A former wartime pilot and Time magazine’s first foreign editor, Thomas J. C. Martyn had a vision: to establish a weekly news magazine that would rival Time, which in the 1930s was the only magazine of its kind in the United States. Martyn succeededso resoundingly that Newsweek has prospered for over 80 years, first as a stalwart of print media and now in the digital era, as well.
Newsweek was Martyn’s brainchild, brought to life through his own perseverance and ingenuity. So it came as a bitter blow when a series of rivalries and disputes led to his ousting from the Newsweek board just four years after its first edition.
In the 1960s Martyn wrote this memoir, which his granddaughter Anne Martyn Alexander has recently brought to light. He draws a vivid picture of his efforts to get Newsweek off the ground; his meetings with powerful men such as President Roosevelt and Henry Ford; and his own idiosyncrasies that may have played a part in the rift with the Newsweek board. Like so many visionaries, Martyn was a charismatic yet difficult man to work with, and his often-feisty character comes through clearly in his memoir.
This classic entrepreneur’s story reveals the struggles and triumphs of getting a national magazine off the ground during the depths of the Great Depression. One man’s pursuit of his dream meets the tumultuous era of the 1930s in a book which will entertain and engage Newsweek fans, entrepreneurs, and history buffs alike.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although I have written historical fiction, I don’t read as much historical nonfiction. However, I found this memoir to be quite compelling. It is well written, and I felt myself carried along with the story of how Thomas J. C. Martyn came to the U.S., working as Time’s foreign editor, and then finally launching his long-held dream of a national newsmagazine to compete with Time. He felt there was room for more than one such publication, and he was right. I was struck by the immense effort involved not only in getting such an operation running, but also raising the capital and dealing with the board. I felt transported to that era, when so much was going on in the U.S. Newsweek has been a profound documenter and commentator on our history since it was launched in 1933, and this book wonderfully tells the tale of how it got started – through one man with a vision, who worked and sacrificed to bring it to reality. ---- Susan Gabriel, author of The Secret Sense of Wildflower, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012