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The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Centuryby Alan Brinkley
Synopses & Reviews
Acclaimed historian Alan Brinkley gives us a sharply realized portrait of Henry Luce, arguably the most important publisher of the twentieth century.
As the founder of Time, Fortune, and Life magazines, Luce changed the way we consume news and the way we understand our world. Born the son of missionaries, Henry Luce spent his childhood in rural China, yethe glimpsed a milieu of power altogether different at Hotchkiss and later at Yale. While working at a Baltimore newspaper, he and Brit Hadden conceived the idea of Time anews-magazine that would condense the week's events in a format accessible to increasingly busy members of the middle class. They launched it in 1923, and young Luce quickly became apublishing titan. In 1936, after Time's unexpected success-and Hadden's early death--Luce published the first issue of Life, to which millionssoon subscribed.
Brinkley shows how Luce reinvented the magazine industry in just a decade. The appeal of Life seemingly cut across the lines of race, class, and gender. Luce himselfwielded influence hitherto unknown among journalists. By the early 1940s, he had come to see his magazines as vehicles to advocate for America's involvement in the escalating international crisis, in the processpopularizing the phrase World War II. In spite of Luce's great success, happiness eluded him. His second marriage-to the glamorous playwright, politician, and diplomat ClareBoothe-was a shambles. Luce spent his later years in isolation, consumed at times with conspiracy theories and peculiar vendettas.
The Publisher tells a great American storyof spectacular achievement-yet it never loses sight of the public and private costs at which that achievement came.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of American History at Columbia University. His previous books include Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, which won the National Book Award for History, and The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The American Historical Review, the Journal of American History, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, and other publications. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
American abroad — The striver — Big man — "The paper" — "Time : the weekly news-magazine" — Empire builder — "Time marches on" — "Life begins" — Man of the world — Time Inc. goes to war — Losing China — Cold warriors — National purpose — Letting go.
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