The appeal of Life seemingly cut across the lines of race, class, and gender. Luce himself wielded influence hitherto unknown among journalists. His second marriage—to the glamorous playwright, politician, and diplomat Clare Boothe—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 story of spectacular achievement—yet it never loses sight of the public and private costs at which that achievement came.
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The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century
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His father was a Presbyterian missionary in China, a Yale-educated and enlightened man who saw his task as not merely converting the Chinese to his faith, but raising them to Western standards of education and prosperity so they would gravitate to Christianity on their own. What the boy took from his father was both an ambition to greatness — a missionary sense of his own — and a deep fear that he could never measure up. At Hotchkiss, Luce also met one of the two people who would loom largest in his adult life — both of them simultaneously rivals and partners.
Briton Hadden was as iconoclastic as Luce was earnest, as untamed as Luce was disciplined, as charismatic as Luce was socially inept. They competed for honors and attention through prep school and university, and a few years after graduation became collaborators in an audacious journalistic start-up. Luce and Hadden shared a contempt for what is now called the mainstream media, both the sensational tabloids and the serious dailies, which they regarded as dull and bloated.
Brimming with precocious self-confidence, they conceived a weekly digest of news and analysis culled from other publications.
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The new magazine had the qualities we associate now with blogs. It was concise and informal, with plenty of political topspin, rendered in a prose that inspired much satire.
By the time the self-destructive Hadden had caroused himself to death at age 31, Time was a tremendous success, and a new business magazine, Fortune, was on the launching pad. Time, which had begun as an abstract of other publications, and Life and Fortune all became showcases for original work by some of the best writers and photojournalists ever loosed on the world. Her exploits would have supplied abundant copy for the popular magazine that Time Inc.
He insisted on the title editor in chief rather than the one Brinkley has chosen, reflecting a role in the content that was aggressively hands-on. Luce urged his magazines to promote politicians he loved. Luce was so myopically devoted to the Chinese Nationalist autocrat Chiang Kai-shek that he overrode his own skeptical correspondents and minimized the surging strength of the Chinese Communists.
Luce despised Roosevelt — in part because Roosevelt failed to flatter him, but mostly because he saw Roosevelt as too passive in world affairs — and he used Time to wage a feud with the president. View all New York Times newsletters. His hatred of F.
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Nor was Luce all that conservative. He supported the growth of government power, including the welfare state. The wartime experience helped complete the transformation of New Deal liberalism. It muted Washington's hostility to the corporate world and diminished liberal faith in the capacity of government to reform capitalism.
But it also helped legitimize Keynesian fiscal policies, reinforce commitments to social welfare, and create broad support for "full employment" as the centerpiece of postwar liberal hopes.