The Press

The Making of a Media Mogul

These days, it’s Pinch and Rupert, but back in the days of Lord Copper, there was a different set of media kingpins in town. Nicholas Lemann writes in this week's New Yorker about press barons past and present through a survey of several new books. Of The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst, by Kenneth Whyte, Lemann says that the author “wrote more as a result of having fallen in love with his subject than of having come across new material to reveal.” Then there’s Richard J. Tofel’s biography Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal and the Invention of Modern Journalism, which shows the effect Kilgore’s Midwestern heritage had on the paper. And Inside Rupert’s Brain, by Paul R. La Monica, Lemann says is a thinly researched book that “does not suggest extensive authorial labor.”