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Hidden Agendas


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Revealing the truth behind many facets of contemporary politics, John Pilger's powerful book exposes the dangers and deceptions of power.

About the Author

John Pilger grew up in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, author and film-maker. He has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of Journalist of the Year, for his work all over the world, notably in Cambodia and Vietnam. He has been International Reporter of the Year and winner of the United Nations Associated Peace Prize and Gold Medal. For his broadcasting, he has won France's Reporter Sans Frontieres, an American television Academy Award, an Emmy, and the Richard Dimbleby Award, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2003, he received the Sophie Prize for 'thirty years of exposing deception and improving human rights'.


An Australian-born, London-based journalist and TV documentarian, Pilger might be thought of as Noam Chomsky with a journalist's chops, given his ability to unpack the power relations in the events he chronicles and his trenchant reports from the field. This hefty collection of his dispatches and essays, some of which began as items in the Guardian and the New Statesman, concerns "slow news." In Pilger's words, "slow news" consists of stories that unfold in the shadows of fast-breaking, world-shaking events, but fail to register in a mass media dominated by infotainmentÄstories like the death of Iraqi civilians, the exploitation of Haitian children, the forced demise of the Caribbean banana trade. Pilger's most accessible polemics are grounded in reporting, as when he observes the "refined absurdity" of an arms fair or depicts an arms dealer claiming to be a "simple businessman." Better still are his reports from Burma, where he not only met the resolute dissident Aung San Suu Kyi but also filmed slave laborers. Pilger's attack on the British media, from the BBC to Rupert Murdoch, whose headquarters at Wapping, England, he calls "a cultural Chernobyl," may fail to interest an American readership. But his accounts of the newly democratized South Africa and Vietnam's deprivations under World Bank-imposed strictures remind us that globalization does not lift all boats. Pilger sounds self-righteous at times and occasionally overstates his case: the mainstream media is not nearly so silent as he charges. But these essays pack a powerful punch, raising questions thathis peers in the news trade can ill afford to ignore. (Apr.)

"Pilger is the closest we have to the greatest correspondents of the 1930s... The truth in his hands is a weapon, to be picked up and brandished and used in the struggle against evil and injustice" Guardian "Pilger's strength is his gift for finding the image, the instant, that reveals all - he is a photographer using words instead of a camera" Salmon Rushdie "A modern interpretation of world affairs in a cynical age" Independent

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