W.A. Swanberg: Citizen Hearst: A Biography of William Randolph Hearst



An important period of American history a time that saw America coming into its own as a world power The story is also a cautionary tale Hearst so overextended himself financially that when the Depression he had to be bailed out by his mistress He was inconsistent in his political views starting out as a muckraking publisher railing against the trusts and later becoming a hardened capitalist opposed to any taxes Hearst was an important figure in American history but his flaws got the best of him Swanberg has written a readable very ntertaining biography of William Randolph Hearst This is a serious work despite the title s allusive reference to the classic movie Is well researched comprehensive full of interesting detail and amazingly objective something not asily achieved with a figure as controversial as Hearst Although he is probably now best remembered ither as the character on which Orson Welles based his film Citizen Kane or as the yellow journalist who instigated the Spanish American war Hearst was much was a significant figure in the history of America He was a powerful political and cultural force 5 stars up until about page 250 then the balance becomes a slog 3 stars Glad I finished it though fascinating human be Lots of interesting details about Hearst s private life and public journalism Mostly critical but fair William Hearst wanted to be president in his day The Trump comparisons are amazing I took me a month to get through all 636 pages but it was very interestingl A born rich billionaire in 2016 dollars playboy tax dodging real state investor among other things in NY who specializes in fake news and lacks party loyalty wants to become president on an inconsistent populist America first I had always wanted to read a biography of Hearst I really did not njoy this one at all The paragraphs are not linked together well the author can be writing about Hearst s sons in one sentence and immediately hop to something lse he did so no flow Also there is a disclaimer about not having access to a many papers because they are still in the possession of the Hearst family why say that To make up for your gaps I would prefer to have read good description of what was available as well as probing commentary on his life Only at the very nd and I mean the last two o Father of Yellow Journalism incited people to riots war and hysterics for fun andor profit The last half of the book was a wonderful insomnia cure Wouldn t have liked. E issues a radical reformer on others he advocated ight hour work days and women's rightsHe fanned the flames that led to our war with Spain to boost his newspaper circulation detractors said He built a remarkable castle on the Pacific coast now on.

William Randolph Hearst baron of arly 20th century newspaper publishing was The Man Without a Face early to recognize the power of journalism in shaping the course of worldvents He is probably best known for stirring up American public opinion against Spain s presence in Cuba in the lead up to the Spanish American War Hearst was so steadfast in his opposition to Spain that he resorted to making up lies in his newspapers principal among which was the New York Journal a sort of latter day New York Post He is famous for the instructions he gave one of his photographers in Cuba before the war You furnish the pictures and I ll furnish the warCitizen Hearst a 1961 biography by WA Swanberg does a superb job of dissecting the life of this American nigma a man so obsessed with attaining political power and riches that he resorted to lowest common denominator journalism despite his Harvard pedigree and upper class upbringing his Dad was a Senator from California His dream was the Presidency and he worked up to that goal by running and ventually winning a seat in Congress despite his crippling fear of public speaking which he Gone (Gone, eventually got over He never became President but he undoubtedly was one of the most famous and influential figures of his day He amassed a fortune that allowed him to do whatever he wanted and buy whatever suited his whimsical tastes of the moment This included building his own palace at San Simeon California personally seeing to itsvery architectural detail and Threads Of The Shroud ensuring that the site s manicured gardens zoo and forests were constantly tended to by a staff of hundreds of people He was so obsessed with collecting precious historical artifacts from his spending sprees around the world that he ran out of room to store themventually buying a warehouse in the Bronx and stuffing it with crates of containing Greek statues paintings and precious manuscriptsSwanberg All Seated on the Ground expends a lot of ink analyzing Hearst s love life which included anstranged wife and a young actress named Marion Davies whom Hearst doted upon and attempted to made a Hollywood star despite her sub par acting and singing ability This aspect of his life is immortalized in Orson Welles s Citizen Kane a thinly veiled biopic considered among many critics to be the best movie Untitled. ever madeI found the book to be a highlynjoyable and worthwhile read not only because it is full of anecdotes capturing Hearst s Wiring eccentricities andxtravagance but because of its historical value Hearst s life spans. William Randolph Hearst just a name today but once the mightiest force in American journalism His income was 15 million a year when it meant something yet he teetered constantly on the brink of financial disaster He was a paradox conservative on som.

Him much but I have always been fond of San Simeon I ve never really known much about William Randolph Hearst aside from the fact that he was the inspiration for Citizen Kane and he owned some newspapers What I didn t realize is how powerful a figure in American history he actually wasThis is a very Against All Odds engrossing biography that covers the man sntire life without coming off as dry or scholarly at all The history of yellow journalism and the Spanish American war were Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage especially interesting being topics I ve never known much aboutThere are times when the authorxpresses his contempt for the subject a little too obviously revealing a bias that could cloud the whole work but let s face it the man was a giant douche Sure he was complicated he meant well he had mommy issues but he was also an The DOS entitled war mongering hypocrite who built hismpire by claiming to stand up for the people only I took a break from reading in order to create time for other things However what is dear to somebody never departs The philosophy is true with relation to books and my life When I resumed studying my books it was with Citizen Hearst by W A Swanberg It is a top notch political thrillerIt is an autobiography of Wilson Randolph Hearst Am not an American therefore I might ger a benefit of doubt for not knowing who he was previously before my interaction with the novel However one thing I would agree to is that I found him to be an Against All Odds extra ordinary individual I can relate his personality to other people like Clarence Darrow who surprisingly is mentioned in the story as a supporterHearst wss loved and hated with the same amount of passion He was generous and at the same time very selfish He loved and hated others with the same intensity He succeeded and failed at the same time during his life What he managed to leave behind is a name which had the power to change America if not the worldHe gained fame through his newspapers which had a circulation of about three million The advertisement fee he made from the businesslevated him to the level of becoming a millionaire in his own right Moreover he also became a renowned political figure who could make and break careers In here is a story of a powerful man who never knew when to stop He could go to any lengths in order to satisfy himself and achieve his goals He succeeded in dragging America to a war with Spain On the other hand he failed to do the same to France At the Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism end of it he had as manynemies and little friend. E of California's largest tourist attractions He played politics made movies left his heirs a communications mpirebut until this book no one had taken his measureEngrossing For reading pleasure no biography can top CITIZEN HEARST The New York Times.

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A graduate of the University of Minnesota William Andrew Swanberg worked as a journalist for newspapers in the MinneapolisSt Paul area and as an editor for Dell Publishing After serving in the Office of War Information during World War II Swanberg worked as a freelance writer and an author of a number of scholarly biographies