The Banality Of Power

TITLE: MURDOCH

AUTHOR: WILLIAM SHAWCROSS

PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER; 492

PAGES; $27.50

THE BOTTOM LINE: In this slick but surface biography, a powerful media tycoon is just a man who can't say no to more.

HE HAS BEEN SLURRED AS "THE Dirty Digger" -- an invidious reference to his origins Down Under -- and reviled as a living replica of Citizen Kane. He has been caricatured (on this magazine's cover) as a King Kongish monster standing atop Manhattan's World Trade Center. Across the globe, an angry legion of ex- employees recalls him as a greedy exploiter who breaks contracts without blinking...

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