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Young Rupert

The Making of the Murdoch Empire

Walter Marsh



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Scribe Publications
01 August 2023
For half a century, the Murdoch media empire and its polarising patriarch have swept across the globe, shaking up markets and democracies in their wake. But how did it all start?

In September 1953, 22-year-old Rupert Murdoch landed in Adelaide, South Australia. Fresh from Oxford with a radical reputation, the young and brash son of Sir Keith Murdoch had arrived to fulfill his father's dying wish- for Rupert to live a 'useful altruistic and full life' in the media.

For decades, Sir Keith had been a giant of the Australian press, but his final years were spent bitterly fending off rivals and would-be successors. When the dust settled on his father's estate, Rupert was left with the Adelaide-based News Ltd and its afternoon paper The News - a minor player in a small, parochial city.

But even this inheritance was soon under siege, as the left-wing 'Boy Publisher' stared down his father's old colleagues at the city's paper of record, The Advertiser, and a conservative establishment kept in power by a decades-old gerrymander.

Led by Rupert's friend, ally, and editor-in-chief Rohan Rivett, the fledgling Murdoch press began a seven-year campaign of circulation wars, expansion, and courtroom battles that divided the city and would lay the foundations for a global empire - if Rupert and Rohan didn't end up in custody first.

Drawing on unpublished archival material and new reportage, Young Rupert pieces together a paper trail of succession, sedition, and power - and a fascinating time capsule of Australian media on the cusp of an extraordinary ascension.

'Ruthless, ambitious, a purveyor of intrigue and scandal for whom loyalty is just a pit stop on the way to a business deal, this is the young Rupert as you've never seen him before. A riveting, rollicking tale.' -Jenny Hocking, author of The Palace Letters

'From schoolboy socialist to boy publisher to mogul on the make- Young Rupert offers a revelatory glimpse of Murdoch becoming Murdoch.' -Jeff Sparrow, author of Crimes Against Nature

'Young Rupert is a vivid, revelatory portrait of a young man in a hurry. Deeply researched and sharply written, Marsh summons a vanished era to life and chronicles the intricate manoeuvres and shifting character of a man whose whims and grudges have dominated, for better and worse, the media landscape for seventy years. This is an engrossing and insightful study of raw power, shameless politics, and the powers of the press.' -Patrick Mullins, author of Tiberius with a Telephone
Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   464g
ISBN:   9781761380044
ISBN 10:   1761380044
Pages:   352
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Walter Marsh is a journalist based in Tarntanya / Adelaide with a background in history and culture. A former editor and staff writer at The Adelaide Review and Rip It Up, his writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, and InDaily.

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