WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST AND THE AMERICAN CENTURY by Nancy Whitelaw

WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST AND THE AMERICAN CENTURY

Age Range: 12 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The latest entry in the Makers of the Media Series is the story of a spoiled, rich child who grew up to be the king of “yellow journalism.” Whitelaw (Joseph Pulitzer and the New York World, p. 637, etc.) is balanced in her presentation, showing Hearst with all his warts, but allowing for the improvements he made in the newspaper business. Born into a wealthy family whose mother adored and indulged him and whose father ignored him, Willie flunked out of Harvard and ultimately went to work for his father’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner. He used the newspaper to influence politics and thought nothing of creating stories when he could not uncover the facts. Some of his ruthlessness and single-mindedness is glossed over, e.g., mentioned is the speculation that he was the model for Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, but not Hearst’s attempts to thwart the film. The title is a misnomer, since Hearst died in 1951, with the second half of the “American Century” hardly underway. In fact, this is a perfunctory treatment of his life, a bland source for those doing research, unlikely to inspire further inquiry. (b&w photos, chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1999
ISBN: 1-883846-46-3
Page count: 112pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999