This superficial biography has been pasted together mostly from magazine articles, and--lacking vigor and immediacy--it shows. The facts of Turner's childhood are sketched out, including his education at boarding and military schools, and, rather baldly, his father's child-rearing philosophy: ""Ed wanted Ted to be obedient, but insecure, so he would grow up to be ambitious and work for everything he received."" When his father killed himself, Turner took over his billboard business and began creating an empire. His sometimes riotous behavior, romantic liaisons, and mental-health treatment are covered here, along with his roller-coaster career, and Byman provides a good overall look at the risk involved and the ingenuity displayed as Turner bought radio stations and a baseball team, created CNN, and attempted to purchase CBS, among many other entrepreneurial moves. His social evolution is related in a detached manner, often with a minimum of useful context, e.g., ""He put up warning signs from the Ku Klux Klan on the doors of the few black students in the dorm. His intention was to be funny. But . . . other students did not share his sense of humor."" A list of Time-Warner's holdings is an odd addition to the backmatter.