As the founder of Time, Fortune, and Life magazines, Henry Luce changed the way we consume news and the way we understand our world. Born the son of missionaries, Luce spent his childhood in rural China, yet he 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: a "news-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 a publishing titan. In 1936, after Time's unexpected success-and Hadden's early death-Luce published the first issue of Life, to which millions soon subscribed. Historian Alan 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 himself wielded 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 process popularizing 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 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.
About the Author
Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of American History at Columbia University and the author of "Voices of Protest," which won the National Book Award for History, and "The Unfinished Nation."
Sean Runnette, a multiple "AudioFile" Earphones Award winner, has produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company, and his television and film appearances include "Two If by Sea," "Copland," "Sex and the City," "Law & Order," and "Third Watch."
"Mr Brinkley has an eye for both the telling detail and the broad sweep of Luce's role as the man who saw the need for a national news magazine and foresaw the American century." ---The Economist