Saturday, March 10, 2007

Five best journalism books

Scott Simon, host of NPR's "Weekend Edition" and the author of Pretty Birds (Random House, 2005), a novel set during the siege of Sarajevo, named the five best journalism books for Opinion Journal.

Number one on his list:
In Search of Light edited by Edward Bliss Jr. (Knopf, 1967).

Forget the hagiography of Edward R. Murrow since his death in 1965. All the evidence we need to understand what made Murrow broadcast journalism's first great star can be found in "In Search of Light," a collection of scripts for his broadcasts between 1938 and 1961. He had a mesmerizing presence on the air to match momentous events and, as this book reminds us, a rare poetic power. Murrow wrote for the ear -- and heart. His descriptions of the London Blitz as "a terrible symphony of fire and light," or of the starved survivors of a death camp welcoming Allied soldiers with applause from arms so frail that "it sounded like the handclapping of babies," are unsurpassed images of two of the signature events of the 20th century.
Read the entire list.

--Marshal Zeringue