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
In addition to being a best selling textbook author, ALAN BRINKLEY is the Allan Nevins Professor of History and former Provost at Columbia University. He is the author of Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, which won the 1983 National Book Award; The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War; and Liberalism and its Discontents. His most recent books are "John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963" and "The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century" both published recently. He was educated at Princeton and Harvard and taught previously at MIT, Harvard, and the City University Graduate School before joining the Columbia faculty In 1991. In 1998-1999, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. He won the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Award at Harvard in 1987 and the Great Teacher Award at Columbia in 2003. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the board of trustees of the National Humanities Center and Oxford University Press, and chairman of the board of trustees of the Century Foundation. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), and the University of Torino (Italy). He was the 1998-1999 Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.
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