Taking on the world: Joseph and Stewart Alsop--guardians of the American century

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Viking, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 644 pages
2 Reviews
In 1948 the column-writing Alsop brothers produced an article for the Saturday Evening Post, then the country's preeminent weekly magazine. Its title: "Must America Save the World?" Their answer was a resounding yes. Indeed, Joseph and Stewart Alsop were there in those heady postwar years when the country's foreign-policy elite created what became known as the American Century. As men of words, they served as confidants of and cheerleaders for the men of deeds, who came largely from the country's patrician class.
The Alsop brothers were themselves sons of this class. Theodore Roosevelt was the brothers' great-uncle. Eleanor Roosevelt was their mother's first cousin. They grew up with members of this Anglo-Saxon elite, went to school with them, socialized with them. And they threw the considerable weight of their column behind the efforts of these statesmen to refashion the world. Writing four times a week, they appeared in nearly two hundred newspapers; their work also graced the pages of the major magazines of the time. Thus, they wielded immense influence throughout the nation from the victory in World War II to the defeat in Vietnam.
Stewart was a political analyst of rare acumen, while Joe, his older brother, was a curmudgeon with an aristocratic bearing and a biting wit. He once likened a dinner at Lyndon Johnson's to "going to an opera in which one man sings all the parts." He was a friend and confidant of John Kennedy, a teacher of Washington ways to Jackie Kennedy. When he called people in the highest echelons of officialdom, they responded.
In Taking On the World, Robert W. Merry, a Washington insider himself, has fashioned an intricate and fascinating combination of biography and narrative history. As Mr. Merry puts it, "Within the lifetime of the Alsop brothers the country was remade. And its remaking illuminates their careers, just as their careers illuminate the American Century." Robert Merry casts brilliant light on these two remarkable men, and on one of the most tumultuous periods of the country's history.

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Taking on the world: Joseph and Stewart Alsop--guardians of the American century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Joseph and Stewart Alsop covered the American political scene for the New York Herald Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post, and Newsweek from the 1930s into the 1970s. Born into America's Anglo-Saxon ... Read full review

Review: Taking on the World: Joseph and Stewart Alsop, Guardians of the American Century

User Review  - Gary Turner - Goodreads

I was totally surprised by this book. Thank you Robert W. Merry for opening my eyes to such an interesting family. This book is filled with wonderful stories. It is truly an insight to a part of ... Read full review

Contents

GROTON
23
THE HERALD TRIBUNE
42
STEWART IN NEW YORK
69
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Robert W. Merry is vice president and executive editor of Congressional Quarterly Inc.

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