

-How the media’s coverage of the Jayson Blair scandal missed far more serious problems at the New York Times. -How some of the toughest watchdogs in journalism became Hillary Clinton’s lapdogs. -Why the media refuse to shoot straight when the subject turns to guns. -Which CBS News icon is “transparently liberal, ” according to commentator Andy Rooney. -Why the only kind of diversity you cannot in a lot of newsrooms is a diversity of ideas. -How some journalists, like Bob Costas and Tim Russert, do get it – and how they think American journalism can be made better.

Arrogance is one of those rare programs that can change not only a powerful American institution … but the American landscape as well.

Arrogance by Bernard Goldberg is a truly enjoyable read. Goldberg doesn’t try to create a
vast left wing conspiracy tied to Islam or Communism, he just presents the facts as he sees them. Although himself a former insider, he really does know what he is talking about. But instead of wanting to put this book down, Goldberg gives the reader and/or listener the feeling that he not only loves the country he lives in, but also the profession that he’s chosen, and he has hope for the future.

American Hostage – Micah Garen, Marie-Helene Carleton – Audio Book

July 13, 2007

American Hostage – Micah Garen, Marie-Helene Carleton : A rare and powerful story of hope, love, survival, and the struggle to bring back alive a hostage in Iraq.

Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carleton were journalists and filmmakers working in Iraq on a documentary with their Iraqi translator Amir Doshi. In the late summer of 2004, they began to wrap up their work, and Marie-Helene returned home while Micah remained for a final two weeks of filming. As Micah and Amir were filming in a Nasiriyah market, something went horribly wrong: Micah was unmasked as a foreigner and kidnapped by militants in southern Iraq.

Home in New York, Marie-Helene awoke to a gut-wrenching phone call from Micah’s mother with word of his abduction. She promised Micah’s mother the impossible – that together they would bring Micah back alive.

American Hostage is the remarkable memoir of Micah Garen’s harrowing abduction and survival in captivity, as well as the heroic and successful struggle of Marie-Helene; along with family and friends to win Micah’s and Amir’s release from their captors. The world watched and waited as Micah’s drama unfolded, but the authors, now safely home and engaged to be married, detail the dramatic untold story.

The fight of Marie-Helene Carleton is the one which makes the impossible comes true and the proof s well that when one believes with all his or her strengh everything is feasable and possible. Its as well and astonishing read because we do discover a moving, sympathic portrait of Iraq and its people truggling against the chaos unleashed by the American liberation. And the description of Micah aren’s friendship with his translator Amir, an educated, secular Muslim. To read absolutly.

All of these People – Fergal Keane – Audio Book

May 16, 2007

All of these People – Fergal Keane : During his years of reporting from the world’s most savage and turbulent regions, Fergal Keane has witnessed the violence of the South African townships and the terror in Rwanda, the most extreme kinds of human behaviour, the horror of genocide and the bravery of peacekeepers faced with overwhelming odds.

As one of the BBC’s leading correspondents, he recounts extraordinary encounters on
the front lines. Alongside his often brutal experiences in the field, he also describes unflinchingly the challenges and demons he has faced in his personal life growing up in Ireland.

Keane’s existence as a war reporter is all that we imagine: frantic filing of reports and dodging shells, interspersed with rest in bombed-out hotels and concrete shelters.

Life in such vulnerable areas of the globe is emotionally draining, but full of astonishing moments of camaraderie and human bravery.

At the heart of Fergal Keane’s story is a descent into and recovery from alcoholism, panning two generations, father and son; a different kind of war, but as much part of he journey of the last 25 years as the bullets and bombs.

Reading Fergal Keane’s book gave me an insight into the man. I admire his honesty in writing his memoir, memoir which is haunted by his alcoholic father. His influence is felt in his early days as a reporter on the Irish Press to his dream job as BBC Southern Africa correspondent. He worked from Northern Ireland to the Balkans and he reported as well about the genocide in Rwanda. To forget all this he, too, became an alcoholic. This was the biggest battled he had to fight ! To me this book is like a confession of the guilt he carries about the dead and injured he has filmed and then left.

Don McCullin,war photographer, once said: he justifies himself: ‘You can’t focus with tears in your eyes.’

Storyteller’s Daughter – Saira Shah – Audio Book

April 16, 2007

Storyteller’s Daughter – Saira Shah : Born in Britain, Saira Shah was inspired by her father’s dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears knew for 900 years within sight of orchards, snow-topped mountains, and the minarets of Kabul. This is Saira
— part sophisticated and sensitive Western liberal, part fearless (even fierce) life-gulping Afghan, falling in love with her ancestral myth, chasing Afghanistan.

Saira, at 21, becoming a correspondent at the front during the war between the soviets and the Afghan resistance. Then Saira, self-imprisoned in a burqa, risking her life to film Beneath the Veil — her acclaimed record of the devastation of women’s lives by the Taliban. Saira discovering her extended family, discovering a world of gorgeous family ritual, of community, of male primacy, of arranged marriages, finding at last the (now war-ravaged) family seat, discovering at last what she wants and what she rejects of her compelling heritage.

An extremely poignant, vibrating book, describing how life was in Afghanistan ….. before all that ! I found it fascinating.

The Chain Gang – Richard McCord – Audio Book

March 17, 2007

The Chain Gang – Richard McCord : “They’re closing in on me, Dick, and I’m afraid they’re going to get me,” said Frank Wood, publisher of the Green Bay News-Chronicle, in a phone call to his friend and colleague Richard McCord. Drained of cash and spirit, Wood could not hold out much longer against a devouring giant, the Gannett Company. As editor and publisher of the weekly Santa Fe Reporter, McCord had successfully fended off Gannett’s “Operation Demolition” when it moved into town. Now Wood was seeking the help of a survivor.

This dramatic story of two men’s efforts to save the small Green Bay daily from obliteration at the hands of the nation’s largest newspaper chain brings together startling case histories of the dubious tactics practiced by Gannett and unsparing insights into the newspaper industry. Their success is a metaphor for one of the oldest triumphs of the world: that of David over Goliath.

Its brilliant. And what makes me angry is that this type of “operations” are going on and on although we read so many books or articles about such raid ! Some are really unable to learn !

Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg – Audio Book

March 13, 2007

Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg : In Arrogance, Goldberg punctures the bubble in which the media elites live and work, a culture of denial where contrary views are not welcome. He shows how they base their stories on assumptions many Americans don’t share – which inevitably leads to biased reporting and slanted news. With blistering wit and passion, he names names and builds his case, revealing:

  • How the media’s coverage of the Jayson Blair scandal missed far more serious problems at the New York Times.
  • How some of the toughest watchdogs in journalism became Hillary Clinton’s lapdogs.
  • Why the media refuse to shoot straight when the subject turns to guns.
  • Which CBS News icon is “transparently liberal, ” according to commentator Andy Rooney.
  • Why the only kind of diversity you cannot in a lot of newsrooms is a diversity of ideas.
  • How some journalists, like Bob Costas and Tim Russert, do get it – and how they think American journalism can be made better.

An insider view of the actual journalism in America. A story told by a journalist who knows about what he is talking. Fascinating and frightening as well.

Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg – Audio Book

February 16, 2007

Arrogance – Bernard Goldberg : In Arrogance, Goldberg punctures the bubble in which the media elites live and work, a culture of denial where contrary views are not welcome. He shows how they base their stories on assumptions many Americans don’t share – which inevitably leads to biased reporting and slanted news. With blistering wit and passion, he names names and builds his case, revealing:

  • How the media’s coverage of the Jayson Blair scandal missed far more serious problems at the New York Times.
  • How some of the toughest watchdogs in journalism became Hillary Clinton’s lapdogs.
  • Why the media refuse to shoot straight when the subject turns to guns.
  • Which CBS News icon is “transparently liberal, ” according to commentator Andy Rooney.
  • Why the only kind of diversity you cannot in a lot of newsrooms is a diversity of ideas.
  • How some journalists, like Bob Costas and Tim Russert, do get it – and how they
    think American journalism can be made better.

At least here is an audio book that does not only explain facts but dives deep down
into the universe of real journalism.

Chile and Argentina – Mark Szuchman – Audio Book

February 14, 2007

Chile and Argentina – Mark Szuchman :

The World’s Political Hot Spots series explains the basis of conflicts in ome of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions re in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually ll of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, evealing how and why today’s problems occur.

The “southern cone” of South America has a vibrant yet checkered history. rgentina in 1920 was a productive and wealthy nation, yet by the 1980s as reduced to virtual third world status. Chile has a long history of internal strife, usually with representative politics until authoritarians seized power in 1973. Chile was influenced by Spanish conquerors; Argentina’s Italian and German immigrants made it the most “European” of any South American country.

In the audio book Chile and Argentina, Mark Szuchman explains with a great skill all events which happened in those two countries and I recommend this audio book for those interested in knowing more about those two fascinating countries.

Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites – Tucker Carlson – Audio Book

February 10, 2007

Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites – Tucker Carlson :

Every weeknight, millions of Americans tune in to see Tucker Carlson anchor
the right side of the aisle on CNN’s Crossfire. Named by New York magazine
as the journalist most likely to succeed in the Years of Bush, he has charmed
liberals and roused conservatives with his singular brand of acerbic wit and
razor-sharp insight.

Tossed by fate (and the O.J. Simpson murder trial) into the trenches of electronic
journalism, Carlson learned early that “television brings out the crazy in people.
” Naturally, he started taking notes. The result is a hilarious and brilliantly
revealing look at the most powerful and weirdest medium there is. Carlson has not
only seen television from the inside, but dares to describe it.

In this audio book, he takes you behind the curtain of a political talk show and if
you want to spend a some relaxing hours, just listen to it.