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NPR Best Books of 2020
The wild inside story of the birth of CNN and dawn of the age of 24-hour news
How did we get from an age of dignified nightly news broadcasts on three national networks to the age of 24-hour channels and constantly breaking news? The answer—thanks to Ted Turner and an oddball cast of cable television visionaries, big league rejects, and nonunion newbies—can be found in the basement of an abandoned country club in Atlanta. Because it was there, in the summer of 1980, that this motley crew somehow, against all odds, launched CNN.
Lisa Napoli’s Up All Night is an entertaining inside look at the founding of the upstart network that set out to change the way news was delivered and consumed. Mixing media history, a business adventure story, and great characters, Up All Night tells the story of a network that succeeded beyond even the wildest imaginings of its charismatic and uncontrollable founder, and paved the way for the world we live in today.
About the Author
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lisa Napoli has had a long career in print, radio, TV, and online journalism. She has worked at the New York Times, Marketplace, MSNBC, and KCRW. She is the author of three previous books, Radio Shangri-La, Ray & Joan, and Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News. She lives in Los Angeles.
“This detailed account of the birth and life of live 24/7 coverage unfolds with great energy. It tells the story of how journalism was transformed by a cast of quirky and brilliant characters with lots of vision and hard work. This book shows how important it is to understand CNN's history and backstory to fully appreciate where we are today in cable news and fast journalism.”
— Soledad O’Brien
“… an artful, anecdote-rich account of Mr. Turner and CNN.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“…a breezy, tightly-written origin story.”
— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A page-turning hybrid of biography, media analysis, and business history.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“The book is fast-paced and chock-full of fascinating tidbits and hilarious anecdotes.”
— The National Book Review
"It’s a fun and instructive read that will give you more respect for what the network has become."
— Emiko Tamagawa