To look at his long face, cocked eyebrow, and slicked-back dark hair is to peer into a face of the past. A sadly skeptical countenance, pinstriped suit, and endlessly smoke-streaming cigarette—forever frozen in black-and-white—only solidifies the impression: Edward R. Murrow is a dinosaur, a curiosity, a relic from a quaint age. What, if anything, could a newsman from a bygone age of big band and world war, crackling radio and ancient televisions have to say to the smart, sleek modern world?
The answer, it seems, is plenty.
Originally, Murrow made his name reporting for CBS during some of the most harrowing and consequential days of the twentieth century. He offered riveting coverage of Adolf Hitler’s “bloodless conquest” of Austria, the West’s infamous appeasement at the Munich conference, and London’s hellscape during the darkest days of the Battle of Britain. In the wake of the Second World War, Murrow became the trusted face and voice of thoughtful commentary on issues and events of the day.