History of the Times

The Murdoch Years
(Hardcover Edition)


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ISBN 0-00-718438-7

Category: Product ID: 767


History of the Times by Graham Stewart. In 1980, The Times was one of the world’s most famous newspapers.  It was also in chaos.  Losing millions of pounds a year and repeatedly crippled by industrial action, it had been off the streets for eleven months between 1979 and 1980, when its owners finally decided to cut their loses.  When Rupert Murdoch heard that The Times was for sale, he commented laconically, ‘I doubt whether there will be any buyers.’

Months later, it was Murdoch, one of the most controversial media moguls of the age who won control of the paper in a contentious sale that many feared would see a treasured national institutional rescued by a tabloid owner intent on traducing the values that made it great.  Starting with that historic moment, this is the frank and absorbing official history of the power struggles, triumphs and gaffes that shaped Murdoch’s Times in the closing decades of an extraordinary century.  Behind the venerable facade the paper presented to the outside world, Graham Stewart reveals an institution as divided, uncertain and varied as the news it covered.  It is the story of the editors who sought to steer the paper with wit, intelligence, integrity and intimidation.  It is also the tale of the journalists who reported, analyses and interpreted the news to a reading public as often outrages as it was approving.

From the Falklands War to the Ashcroft affair, the Wapping Dispute that smashed the power of the trade unions to the court cases that helped reshape British libel law; through Thatcher, Major and Blair, The History of The Times provides a lens through which to review the close of the twentieth century and the dawn of the twenty-first.

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3 reviews for History of the Times

  1. Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

    Stewart tells this story with the verve of a soap opera … it is one of the best evocations I have read of the pandemonium of a newspaper office when internal personalities are external events meets in tempestuous conflict.

  2. Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian

    Pulsing with journalistic flesh and blood … a judicious, balanced account.

  3. Tim Gardam, TLS

    The story is told by Stewart as part gangland thriller, part heroic romance.

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