Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $7.94 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with visible wear to covers. May contain underlines or highlights. Ships directly to you with tracking from Amazon's warehouse - fast, secure and FREE WITH AMAZON PRIME.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955 Paperback – February 19, 2003


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.01
$20.78 $4.88


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Series: Illinois
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (February 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810120399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810120396
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Robert R. McCormick, longtime owner and editor of the Chicago Tribune during the first half of this century, makes today's media barons seem bland. The likes of Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch could learn a thing or two from this colorful and witty biography by an accomplished biographer/historian and director of the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Library. One of McCormick's prep school classmates at Groton was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was to remain a lifelong rival. The characters here represent a crosssection of early 20th-century Americana, including McCormick's newspaper nemesis, William Randolph Hearst (see W.A. Swanberg's Citizen Hearst, LJ 8/61), Henry Ford, and Al Capone. Some of the best moments in the book are Smith's descriptions of Chicago at the turn of the century, when the term newspaper wars could be taken literally. Highly recommended for journalism and Chicago history collections.?Bruce D. Rosenstein, USA Today Lib., Arlington, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

McCormick ruled the roost at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. Thoroughly using his unlimited access to all of Robert McCormick's personal and corporate papers, Smith portrays a man of eccentric genius and stunning contradictions, who was at once an ardent patriot and a "prototype reactionary," a visionary and an anachronism, a soldier who revered martial virtue while despising martial force. This publication of the first full-scale biography of the patriarch of the "World's Greatest Newspaper" is both balanced and respectful. The sometime foil of contemporaries Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, Henry Ford, and Marshall Field, Colonel McCormick ran his newspaper like an army camp and saw politics as another brand of war. Whether fighting at Cantigny or the White House, whether brilliant or unhinged, the colonel was a fascinating, spontaneously generous, gossip-loving, hard-core conservative whose army-division and newspaper employees were surrogate family. Ironically, the admittedly phobic titan who drove around Chicago in a khaki-colored Rolls Royce most feared being forgotten. Smith's terrific, broad-shouldered book almost guarantees that his fear will never be realized. Patricia Hassler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
A lot of interesting history and a great book.
ConejoBrillante
There is so much more to McCormick's life and that's what makes this book absolutely fascinating - starting with the fact McCormick was Joseph Medill's grandson.
JoeV
Balanced and judicious, it also makes for excellent reading, as Smith presents McCormick's life in an engaging manner.
MarkK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MarkK VINE VOICE on May 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Richard Norton Smith does a first-rate job of recounting McCormick's life, going far in seperating the man from the public image that we have of him today. Balanced and judicious, it also makes for excellent reading, as Smith presents McCormick's life in an engaging manner. If there is a flaw in the book, it is in Smith's failure to adequately explain how the view of McCormick as a hidebound reactionary came to overshadow many aspects of his life, such as his early career as a progressive in local politics, or his legal campaigns in support of the First Amendment. This is a must-read book for anybody interested in Chicago's past, the evolution of modern journalism, or the history of twentieth century America.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Borowy26 VINE VOICE on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was an interesting book, but not entirely satisfactory. There is a wealth of material to be found here, but one gets the feeling that the historian did not explore numerous topics in great detail. Many of Robert R. McCormick's relatives are mentioned, but seldom are their lives discussed at length. I was left wanting to know much more than what was provided in the biography. I had the feeling that there was more material that could have been added to the text, but the author or publisher wanted to produce a book of a certain length and did not want to exceed a given number of pages. Still, the book whetted my appetite for further reading on the same topic.

My paternal grandfather listened to the Colonel's broadcasts on WGN Radio each Sunday night and laughed out loud at the publisher's pronouncements according to what I was told by my own father. I have visited McCormick estate at Cantigny and live within walking distance of the North Shore Channel that McCormick built while serving as the President of the Metropolitan Sanitary District, but, even after reading this superb biography, the man's character seems elusive.

The only fault that I found in the text is that Smith likes to move the narrative back and forth too often for my liking. A McCormick family member drops out of the proceedings without a solitary mention for several chapters and just as suddenly reappears and then the reader is informed about all of the significant events that took place in the intervening decade concerning this individual. This becomes tedious.

Smith tells you what the Colonel said and did, but seldom suggests why he acted as he did.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Brown on May 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a lengthy book full of interesting historical material. But, as for the man himself, I never got the feeling that I was getting more than a sketch of him. Could any author do better? McM had more than his share of quirks and he didn't suffer fools, or anyone else, gladly, so perhaps there is no way anyone will ever get too deep into the mind of the man. The main thing I took away from the book is that Robert R. McCormick was a good businessman and the oddest duck of his time. The book is not a difficult read but, after reading it, the man remains a cipher. After a detailed accounting the war with FDR, the author seemed to rush to get to the end of RRM's life. Far from being a sympathetic character, pathetic more easily comes to mind. RRM had lots of power and plenty of money but he lived in a very cold world of his own that it appears no one during his life, or readers of this book today, can enter.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JoeV VINE VOICE on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book has been sitting on my shelf for several years now and passed over at least a half dozen times as I considered my next "read". Granted McCormick is a major figure in Chicago history - owner/editor of The Chicago Tribune during the first half of the 20th Century - but my rationale in avoiding this bio was simple - I really didn't think this book, because of its subject - a "press-mogul" - would be that interesting. I could not have been more mistaken. The Colonel is engaging, fascinating, and well-written; full of historical tidbits and personalities, anecdotes, dramatic Citizen Kane moments, as well as laugh out loud moments - Because love or hate "The Colonel" - he was never boring.

In hindsight my knowledge of McCormick was at best limited, i.e. staunch Republican, isolationist, anti-New Deal/FDR. There is so much more to McCormick's life and that's what makes this book absolutely fascinating - starting with the fact McCormick was Joseph Medill's grandson. During the second half of the 19th Century Grandpa Medill occupied the same position, made similar boasts and stepped on almost as many toes as the Colonel.

As the author points out in his Prologue, (and chronicles in the book), McCormick was a man of startling contradictions - a patriot that seemed to find fault with every move his country, (read politicians), made; a man proud of his time as a soldier, (i.e. "the Colonel"), who hated the military; an isolationist and Anglophobe, he had no problem traveling the world or chumming around with Winston Churchill; judgmental with others' matrimonial habits, the Colonel had no issues with wooing two women away from their husbands.

I am just scratching the surface here concerning the man, the "world's greatest newspaper", and this biography. Fascinating read and highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?