An Unlikely Hero: Vere Rothermere and How the Daily Mail Was Saved

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9780297644002: An Unlikely Hero: Vere Rothermere and How the Daily Mail Was Saved

The inside story of how the third Lord Rothermere saved a great newspaper dynasty: how he reversed the failing fortunes of the 100-year-old business founded by his great-uncle Lord Northcliffe, rescued the Daily Mail and brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. With unprecedented access to the company's journalists, executives, Harmsworth family members and archives, Sally Taylor charts the meteoric rise of the Daily Mail & General Trust, the holding company for Associated and Northcliffe Newspapers, the only remaining British press empire still run by the family that founded it. She tells of the 'Night of the Long White Envelopes' when 277 of the nation's top journalists were ruthlessly sacked, the largest merger in Canadian history in which the DMGT played a major role, the biggest newspaper war of the 20th century and the unprecedented decision of the firm 'to take over itself.' This, against a background of dynastic escapades and family tragedies ...It is a story of backroom power-mongering and internal strife that eventually resulted in one of the great business success stories of our time ...Cutting through the press mythology, this gripping narrative reveals the truth behind the rise of the legendary Fleet Street editor David English and his enigmatic and highly controversial proprietor, Vere Rothermere. It is a penetrating portrait of greed, profit and the British newspaper business.

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About the Author:

S [Sally] J Taylor has a PhD in Media Law and holds fellowships at both Illinois and the National Endowment of the Humanities in Washington DC. She has lived and worked in North London for 15 years and is the author of five previous books.

Review:

As you know, this is the third volume of the history of the Daily Mail and they have serialised this with two extracts in the Daily Mail and one in the Evening Standard this week. With this in mind, the book was embargoed until 15October and we will be setting a press date of 24 October, with a celebratory party on 17 October. There has been interest from the media editors of the press including Roy Greenslade, so watch over for mentions in their columns. The first review has come in "It is an amazingly diligent work and must have been much the most difficult of the three books to write... But I doubt that anyone could have done a better job at so short a range, and this book marks the end of a distinguished trilogy." Stephen Glover, THE MAIL ON SUNDAY With more to come "...she has produced a useful and often riveting account." Paul Johnson, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 27/10/02 "... I have had to wait for SJ Taylor's uniquely informed biography of Vere to discover pieces missing from my jigsaw... Taylor's integrity is asserted by the many passages putting her interviewees, notably David (English), in a less than heroic light.... This important book is Vere's memorial, chronicling his conquest with David of the middle market. What a performance. What a man." Bernard Shrimsley PRESS GAZETTE 25/10/02 Also reviewed by Peter Preston in THE OBSERVER 03/11/02, and THE TIMES T2

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Taylor, S. J.
Published by Orion (2002)
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S. J. Taylor
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ISBN 10: 0297644009 ISBN 13: 9780297644002
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