Walter Lippmann and the American Century

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9780765804648: Walter Lippmann and the American Century

Walter Lippmann began his career as a brilliant young man at Harvard―studying under George Santayana, taking tea with William James, a radical outsider arguing socialism with anyone who would listen―and he ended it in his eighties, writing passionately about the agony of rioting in the streets, war in Asia, and the collapse of a presidency. In between he lived through two world wars, and a depression that shook the foundations of American capitalism.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) has been hailed as the greatest journalist of his age. For more than sixty years he exerted unprecedented influence on American public opinion through his writing, especially his famous newspaper column "Today and Tomorrow." Beginning with The New Republic in the halcyon days prior to Woodrow Wilson and the First World War, millions of Americans gradually came to rely on Lippmann to comprehend the vital issues of the day.

In this absorbing biography, Ronald Steel meticulously documents the philosophers and politics, the friendships and quarrels, the trials and triumphs of this man who for six decades stood at the center of American political life. Lippmann's experience spanned a period when the American empire was born, matured, and began to wane, a time some have called "the American Century." No one better captured its possibilities and wrote about them so wisely and so well, no one was more the mind, the voice, and the conscience of that era than Walter Lippmann: journalist, moralist, public philosopher.

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From the Inside Flap:

The journalist Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) was a magisterial figure who relished his role as an insider, an adviser to presidents, a shaper and sometime purveyor of government policy. Drawing on conversations with Lippmann and exclusive access to his private papers, Ronald Steel documents the broad flow of Lippmann's career from his brilliant Harvard days and his role in helping formulate Wilson's Fourteen Points in World War I to his bitter break with Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam. Written with clarity and objectivity, this definitive biography presents a commanding portrait of a complicated man and "guides its reader through the first three-quarters of this American century" (The New Yorker).

From the Back Cover:

"A marvelously researched and readable biography."

-- Joseph P. Lash, The New York Times Book Review

"An engrossing biography and a splendid primer to six decades of turbulent political life... Required reading for everyone interested in this troubled century." -- Time

"Rare and admirable... exactly, unerringly appropriate to its subject...scrupulous, reflective, balanced, comprehensive, admiring yet never fawning."

-- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Star

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