Books by Larry Tye

Released: July 5, 2016

"Richly researched prose that sometimes soars too close to the sun of admiration."
A former journalist at the Boston Globe returns with a comprehensive, thesis-driven account of the political career of Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968). Read full book review >
Released: June 12, 2012

"Fun, enlightening pop-culture history."
It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's Tye's (Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, 2009, etc.) merry, dizzyingly detailed history of America's first and greatest superhero. Read full book review >
Released: July 7, 2009

"An authoritative treatment of a true baseball immortal."
A fine biography of the legendary baseball Methuselah. Read full book review >
Released: July 6, 2004

"They may have been invisible men to their patrons, but Tye makes the case for the porters as revolutionary elements within black society. (40 b&w halftones, not seen)"
A reasoned assessment of the Pullman porters' role in black America. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 10, 2001

"An opportunity wasted."
Boston Globe reporter Tye's previous book was a biography of the founder of public relations (The Father of Spin, 1998)—and this look at seven Jewish communities suggests that there is a certain p.r. hangover lingering in his head. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 5, 1998

A remarkable look at the spinmeister who helped to invent public relations. Cynical Americans who assume mass manipulation is a relatively new phenomenon will be shocked by the depth of deception exposed here. Meticulously researched by Boston Globe reporter Tye, this biography traces the beginnings of spin early in this century and authoritatively shows Bernays to be the person responsible for most of the tenets governing it today. A nephew of Freud's, Bernays influenced the nascent public relations field so that rather than adapt products to fit clients, firms worked to mold clients to buy an existing product. Example: When Lucky Strikes cigarettes, a Bernays client, realized women weren—t buying any because the signature green-and-red packaging tended to clash with clothing, Bernays decided to change not the packaging but rather the fashion world until green became the color of choice. He started by sponsoring a charity ball devoted to the color and worked his way through accessory retailers to fashion designers to so-called "unbiased" front groups of his own devising to —planted— newspaper stories until green did indeed enjoy a vogue in women's fashions. That willingness to look at the psychology of influence permeated all Bernays's campaigns, from the United Fruit campaign in Guatemala to the push for more federal highway funding to enable his client Mack Truck to better compete with the burgeoning railroad industry. Still, Tye is no slave to spin himself. He openly and honestly questions Bernays's role in many of his public relations campaigns and doesn't hesitate to note where the hype falls short of reality. A candid and enlightening look at a subject in which smoke and mirrors are primary props. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >