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

Overview

In 1948 the column-writing Alsop brothers produced an article for the Saturday Evening Post, then the country's preminent weekly magazine. Its title: &'grave;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 these men of deeds, who ...
See more details below
Paperback
$20.97
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$23.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $20.51   
  • New (4) from $20.51   
  • Used (2) from $21.88   
Sending request ...

Overview

In 1948 the column-writing Alsop brothers produced an article for the Saturday Evening Post, then the country's preminent weekly magazine. Its title: &'grave;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 these 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, whent to school with them, socializedd with them. And they threw the considerable weight of their column behnd 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, and widely appreciated for his bonhomie, 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 &'grave;going to an opera in which one man sings all the parts.'' On another occasion he characterized the august New York Times, whose reporting he didn't like, as a &'grave;lunatic cathedral.'' 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 officaldolm, they responded.

The brothers' connection with the high and mighty of Washington makes for dramatic reading. These pages serve as a window on such notables of American wartime and postwar history as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Jack and Jackie Kennedy, General Claire Chennault of the wartime China theater, secretaries of state Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles and Henry Kissinger, defense secretaries James Forrestal and Robert McNamara, and various Supreme Court justices and top-level senators.

It's a human story as well -- about the brothers' harrowing wartime experiences; about a loving but occasionally tumultuous brotherly relationship; about friendships made and lost; about careers that soared but also, in Joe's case, faltered over the difficult issue of Vietnam.

In Taking On the World, Robert W. Merry, himself a Washington insider, has fashioned an intricate and fascinating combination of biography and narrative history. As Merry puts it, &'grave;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.

Blue-blooded journalists Joseph and Stewart Alsop dominated the Washington press corps from the end of World War II to Vietnam. Their influence in the highest government circles was so great that they even initiated policy decisions. This rich and entertaining portrait of the Alsops and their age is an unusually illuminating window into American history. 16 pages of photos. 672 pp. National ads. Author appearances. Online promo.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Michael Beschloss
A fascinating dual biography of Joe Alsop and his brother Stuart...Merry artfully recreates the Shakespearean relationship between Joe and his brother...superbly rendered.
—Michael Beschloss, Newsweek
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467901840
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 690
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)