Henry Robinson Luce (1898-1967) founded Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. Born in China to missionary parents, Luce was a kind of lay preacher, anxious to mold the American mind and advance his ideological program: intervention, capitalism, democracy (when appropriate) and Christian activism. The most celebrated and influential editor of his day, Luce was also obsessed with the American mission in the world, and with China and East Asia. Luce tried to 'sell' this mission to a sometimes reluctant public. A passionate anti-Communist interventionist, he also convinced Americans that the US had perversely 'lost' China to the Communists. A fervent advocate of the Vietnam intervention, Luce, author of the American Century edited incoming cables so that magazines might conform to his ideas. For the first time, we see how Luce did this. Using hitherto inaccessible or neglected sources, Herzstein produces a gripping portrait of a great but tragic figure.
- The first scholarly account of a great figure in American history and the American media: this includes his Republican politics, his media, and his philanthropic work
- First account of how Luce edited and changed incoming cables so as to give his millions of readers the 'right' spin on crucial Cold War issues
- First account of how Luce's intense, crabbed, brusque personality impacted his work and his political obsessions