This Is NPR: The First Forty Years (英語) ハードカバー – 2010/10/27
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"Always put the listener first" has been NPR's mantra since its inception in 1970. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, NPR's programming attracts over 27 million listeners every week. This beautifully designed volume chronicles NPR's storied history, featuring dozens of behind-the-scenes photos, essays and original reporting by a who's who of NPR staff and correspondents, transcripts of memorable interviews, and an audio CD of the most memorable programming throughout the decades. Beyond an entertaining and inspiring tribute to NPR's remarkable history, this book is an intimate look at the news and stories that have shaped our world, from the people who were on the ground and on the air. With contributions from Steve Inskeep, Neal Conan, Robert Siegel, Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer, Scott Simon, Melissa Block, P.J. O'Rourke, David Sedaris, Sylvia Poggioli, Paula Poundstone, and many more, this is the perfect book for any NPR supporter, fan, or devotee.
"...a beautifully designed anthology of behind-the-scenes photos, essays and original reporting...we couldn't recommend it more." -Brain Pickings
Selected as one of "Top 5 Books of 2010." - Cool Hunting
"If you're a fan of NPR, you need to own this book!" - Portland Book Review
The book chronicles the highlights of the first 40 years of NPR's existence up through 2009 or so. It centers on the greatest historical events of those years and NPR's role in bringing those stories to its listeners.
At times the essays run to a modest tooting of NPR's own horn--how they were there first, told the story best, succeeded against all odds and survived personal dangers and horrors.
Other essays have a "little engine that could" theme--especially the early years when no one knew what NPR was about, they ran on a shoestring budget, and somehow got the story first, or told it best, and did it with subpar equipment and facilities and an undermanned news department.
That said, for NPR fans, this is a nice encapsulation of their growth and increasing role in the national and international news business. There are some nice reminiscences of NPR pioneers and "legends" like Susan Stamberg, Bob Edwards, Cokie Roberts, and Nina Totenberg. We hear the story behind the story in many cases of reporters risking their lives in places like Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars there.
Note: I read the kindle version and some of the photos require you to enlarge the font in order to see them clearly.
All in all, it left me dissatisfied. I felt that I had been reading a bunch of promotional pieces written for use in the interminable weeks when they yammer on for donations. There was no central philosophy and flow to the book except that it was broken up into a timeline of decades.
If NPR news magazine programs were like this book, the listener totals would be a fraction of what it is. How such talented journalists could produce this high school yearbook is beyond me.