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When we were kids the three syndicated tv stations in New York City--WOR, WPIX, and WNEW--ran an entirely different class of ads than the three networks and the ones they got they reran alot. One that we all used to imitate was for maybe a Time Life Records disc of old news radio broadcasts. It began, as does this book, with the Hindenburg Explosion and the classic: "Oh, the humanity...!" Even though the event had occurred thirty years earlier, that ad made Herb Morrison's narration of the disaster a part of our lives. And many events before and since are associated with an iconic moment in broadcasting, whether Walter Cronkite's tears or Frank Reynolds barking at ABC staffers the day President Reagan was shot. But, more recently, we have so many more media options that while even a graphically memorable event--like the World Trade Centers coming down--is probably not widely associated with any one broadcaster. That would be my initial quibble about this book.

Next, maybe it's just me but it seems inappropriate to go from truly historic events--like Pearl Harbor and D-Day and the like--to the deaths of mere celebrities and even to memorable but not especially pivotal stories, like Columbine and the Olympic Park bombing. Indeed, I doubt one in ten people can tell you who the perpetrator of the latter was.

And, finally, while the book combines useful text, outstanding still photography and three cds of narration by Bill Kurtis and snippets from the broadcasts in question, I personally would have liked more of the last. The story of the broadcasts just seems like it ought to contain fuller versions of same.

All that said though, the kids have really enjoyed the book and the discs. In particular, we watched the movie Apollo 13 one night and our daughter that it was "awesome" that afterward she could read an account of what had really happened and listen to how the story was reported at the time. So, while I would have done things differently, the book Joe Garner produced has much to recommend it, not least an endorsement from my kids.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (B-)

  

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Reference Books
Joe Garner Links:

    -BOOK SITE: We Interrupt this Broadcast (Sourcebooks)
    -GOOGLE BOOKS: We Interrupt this Brioadcast
    -INTERVIEW: "We Interrupt This Broadcast" with Joe Garner (Judyth Piazza, Newsblaze)
    -VIDEO: Joe Garner Demo Reel (Youtube)
    -INTERVIEW: A moment with ... Joe Garner, author (JOHN LEVESQUE, 12/12/02, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER)
    -REVIEW: of We Interrupt This Broadcast : The Events That Stopped Our Lives...from the Hindenburg Explosion to the Virginia Tech Shooting by Joe Garner (The Other Chad, BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of We Interrupt this Broadcast (Chris Mackowski , Scholars & Rogues)
    -REVIEW: of We Inteerupt this Broadcast (Lisa Nielsen, BookReview.com)

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