War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire
Publisher: Tantor Media
Date: May 2010
Duration: 9 hours 38 minutes
This is a tale about big business, an imploding dynasty, a mogul at war, and a deal that sums up an era of change. The main character, rocked by feuding factions and those who would remake it, is the Wall Street Journal, which affects the thoughts, votes, and stocks of two million readers daily. Sarah Ellison, while at the Journal, won praise for covering the $5 billion acquisition that transformed the pride of Dow Jones and the estimable but eccentric Bancroft family into the jewel of Rupert Murdoch's kingdom.
Going above and beyond her original reporting and the accounts of others, Ellison uses her knowledge of the paper and its people to go deep inside the landmark transaction-and also far beyond it, into the rocky transition when Murdoch's crew tussled with old Journal hands and geared up for battle with the New York Times. With access to all the players, Ellison moves from newsrooms (where editors duel) to estates (where the Bancrofts go at it like the Ewings). She shows Murdoch, finally, for who he is-maneuvering, firing, and undoing all that the Bancrofts had protected.
Here is a superlative account of a deal with reverberations beyond the news, told with the storytelling savvy that transforms big stories into timeless chronicles of American life and power.