Synopses & Reviews
Publishing tycoon Henry Luce famously championed many conservative causes, and his views as a capitalist and cold warrior were reflected in his glossy publications. Republican Luce aimed squarely for the Middle American masses, yet his magazines attracted intellectually and politically ambitious minds who were moved by the democratic aspirations of the New Deal and the left. Much of the best work of intellectuals such as James Agee, Archibald MacLeish, Daniel Bell, John Hersey, and Walker Evans owes a great debt to their experiences writing for Luce and his publications.Intellectuals Incorporated tells the story of the serious writers and artists who worked for Henry Luce and his magazines Time, Fortune, and Life between 1923 and 1960, the period when the relationship between intellectuals, the culture industry, and corporate capitalism assumed its modern form. Countering the notions that working for corporations means selling out and that the true life of the mind must be free from institutional ties, historian Robert Vanderlan explains how being embedded in the corporate culture industries was vital to the creative efforts of mid-century thinkers. Illuminating their struggles through careful research and biographical vignettes, Vanderlan shows how their contributions to literary journalism and the wider political culture would have been impossible outside Luce's media empire. By paying attention to how these writers and photographers balanced intellectual aspiration with journalistic perspiration, Intellectuals Incorporated advances the idea of the intellectual as a connected public figure who can engage and criticize organizations from within.
The story of the liberal and radical minds-including James Agee, Archibald MacLeish, Dwight Macdonald, Daniel Bell, John Hersey, and Walker Evans-who worked for conservative Henry Luce and his popular magazines "Time," "Fortune," and "Life" between 1923 and 1960.
Review A Day
is a bracing contribution to American intellectual history. It is full of well-drawn biographical portraits, and through them Vanderlan analyzes a dynamic whereby intellectuals transform and are transformed by the world around them. The book reveals the complexity of this process, and Vanderlan writes about multiple paradoxes with originality and insight. What may at first be a job, and only that, can evolve into a calling." Michael Kimmage, The New Republic
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