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In his first solo effort, journalist and author Vitek (Idol Rock Hudson) introduces the original tabloid boss: Generoso Pope Jr., creator of the National Enquirer, mother of the ubiquitous supermarket tabloid (and, arguably, upper-class iterations Us Weekly and People). Vitek's material largely focuses on the fiery management, harsh opposition to, and heavy influence of the Enquirer since 1952, when Pope purchased it (then the New York Enquirer) with help from the Mafia. The endeavor's stunted beginning was rife with gory photos and absurd stories deemed unsuitable for grocery store checkouts--one early issue included photos of Lee Harvey Oswald's autopsy--and a policy of literally putting words in subjects' mouth. Pope Jr.'s riches-to-rags-to-riches story--born into a family of self-made millionaires (with assumed Mafia connections), devastated by his father's untimely death, shunned by his family and left penniless, redeemed as a successful media mogul--fascinates with the ins and outs of bottom-basement journalism and the ferocity with which Pope Jr. ruled and defended his media foxhole (becoming a model for none other than Rupert Murdoch). Vitek lays on the mafia lingo a bit too thick--overusing language like "whacked," with a mob movie reference always at the ready--but offers an original American story of a tough, embattled media player with uncanny gifts for giving the public what they want. Photos.
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"An entertaining look at this colorful and quintessentially American characterVitek's will be the enduring study of Pope and the supermarket tabloid culture he spawned."―Dennis McDougal, author of The Last Mogul: Lew Wasserman, MCA, and the Hidden History of Hollywood "A lively, shrewd and thoroughly compelling biography of National Enquirer publisher Generoso Pope Jr. Vitek melds journalistic flashiness with one sharp professorial insight after another into the nature of tabloid journalism and the powerful and peculiar Pope." ―David Holmberg, contributor to the New York Times, regional edition"
"The Godfather of Tabloid" is an engaging saga of one man's obsessive devotion to creating an entertaining alternative universe each week for four or five million Americans clutching their quarters at the supermarket check-out racks."―Edward Kosner, Wall Stret Journal Online"
"Grounded in interviews with Pope, his associates and his employees, "The Godfather of Tabloid is the first comprehensive look at the life of this colorful character, a man who almost singlehandedly changed the world of publishing forever."―King Features Syndicate, Inc."
"Easy to read and including helpful footnotes and a bibliography, this book will particularly interest libraries in Florida, where Pope was an influential citizen. Recommended."―R.A. Logan, Choice"
"The book is well worth reading. For those of us who could seldom avoid the allure of the Enquirer's shlocky headlines, this book is interesting. And Pope survived some very lean years. Struggling newspapers today might even learn a lesson or two from him."―Prudy, Taylor Board, Boca Raton News"
"Easy to read and including helpful footbotes and a bibliography, this book will particularly interest libraries in Florida, where Pop was an influential citizen. Recommended."―Choice"―See all Editorial Reviews
An interesting introduction to a fascinating story told far better and more comprehensively by Iain Calder's autobiographical The Untold Story.Published 22 months ago by TH
Generoso Pope Jr. was a mob-connected, obsessive jerk who also had an instinctive grasp of the public's own obsession with the abject and transgressive. Read morePublished on February 17, 2013 by Jim C.