The Publisher

  • by Alan Brinkley
  • Narrated by Sean Runnette
  • 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As the founder of Time, Fortune, and Life magazines, Henry Luce changed the way we consume news and the way we understand our world.
Born the son of missionaries, Luce spent his childhood in rural China, yet he glimpsed a milieu of power altogether different at Hotchkiss and later at Yale. While working at a Baltimore newspaper, he and Brit Hadden conceived the idea of Time: a "news-magazine" that would condense the week's events in a format accessible to increasingly busy members of the middle class. They launched it in 1923, and young Luce quickly became a publishing titan.
In 1936, after Time's unexpected success - and Hadden's early death - Luce published the first issue of Life, to which millions soon subscribed.
Historian Alan Brinkley shows how Luce reinvented the magazine industry in just a decade. The appeal of Life seemingly cut across the lines of race, class, and gender. Luce himself wielded influence hitherto unknown among journalists. By the early 1940s, he had come to see his magazines as vehicles to advocate for America's involvement in the escalating international crisis, in the process popularizing the phrase "World War II".
In spite of Luce's great success, happiness eluded him. His second marriage - to the glamorous playwright, politician, and diplomat Clare Boothe - was a shambles. Luce spent his later years in isolation, consumed at times with conspiracy theories and peculiar vendettas.
The Publisher tells a great American story of spectacular achievement - yet it never loses sight of the public and private costs at which that achievement came.


What the Critics Say

"A top-notch biography, and a valuable addition to the history of American media." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a sequence of news copy as biography.

too much repeating Time Magazine articles as history or biography. tends to become a bore after the first 10 hours.

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- T. daniels "Retired at the beach"

Loved this book

If you could sum up The Publisher in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating story

Who was your favorite character and why?

Claire Booth Luce, his second wife--I had heard her name in various contexts, but had no idea of her or her relationship with Henry

Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

He is, in my opinion, the best performer of audiobooks. Everything he does with characters is great, and his voice itself has character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was just totally fascinated by Luce and his story and the history going on during his life.

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- Kate M.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-11-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio