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Henry R. Luce and the 20th Century

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A discussion with two biographers of Henry R. Luce, the Yale graduate who founded Time, Inc. Alan Brinkley, an historian at Columbia University, and Lance Morrow, a contributor at Time, spoke about Luce and his impact on the 20th Century. Professor Shelly Kagan moderated the discussion; Yale University President Richard Levin gave the introduction. The event was sponsored by the Yale Daily News.

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Henry Robinson Luce (April 3, 1898 – February 28, 1967), was a Chinese-American magazine magnate, who was called “the most influential private citizen in the America of his day”. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080…

He launched and closely supervised a stable of magazines that transformed journalism and the reading habits of upscale Americans. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news; Life was a picture magazine of politics, culture, and society that dominated American visual perceptions in the era before television; Fortune explored in depth the economy and the world of business, introducing to executives avant-garde ideas such as Keynesianism; and Sports Illustrated explored the motivations and strategies of sports teams and key players. Counting his radio projects and newsreels, Luce created the first multimedia corporation. He was born in China to missionary parents. He envisaged that the United States would achieve world hegemony, and, in 1941, he declared the 20th century would be the “American Century”.

Nightly discussions of the concept of a news magazine led Luce and Hadden, both age 23, to quit their jobs in 1922. Later that same year, they formed Time Inc. Having raised $86,000 of a $100,000 goal, they published the first issue of Time on March 3, 1923. Luce served as business manager while Hadden was editor-in-chief. Luce and Hadden annually alternated year-to-year the titles of president and secretary-treasurer. In 1925, Luce decided to move headquarters to Cleveland, while Hadden was on a trip to Europe. Cleveland was cheaper, and Luce’s first wife, Lila, wanted out of New York. When Hadden returned, he was horrified and moved Time back to New York. Upon Hadden’s sudden death in 1929, Luce assumed Hadden’s position.

Luce launched the business magazine Fortune in February 1930 and acquired Life in order to relaunch it as a weekly magazine of photojournalism in November 1936; he went on to launch House & Home in 1952 and Sports Illustrated in 1954. He also produced The March of Time weekly newsreel. By the mid 1960s, Time Inc. was the largest and most prestigious magazine publisher in the world. (Dwight Macdonald, a Fortune staffer during the 1930s, referred to him as “Il Luce”, a play on the Italian Dictator Mussolini, who was called “Il Duce”).)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aware that most publishers were opposed to him, issued a decree in 1943 that blocked all publishers and media executives from visits to combat areas; he put General George Marshall in charge of enforcement. The main target was Luce, who had long opposed FDR. Historian Alan Brinkley argued the move was “badly mistaken”, for had Luce been allowed to travel, he would have been an enthusiastic cheerleader for American forces around the globe. But stranded in New York City, Luce’s frustration and anger expressed itself in hard-edged partisanship.[4] Luce, supported by Editor-in-Chief T. S. Matthews, appointed Whittaker Chambers as acting Foreign News editor in 1944, despite the feuds Chambers had with reporters in the field.[5]

Luce, who remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964, maintained a position as an influential member of the Republican Party.[6] An instrumental figure behind the so-called “China Lobby”, he played a large role in steering American foreign policy and popular sentiment in favor of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling in their war against the Japanese. (The Chiangs appeared in the cover of Time eleven times between 1927 and 1955.[7])

It has been reported that Luce, during the 1960s, tried LSD and reported that he had talked to God under its influence.[8]

Once ambitious to become Secretary of State in a Republican administration, Luce penned a famous article in Life magazine in 1941, called “The American Century”, which defined the role of American foreign policy for the remainder of the 20th century (and perhaps beyond).

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CreditIllustration by Javier Jaén

Our new president is a private-jet-setting billionaire Ivy League graduate, a real estate tycoon, a TV star and a son of inherited wealth. But he is no longer, by his own calculations, a member of the “elite.” Nor are the men (and the few women) now joining his inner circle — 1-percenters and corporate executives, Harvard and Yale alumni, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Goldman Sachs bankers. The true elite apparently sits elsewhere, among those who, in Sarah Palin’s notable 2008 formulation, think “that they’re — I guess — better than anyone else.”

As an adjective, the word “elite” still conveys something positive, even aspirational: elite athlete, elite model, elite travel services. But as a noun, embodied by actual living people, it has become one of the nastiest epithets in American politics. “Elites have taken all the upside for themselves and pushed the downside to the working- and middle-class Americans,” complains Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon (of Harvard, Goldman Sachs and Hollywood). In this formulation, elites are a destructive, condescending collective, plotting against the beleaguered masses outside their ranks.

And in these attacks, the president-elect and his team are deploying one of the most effective partisan political stereotypes of the modern age. For most of American history, anti-elite sentiment was a matter of up versus down, not left versus right. But about half a century ago, the conservative movement set out to claim anti-elite politics as its own. That meant redefining the term away from class and toward culture, where the “elite” could be identified by its liberal ideas, coastal real estate and highbrow consumer preferences. The right-wing Club for Growth captured this type in a famous 2004 attack ad, instructing the Democrat Howard Dean to “take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont where it belongs.”

By the 1990s, bashing the ‘liberal elite’ had become a favorite blood sport of the American right.

Trump adjusted the formula for the hot topics of the 2016 campaign. “I was on the right side of that issue, as you know, with the people,” he boasted after Brexit, adding that “Hillary, as always, stood with the elites.” His complaints against “political correctness” conjure a world of absurdist campus politics, where overprivileged students squabble over gender pronouns and the fine points of racial victimization. “Media elites” come in for special attack, cordoned off in pens to be mocked and jeered at during rallies, labeled both liars and incompetents.

But Trump has also ventured beyond mere name-calling, turning the 2016 election into a competition between knowledge systems: the tell-it-like-it-is “people” versus the know-it-all “elites.” His campaign insisted for months that pollsters and technocrats and media would be proven wrong by his electoral success. The fact that he did win dealt a blow to an entire worldview, one in which empirical inquiry and truth-telling were supposed to triumph in the end. The question, now, is whether it’s possible to run an executive branch based on hostility toward experts and professionals of all political stripes — and how many billionaires and Ivy Leaguers Trump can appoint before this rhetorical pose begins to break down altogether.

The notion that distant elites might be conspiring against the people comes straight from the Founding Fathers, whose Declaration of Independence lamented the “long train of abuses and usurpations” inflicted upon ordinary Americans by an arrogant British king. From there on, United States history might be seen as a repeating cycle of anti-elite revolt. The Jacksonians rebelled against the Founders’ aristocratic pretensions. Northern “free labor” went to war against the oligarchical slavocracy. And the Populist revolts of the late 19th century adapted this story to modern capitalism, with farmers and laborers rebelling against robber barons, bankers, time-management experts and college-educated professionals.

The first historians to study those Populists described them as heroic crusaders, champions of the “people” against the “powers.” But by the middle of the 20th century, alarmed by the rise of fascism and homegrown demagogues like Senator Joseph McCarthy, a new generation of scholars took a more anxious view of the anti-elite spirit. In his 1955 book “The Age of Reform,” Richard Hofstadter dismissed the Populists as backward-looking, provincial anti-Semites, the latent fascists of their day. Eight years later, his “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” documented a dangerous suspicion of “the critical mind” that seemed to course through the national culture. From his perspective, the 1952 election captured everything wrong with American political life, with Dwight Eisenhower’s “philistinism” winning over Adlai Stevenson’s “intellect.”

The question is whether it’s possible to run an executive branch based on hostility toward experts and professionals of all political stripes.

Hofstadter did not usually describe his ideal intellectually minded citizens as members of an “elite.” That word conveyed something different — a ruling class that held direct political and economic power. The most famous articulation of this view came from the sociologist C. Wright Mills, in his 1956 assessment of America’s “power elite.” “They rule the big corporations,” Mills wrote. “They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment.” In Mills’s view, these people were tied together not by culture or ideology but by their positions at the helms of large, ever-more-complex institutions. As individuals, they might be Republicans or Democrats, and might live in Ohio or California. The point was that they were in charge of things.

But that vision never gained much traction in mainstream politics, where a more partisan, targeted definition was starting to emerge. William F. Buckley Jr. carved out some essentials in his first book, “God and Man at Yale,” drawing a neat distinction between respectable Ivy-educated men like himself and the socialistic eggheads of the professoriate. Ronald Reagan chose the term “elite” to bring it all together in his famed 1964 speech, “A Time for Choosing,” delivered on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. “This is the issue of this election,” he said: “whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Lyndon Johnson won that election in a blowout, but Reagan’s vision of a smug and detached liberal elite helped spark the oncoming “culture wars,” pitting a supposedly indignant Middle America against the liberal snobs of the coasts. By the 1990s, with the rise of right-wing media stars like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, bashing the “liberal elite” had become a favorite blood sport of the American right.

Despite all the abuse hurled their way, some “liberal elites” have accepted at least part of their detractors’ critique, particularly on the progressive left. It was during Bill Clinton’s presidency that the social critic Christopher Lasch published “The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy,” which mourned that “upper-middle-class liberals” had turned into “petulant, self-righteous, intolerant” scolds, thoroughly out of touch with the concerns of Middle America. Since then, the torch has passed to a younger generation of writers, including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, whose 2012 “Twilight of the Elites” called for rethinking the entire ethos of liberal “meritocracy” — a system, he argued, that tends to fuel self-congratulation and incompetence at the top while offering little but contempt and dim prospects for those at the bottom.

So as 2017 begins, we find ourselves in a strange and uncertain political moment. Antipathy toward a wealthy, preening managerial class seems to be gaining popularity across the political spectrum — and, oddly, to have helped elect a wealthy, preening incoming president. Meanwhile, both liberal and conservative “elites” are scrambling to figure out what happens if the president-elect continues to reject basic political norms and even routine intelligence briefings. Under a Trump presidency, such “elites” may have no choice but to attempt a radical redefinition of their role in American life. Otherwise, the man in the White House will do it for them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/magazine/how-elites-became-one-of-the-nastiest-epithets-in-american-politics.html?_r=0

Henry Luce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henry Luce
Clare Boothe Luce and Henry Luce NYWTS.jpg

Luce with wife Clare Boothe Luce, a famous playwright and politician (1954)
Born Henry Robinson Luce
April 3, 1898
Tengchow, China
Died February 28, 1967 (aged 68)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Publisher; Journalist
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lila Ross Hotz (1923–1935)
Clare Boothe Luce
(1935–1967, his death)
Children 3, including Ann Clare Brokaw (step-daughter)
Parent(s) Henry W. Luce and Elizabeth Middleton Root

Henry Robinson Luce (April 3, 1898 – February 28, 1967) was an American magazine magnate who was called “the most influential private citizen in the America of his day”.[1] He launched and closely supervised a stable of magazines that transformed journalism and the reading habits of upscale Americans. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news; Life was a picture magazine of politics, culture, and society that dominated American visual perceptions in the era before television; Fortune explored in depth the economy and the world of business, introducing to executives avant-garde ideas such as Keynesianism; and Sports Illustrated explored the motivations and strategies of sports teams and key players. Counting his radio projects and newsreels, Luce created the first multimedia corporation. He was born in China to missionary parents. He envisaged that the United States would achieve world hegemony, and, in 1941, he declared the 20th century would be the “American Century“.[2][3]

Life and career

Luce was born in Tengchow, Shandong, China, (now Penglai) on April 3, 1898, the son of Elizabeth Root Luce and Henry Winters Luce, who was a Presbyterian missionary.[3] He received his education in various Chinese and English boarding schools, including the China Inland Mission Chefoo School.

At 15, he was sent to the US to attend the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he edited the Hotchkiss Literary Monthly. It was there he first met Briton Hadden,[3] who would become a lifelong partner. At the time, Hadden served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and Luce worked as an assistant managing editor. Both went on to Yale College, where Hadden served as chairman and Luce as managing editor of The Yale Daily News. Luce was also a member of Alpha Delta Phi and Skull and Bones. After being voted “most brilliant” of his class and graduating in 1920, he parted ways with Hadden to embark for a year on historical studies at Oxford University, followed by a stint as a cub reporter for the Chicago Daily News.

In December 1921, Luce rejoined Hadden to work at The Baltimore News. Recalling his relationship with Hadden, Luce later said, “Somehow, despite the greatest differences in temperaments and even in interests, we had to work together. We were an organization. At the center of our lives — our job, our function — at that point everything we had belonged to each other.”[citation needed]

Magazines

Nightly discussions of the concept of a news magazine led Luce and Hadden, both age 23, to quit their jobs in 1922. Later that same year, they partnered with Robert Livingston Johnson and another Yale classmate to form Time Inc.[4] Having raised $86,000 of a $100,000 goal, they published the first issue of Time on March 3, 1923. Luce served as business manager while Hadden was editor-in-chief. Luce and Hadden annually alternated year-to-year the titles of president and secretary-treasurer while Johnson served as vice president and advertising director. In 1925, Luce decided to move headquarters to Cleveland, while Hadden was on a trip to Europe. Cleveland was cheaper, and Luce’s first wife, Lila, wanted out of New York. When Hadden returned, he was horrified and moved Time back to New York. Upon Hadden’s sudden death in 1929, Luce assumed Hadden’s position.

Luce launched the business magazine Fortune in February 1930 and acquired Life in order to relaunch it as a weekly magazine of photojournalism in November 1936; he went on to launch House & Home in 1952 and Sports Illustrated in 1954. He also produced The March of Time weekly newsreel. By the mid 1960s, Time Inc. was the largest and most prestigious magazine publisher in the world. (Dwight Macdonald, a Fortune staffer during the 1930s, referred to him as “Il Luce”, a play on the Italian Dictator Mussolini, who was called “Il Duce”).)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aware that most publishers were opposed to him, issued a decree in 1943 that blocked all publishers and media executives from visits to combat areas; he put General George Marshall in charge of enforcement.[citation needed] The main target was Luce, who had long opposed Roosevelt. Historian Alan Brinkley argued the move was “badly mistaken” and said had Luce been allowed to travel, he would have been an enthusiastic cheerleader for American forces around the globe.[citation needed] However, stranded in New York City, Luce’s frustration and anger expressed itself in blatant partisanship.[5]

Luce, supported by Editor-in-Chief T. S. Matthews, appointed Whittaker Chambers as acting Foreign News editor in 1944, despite the feuds that Chambers had with reporters in the field.[6]

Luce, who remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964, maintained a position as an influential member of the Republican Party.[7] An instrumental figure behind the so-called “China Lobby“, he played a large role in steering American foreign policy and popular sentiment in favor of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong Mei-ling, in their war against the Japanese. (The Chiangs appeared in the cover of Time eleven times between 1927 and 1955.[8])

It has been reported that Luce, during the 1960s, tried LSD and reported that he had talked to God under its influence.[9]

Once ambitious to become Secretary of State in a Republican administration, Luce penned a famous article in Life magazine in 1941, called “The American Century“, which defined the role of American foreign policy for the remainder of the 20th century (and perhaps beyond).[7]

An ardent anti-Soviet, he once demanded John Kennedy invade Cuba, later to remark to his editors that if he did not, his corporation would act like Hearst during the Spanish–American War. The publisher would advance his concepts of US dominance of the “American Century” through his periodicals with the ideals shared and guided by members of his social circle, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State and his brother, director of the CIA, Allen Dulles. To highlight the cozy extent of their alliance, rumors swirled that the publisher shared the wartime mistress of the spymaster with Clare Booth Luce.[10]

Family

Luce had two children, Peter Paul and Henry Luce III, with his first wife, Lila Hotz. He married his second wife, Clare Boothe Luce in 1935, who had an 11-year-old daughter, Ann Clare Brokaw, whom he raised as his own. He died in Phoenix, Arizona in 1967. According to the Henry Luce Foundation, he died suddenly at age 68 while visiting his home on Fishers Island, New York, of cardiac arrest. At his death, he was said to be worth $100 million in Time Inc. stock.[11] Most of his fortune went to the Henry Luce Foundation. During his life, Luce supported many philanthropies such as Save the Children Federation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and United Service to China, Inc. He is interred at Mepkin Plantation in South Carolina.

He was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 32¢ Great Americans series (1980–2000) postage stamp.[12] Mr. Luce was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1977.

Designed by I. M. Pei, the Luce Memorial Chapel, on the campus of Tunghai University, Taiwan, was constructed in memoriam of Henry Luce’s father.

References

  1. Jump up^ Robert Edwin Herzstein (2005). Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia. Cambridge U.P. p. 1.
  2. Jump up^ Editorial (1941-02-17) The American Century, Life Magazine
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Baughman, James L. (April 28, 2004). “Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media”. American Masters (PBS). Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Warburton, Albert (Winter 1962). “Robert L. Johnson Hall Dedicated at Temple University” (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 48 no. 4. p. 111.
  5. Jump up^ Alan Brinkley, The Publisher: Henry Luce and his American Century (2010) pp 302-3
  6. Jump up^ Brinkley, The Publisher: Henry Luce and his American Century (2010) pp 322-93
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b “Henry R. Luce: End of a Pilgrimage”. – TIME. – March 10, 1967
  8. Jump up^ “Time magazine historical search”. Time magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Maisto, Stephen A., Galizio, Mark, & Connors, Gerald J. (2008). Drug Use and Abuse: Fifth Edition. Belmont: Thomson Higher Education. ISBN 0-495-09207-X
  10. Jump up^ Talbot, David. “The Devils’ Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government.” (2015) Harper-Collins, pub., New York, New York pp. 236-238, 444.
  11. Jump up^ Edwin Diamond (October 23, 1972). “Why the Power Vacuum at Time Inc. Continues”. New York Magazine.
  12. Jump up^ “Henry R. Luce”. US Stamp Gallery. April 3, 1998.

Further reading

  • Baughman, James L. “Henry R. Luce and the Business of Journalism.” Business & Economic History On-Line 9 (2011). online
  • Baughman, James L. Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Brinkley, Alan. The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, Alfred A. Knopf (2010) 531 pp.
  • Brinkley, Alan. What Would Henry Luce Make of the Digital Age?, TIME (April 19, 2010) excerpt and text search
  • Elson, Robert T. Time Inc: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise, 1923-1941 (1968); vol. 2: The World of Time Inc.: The Intimate History, 1941-1960 (1973), official corporate history
  • Herzstein, Robert E. Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Herzstein, Robert E. Henry R. Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century (1994).
  • Morris, Sylvia Jukes. Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce (1997).
  • Wilner, Isaiah. The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine, HarperCollins, New York, 2006

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Luce

W. A. Swanberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Andrew Swanberg (November 23, 1907 in St. Paul, Minnesota – September 17, 1992 in Southbury, Connecticut)[1] was an American biographer. He may be known best for Citizen Hearst, a biography of William Randolph Hearst, which was recommended by the Pulitzer Prize board in 1962 but overturned by the trustees.[2] He won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his 1972 biography of Henry Luce,[3] and the National Book Award in 1977 for his 1976 biography of Norman Thomas.[4]

Life

Swanberg was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1907, and earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota in 1930.[5]

With grudging and only partial help from his father, who wanted his son to be a cabinet maker like himself, Swanberg earned his degree, only to find that employment as a journalist with such local daily newspapers as the St. Paul Daily News and the Minneapolis Star was unsatisfactory, as their staff were shrinking during the Great Depression. Swanberg instead held a succession of low-paying manual labor jobs. After five years he followed a college friend to New York City in September 1935. After months of anxious job-hunting he secured an interview at the Dell Publishing Company with president George T. Delacorte Jr. himself, and was hired as an assistant editor of three lowbrow magazines. Money saved in the next months enabled him to return briefly to the Midwest to marry his college sweetheart Dorothy Green, and bring her to New York. He soon began to climb up the editorial ladder at Dell, and by 1939 he was doing well enough to buy a house in Connecticut.

When the United States entered World War II, Swanberg was 34 years old, the father of two children and suffering from a hearing disability. Rejected by the army, he enlisted in the Office of War Information in 1943 and, after training was sent to England following D-Day. In London, amid the V-1 and V-2 attacks, he prepared and edited pamphlets to be air-dropped behind enemy lines in France and later in Norway.[6] With the end of the war he returned in October 1945 to Dell and the publishing world.

Swanberg did not return to magazine editing but instead did freelance work within and without Dell. By 1953 he began carving out time for researching his first book (Sickles), which Scribner’s purchased, beginning a long-term association. Swanberg’s early hopes of newspaper work never materialized, but by the mid-1950s he had established himself as scholarly biographer. His efforts proved to be labor-intensive and required up to four years apiece, even when assisted by the research and transcription efforts of his wife Dorothy. Upon turning 80 in 1987, Swanberg attempted one last biography, about William Eugene “Pussyfoot” Johnson (1862–1945).[7] He was at work on that project when he succumbed to heart failure at his typewriter in Southbury, Connecticut on September 17, 1992.

Swanberg was a Guggenheim fellow in 1960. His papers are archived at Columbia University.

The Hearst Affair

Swanberg’s 1961 book Citizen Hearst: A Biography of William Randolph Hearst was recommended for a Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography by the advisory board but rejected by the trustees of Columbia University, apparently because they thought that Hearst was not dignified enough to be the subject of the award. It was the first time in 46 years that the trustees rejected a recommendation from the advisory board, and the news caused sales to soar.[1]

Works

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about William Andrew Swanberg, OCLC/WorldCat [clarification needed] encompasses roughly 30+ works in 100+ publications in 5 languages and 16,000+ library holdings.[8]

Literary Awards

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b www.nytimes.com
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Hohenberg, John. The Pulitzer Diaries: Inside America’s Greatest Prize. 1997. p. 109.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Biography or Autobiography”. Past winners and finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “National Book Awards – 1977”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  5. Jump up^ Gale Contemporary Authors Online. Volume 13.[page needed]
  6. Jump up^ Gale, p. 264
  7. Jump up^ Gale, p. 277
  8. Jump up^ WorldCat Identities: Swanberg, W. A. 1907-

External links

  • W. A. Swanberg Papers Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._A._Swanberg

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