Henry R. Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man who Created the American Century

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 521 pages
No publisher influenced his era more than Henry Robinson Luce, the creator of Time, Life, and Fortune, as well as the March of Time newsreels. With an audience of more than 40 million people every week, Luce's publications molded Americans' opinions and helped shape the political landscape of the nation - and the world. In this first full-scale historical treatment of Luce's life and times, Robert E. Herzstein illuminates the intermingling of Luce's private and public personae as no other writer has done. Born in China of missionary parents, Luce lived his life, Herzstein reveals, as a kind of Presbyterian lay evangelist preaching a sermon of Christian, nationalist, global interventionism. Time magazine, founded in 1923, became the cornerstone of the publishing empire that during the next four decades made Henry Luce one of the nation's most important private citizens. The inventor of the slogan "The American Century", Luce believed that his publications were meant to prepare Americans for global benevolence in the name of God and humanity. But Luce's lofty goals were always allied to an innate love for the shadowy world of politics. For the first time, Herzstein documents the historic alliance between Luce, a Republican who called the GOP his "second church", and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as both men tried to aid Britain and to prepare the United States for its entry into World War II. Using the private papers of both Henry and Clare Luce, as well as interviews with their surviving colleagues, relatives, and friends, Herzstein depicts Luce's historic encounters with leaders as diverse as Douglas MacArthur, Mao Tse-tung, and Chiang Kai-shek, and his uneasy relationships with writers andeditors like John Hersey, Whittaker Chambers, and Theodore H. White. Herzstein also examines how Luce shaped public opinion and public policy in a variety of areas, including civil rights for blacks, for which Luce was an often unpopular advocate, the aggressive anti-Soviet foreign policy of the postwar period, the hunt Luce fueled for the villains who "lost" China to the Communists, and the battle he waged for intervention in Indochina.

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HENRY R. LUCE: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century

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Herzstein (History/Univ. of South Carolina) offers a liberal's critical appraisal of the life, times, and fortunes of Henry Robinson Luce at the height of his considerable powers during the convulsive ... Read full review

Henry R. Luce: a political portrait of the man who created the American century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review


A Visit to Franklin D Roosevelts White House
Tengchow China
When He Said America

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About the author (1994)

Robert E. Herzstein is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina where he teaches. He is the author of numerous books including Henry R. Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century, Waldheim: The Missing Years, Roosevelt & Hitler: Prelude to War, Adolf Hitler and the German Trauma, and The Nazis (Time-Life Books). Professor Herzstein is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and the recipient of various awards and grants.

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