The Powers That Be

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9780252069413: The Powers That Be

Crackling with the personalities, conflicts, and ambitions that transformed the media from something that followed the news to something that formed it, "The Powers That Be" is David Halberstam's forceful account of the rise of modern media as an instrument of political power, published here with a new introduction by the author. Beginning with FDR's masterful use of radio to establish the sense of a personal, benevolently paternal relationship with the American people and culminating in the discovery and coverage of the Watergate break-in, Halberstam tracks the firm establishment of the media as a potent means of shaping both public opinion and public policy.He tells the story through vivid, intimate portraits of the men, women, and politics behind four key media organizations: CBS and its board chairman William S. Paley; "Time" magazine and its cofounder Henry Luce; the "Washington Post" and successive publishers Philip Graham and his wife, Katherine; and, the "Los Angeles Times" and publishers Norman Chandler and his son, Otis.

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Gives an account of power at work in America.

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"The book provided manna for political, history, political science and journalism junkies and groupies. It bared the warts -- biases, politically partisan maneuverings, egos, dollars-and-cents motivations, personality clashes, society maneuvers, internal political wars, insecurities, chauvinistic behaviors and restricted realities of the news organizations as seen through the people who owned and ran them. Stories galore."--Australasian Journal of American Studies "Halberstam deploys a stunning novelistic skill in showing how his scores of characters feel about one another... Every page carries a graphic revelation of some piece of subtle delineation, flashes of insight struck off by the adjacencies of power. So understanding is the reporting that the skeletons, once hauled from their closets, don't rattle much." -- Anthony Smith, The Nation "[An] important and admirable book ... The Powers That Be will remain stirring history." -- Richard Rovere, New York Times Book Review "Extremely good reading. It builds a lucid and engaging narrative about important people and important events and ... will keep readers up after bedtime. It is also crammed with anecdotes available only to insiders." -- American Journal of Sociology

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