American Dreamers: The Wallaces and Reader's Digest : an Insider's Story

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Simon & Schuster, 1996 - Publishers and publishing - 379 pages
The fascinating, behind-the-scenes story of Reader's Digest and its founders, and how this beloved American institution lost its innocence when corporate lawyers and Wall Street wrested control from the men the founders chose to preserve their business "in the Wallace mode". Today a multibillion-dollar publishing colossus, Reader's Digest began life in 1922 in a tiny basement storeroom in New York's Greenwich Village. The magazine's founders, DeWitt and Lila Wallace, believed deeply in the American dream and saw their magazine as a way of spreading this belief to millions of their fellow citizens. But this is not a happily-ever-after fairy tale. In the early eighties, when the seemingly immortal Wallaces suddenly faltered, a shadow fell over Pleasantville as ambitious men began to scheme and maneuver for power. Much has been reported about what happened next, but always from the outside, through a veil of rumor and obfuscation. Now, in American Dreamers, Digest insider and longtime managing editor Peter Canning reveals for the first time the appalling dimensions of the struggle that consumed Camelot.

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AMERICAN DREAMERS: The Wallaces and Reader's Digest: An Insider's Story

User Review  - Kirkus

A former RD managing editor traces the rise and fall of the service magazine that became America's social mirror and later a rich orphan for profiteers. Wisely, Canning centers this story on the ... Read full review

American dreamers: the Wallaces and Reader's digest: an insider's story

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"A story that ought to be told," states Canning, a managing editor of Reader's Digest for 25 years, in his engrossing account of DeWitt and Lila Wallace, founders of Reader's Digest, one of the world ... Read full review


The White House1972
DeWitt 18891920
Lila 18871922

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About the author (1996)

Peter Canning is a full-time paramedic in Hartford, Connecticut. In addition to his government jobs, he has worked as a cabdriver, cook, meatpacker, telephone solicitor, book reviewer, and laborer. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Canning is currently at work on a novel about EMS.

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