Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire -- A Biography

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire -- A Biography

by Susan Ronald

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The first biography in over thirty years of Condé Nast, the pioneering publisher of Vogue and Vanity Fair and main rival to media magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamorous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early twentieth century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. Alongside his editors, Edna Woolman Chase at Vogue and Frank Crowninshield at Vanity Fair, he built the first-ever international magazine empire, introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience.

Credited with creating the “café society,” Nast became a permanent fixture on the international fashion scene and a major figure in New York society. His superbly appointed apartment at 1040 Park Avenue, decorated by the legendary Elsie de Wolfe, became a gathering place for the major artistic figures of the time. Nast launched the careers of icons like Cecil Beaton, Clare Boothe Luce, Lee Miller, Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. He left behind a legacy that endures today in media powerhouses such as Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and Graydon Carter.

Written with the cooperation of his family on both sides of the Atlantic and a dedicated team at Condé Nast Publications, critically acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald reveals the life of an extraordinary American success story.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250180049
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
File size: 23 MB
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About the Author

Born and raised in the United States, SUSAN RONALD is a British-American biographer and historian of several books, including A Dangerous Woman, Hitler’s Art Thief, and Heretic Queen. She lives in rural England with her writer husband.
Born and raised in the United States, SUSAN RONALD has lived in England for more than twenty-five years. She is the author of A Dangerous Woman, Hitler's Art Thief, Heretic Queen, The Pirate Queen, and Shakespeare’s Daughter.

Table of Contents

Note on Spelling and Expressions ix

Prologue: The Ringmaster-1919 1

Part I How to Make a Millionaire

1 Living Down Mr. Disappoint 11

2 Fanny's "Even-Handed" Justice 20

3 It's Not What You Know … 27

4 The Adman Before Mad Men 34

5 Battling the Fakirs, Swindlers, and Manufacturers of Bad Whiskeys 39

6 A Natural Talent to Sniff Out Life's Pattern 48

7 How to Build a New Woman's Railroad 59

Part II The Man Who Made Vogue, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, and So Much More …

8 The Genie Bean Counter and His Class Publication 75

9 What Women Want 85

10 Couturiers, Cutthroats, and Conflict 97

11 The Spirited Mrs. Chase Lands Her Big Fish 107

12 Enter Stage Right Frank Crowninshield-and Brogue 116

13 From Vanity Fair to Mayhem 125

14 Back to the Business of "Fried Fish and Stewed Eels" 138

15 How to Keep a Park Bench Warm 145

Part III Roaring with the Twenties

16 "Ain't We Got Fun?" 159

17 The High Priestess Meets Her Forces of Nature 167

18 All Those Flaming "Bright Young Things" 181

19 Let the Good Times Roll 195

20 The New and Renewed Kids in Town 200

21 Fireflies in the Garden Paradise 211

22 Casting for Pearls 222

23 Boom, Crash, Bang, Clatter 229

Part IV Saving the Empire

24 Beware of Frenemies 241

25 In the Death Throes 257

26 The Stain of Defection 267

27 A Very British Salvation 277

28 But Who's to Save Vanity Fair? 287

29 "Of Cabbages …" 299

30 "… and Kings" 305

31 Answering the Distant Cry of War 317

Part V With the Eye of an Eagle

32 How to Win in the End 331

33 The King Is Dead 339

34 A New Leaf 346

35 A New House, a New Empire 355

Coda 365

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 369

Dramatis Personae 373

Select Bibliography 387

Notes 393

Index 421

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