Published: November 30, 2008
According to Michael Wolff’s supercilious yet star-struck portrait of Rupert Murdoch, the planet’s most notorious press baron has a crude, simple, primordial idea of a good time. “Being warlike is his point,” Mr. Wolff writes. “He likes to be the cause of the conflict. He likes to set the house on fire and watch all the fire engines drive maniacally down the road.”
Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch
By Michael Wolff
446 pages. Broadway Books. US $29.95.
The other is his decision to invite a journalist as barbed and heat-seeking as Mr. Wolff, a longtime media columnist, into what this book’s subtitle calls Mr. Murdoch’s “secret world.”
How far into that world did Mr. Wolff get? Just far enough to appreciate the uncanny, superhuman, impervious, all-powerful essence of the Murdoch mystique, to grasp the absoluteness of his power and come away with a book’s worth of choice anecdotes about the Murdoch magic.