THE PAPER: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune by Richard Kluger

THE PAPER: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune

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Here, the history of a newspaper is a graphic presentation of a nation's life. Beginning in 1835 with the efforts of Horace Greeley, Richard Kluger (Simple Justice), a former literary editor of the Trib, has captured the tempo of the times and the flamboyance of its main participants. The Trib resulted from a merger in the early 20th century of the Tribune and the Herald. The energetic and controversial James Gordon Bennett had, with the Herald, changed forever the notion of what newspapers were all about. Greeley, a grandiose ego of a different sort, had made his Tribune a booster of the American dream and an avid partisan in the political battles of the time. When these papers eventually merged, the new entity was to carve a unique place in American journalism. Among its list of toilers--which once included Karl Marx--were people like Walter Lippman, Red Smith, Virgil Thompson, Walter Kerr, Heywood Broun, Art Buchwald and Tom Wolfe, writers who created an oeuvre which others strove to imitate. Intimately tied to the Trib story is the saga of the Reid family, one in which Helen Reid played a commanding role. A lowly secretary who married into this patrician clan, she became its driving force. The men of the family--Ogden senior and junior and Whitelaw Reid--take second place to this female dynamo. A powerful family usually makes for a good story and when combined as it is here with a lively industry, the result is a fascinating account of a greatness that once was. The author writes with the verve and detail of a Dickens in re-creating the atmosphere of the 19th century. Once sampled, this remarkable book will hold you in its narrative grip as you revel in a story of a grand venture and epic characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1986
Publisher: Knopf