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Where does Dark Days in the Newsroom rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Best in a good while and I am typically critical
The parallels between then and now, the fear and the irrationality of public opinion and its manipulation from behind the scenes resounded then and it resounds now
What about Robert Thaler’s performance did you like?
Objective and professional and weighty.
Any additional comments?
This is an absolute must book in my collection on this epoch. I have read extensive journals on McCarthyism. This author's research and accounts of J. Edgar Hoover, McCarthy and some of the other central players is captivating and new. He is willing to present both sides of the period and examine the complexities inherent in the 1st Amendment, freedom of the Press, the dynamic role the Press plays or should play in an open society and just how vulnerable the Press was then and now to political pressures, huge moneyed interests,etc
Alwood gives an historical perspective that is quite thorough which explains how the panic and fear and irrationality of that time arose. Anyone who wants to better comprehend the times we live in today would learn something from this history imo.
If you could sum up Dark Days in the Newsroom in three words, what would they be?
a good retelling, it was original but it could have been better written and less repetitive at times
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Not very original ending. the meat and potatoes of the book in my perspective was the HUAC material and the discussions of the early origins of the Communist Party in America and the great bio of Heywood Brown who I sense is largely forgotten now in our history. How this all ties in with the issues of the 1st Amendment, Freedom of speech and the 4th estate are what makes the book interesting.
What does Robert Thaler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He's the saving grace of the audio. He gives quite a few different voices to the period, nails the speech of that time, even does an excellent Joe McCarthy. Without this fellow driving the narrative the story would sag. Striking voice and presentation. Why the hell whoever does the hiring can't route around and find more quality like this is beyond me. I have often been appalled at the sub par delivery of so many of the 'readers' that they hire, its like Russian roulette picking out a book even some of the guys and gals who do hundreds of books can be beyond awful, there just doesn't seem to be much quality control For a manuscript like this one which is potentially pretty dry, its essential to find a narrator like this one with style and substance.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
the story is a manuscript more or less of that period with many original details presented in journalistic form and many factoids about J Edgar Hoover, McCarthy, Randolph Hearst, the background machinations of the newspaper guilds,the Unions,the American Communist Party and the FBI all vying in power struggles for supremacy
Any additional comments?
It was worth my money but it could have been better if the author wasn't quite so academic and at times repetitive. The narrator sells it. Also the technical arguments and points made by the writer can be a bit ponderous, is that the right word? Don't know, I just finished the listen and will let it sit a while