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Henry R. Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century Hardcover – May 25, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the subtitle suggests, this is less a full life of Time founder Luce (1898-1967) than a partial, balanced account of his work and influence. Herzstein ( Waldheim: The Missing Years ) traces Luce's Middle American hometown instincts to his boyhood as a "mishkid" (of missionary parents) in China, and deftly tells how Luce and Yale classmate Briton Hadden in 1922 conceived Time , a newsmagazine for a new age. Luce's business acumen led him to found Fortune and Life , and he turned Time, Inc. into his "missionary compound," launching attacks on Franklin D. Roosevelt, denouncing Japan while promoting China and in 1941 proclaiming "The American Century," an era of American-led internationalism. Herzstein closely describes Time, Inc.'s views of Russia and China, including Luce's clashes with famed correspondents Theodore White and John Hersey, as well as Luce's jousts and alliances with the politicians of the day. Unfortunately, Herzstein ends his narrative in 1945, losing a chance for a rounder portrait of his subject. Nevertheless, his epilogue, citing Luce's achievements, like boosting global interventionism and domestic fairness, and his weaknesses, like paving the way for McCarthyism, provides a judicious summation of Luce's legacy. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Herzstein (history, Univ. of South Carolina) has written a fair-minded biography of Luce, the man who founded Time, Life , and Fortune. "I am biased in favor of God, the Republican Party, and free enterprise," Luce once said. As his magazines grew and began to have great influence over U.S. public opinion, Luce did not hesitate to see that they reflected his viewpoint. Herzstein ( Roosevelt & Hitler , LJ 11/1/89), has written a scholarly work that chronicles Luce's feuds with President Roosevelt and his persistent support of Chiang Kai-shek in China. Recommended for most libraries.
- Rebecca Wondriska, Trinity Coll. Lib., Hartford, Ct.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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