LUCE: His Time, Life and Fortune by John Kobler

LUCE: His Time, Life and Fortune

Email this review


Assemble a lot of old Timers, record the Luce talk (less pro or con than confluent), and you have a lively evening's entertainment... also a foot in the door at Time, Inc, if not personal or corporate history. Shortly after ramrod ""Chink"" Luce and gregarious Brit Hadden, fresh from Yale rivalry and a Baltimore reporting stint, launch their ""invention,"" the first weekly news magazine, the focus shifts from Luce the individual to Luce the feudal lord, his minions and his domain. Life begins, Fortune flourishes, but Time marches on: Hadden concocts a distinctive style from the double epithets and inverted sentences of Homer and Wolcott Gibbs demolishes it in a coruscating New Yorker parody; ""fairness"" prevails in the feature sections (?), yields to policy in the national and foreign news coverage (and the facts have to fit); a succession of talented journalists cut their teeth, agonize over integrity and individuality, sometimes bite the hand...and leave, but not without respect for Luce as an editor. Generally, also, the sensibilities of the staff, outraged by his brusqueness, are assuaged by his kindness, and awe is tempered with amusement. The net effect is to excoriate Time and exonerate Luce, which doesn't quite work; neither does the Death of a President demise. But Kobler, a former staffer (fired, he says, for limited pun-tential), knows the make-up of the magazine and its late boss and what makes a good story.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday