Henry Luce (1898-1967) revolutionized the way information was made available, writes Alan Brinkley (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 2009, etc.). “Each magazine Luce started, Time [1923, with Brit Hadden], Fortune [1930], Life [1936], Sports Illustrated [1954], became the premiere magazine in the field. It was a movement toward national news organizations which hadn’t existed before.” While his previous five books focused on 20th-century politics (FDR, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, the Depression and the New Deal), Brinkley said that he chose to write a biography (his first) because Luce was a “real innovator, one who had a very impressive life, a life that really had meaning—that’s one of the things that makes writing about him so interesting.” Brinkley adds that since he comes from a family of journalists—he is the son of the late newscaster David Brinkley—this book was also “a way of writing about journalism without writing about anybody I know.” Luce, born in China to missionary parents was sent away to school at the age of 10. “The letters Luce wrote home gave me a sense of empathy with this boy who was taken away so early and forced to find his way alone in the world,” says Brinkley. “It was very moving in some ways. As he became famous and successful he adopted other traits.” (First appeared in our Nonfiction issue.)

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Pub info:

Madison and Jefferson

Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg

Random House / September / 9781400067282 / $35.00

This book was featured in the Kirkus Best of 2010
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