The Hearsts: Father and Son

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9781482761757: The Hearsts: Father and Son

The Hearst name has been at the forefront of American life for over a century. As founder of a media empire, William Randolph Hearst, Sr., changed the face of American journalism. He was larger than life, known for the famous San Simeon castle as well as his long affair with Marion Davies, images that were highly embellished in Orson Welles’ "Citizen Kane." In "The Hearsts: Father and Son," William Randolph Hearst, Jr., and co-author Jack Casserly tell the extraordinary story of an American family. The remarkable career of the junior Hearst includes such episodes as his Pulitzer Prize-winning interview with Nikita Khrushchev. Hearst and Casserly profile a cavalcade of journalistic stars of the Hearst newspapers, including Damon Runyon, Westbrook Pegler, Walter Winchell, Dorothy Kilgallen, and Bob Considine. The authors also portray adventures with such Hearst family friends as David Niven, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and a very paranoid Howard Hughes. In "The Hearsts: Father and Son," Bill Hearst answers the family’s critics: was his father the tyrant presented in "Citizen Kane"? What were the motives behind the building of San Simeon? How did the Hearst boys deal with their father’s alcoholic mistress, Marion Davies? What was the impact on the family of Patty Hearst’s kidnapping? These questions, and more, are answered in this memoir that holds a mirror up to the “American Century” and an unforgettable family who did so much to define it.

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About the Author:

William Randolph Hearst, Jr., was editor-in-chief of the Hearst newspapers and an heir to the publishing empire established by his father. His career in newspapers extended from the brash newsrooms of the 1920s to the computerized news operations of the present day. Jack Casserly was editorial assistant to Mr. Hearst and a veteran Arizona, Washington, and foreign correspondent who co-authored the New York Times bestseller "Goldwater." A former Harvard Fellow, Casserly was also a speechwriter for President Ford.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Vapid, once-over-lightly reminiscences from the scion of a publishing dynasty who, at age 83, looks back on a privileged, eventful life through rose-colored spectacles. One of five sons of William Randolph Hearst, ``Bill'' (as he's generally known) recalls a bicoastal boyhood that kept him shuttling between a 31-room apartment in Manhattan and his father's California pleasure dome of San Simeon. A college dropout, the author was given a job as a beat reporter on his father's New York American. Appointed publisher in 1937 of what was then the Journal- American, he quickly became a fixture on the caf‚-society scene. During WW II, Hearst assigned himself to Europe as a correspondent; after the war, he returned to the same old stand, marrying his third wife (who's still with him) in 1948. Following the death of Hearst, Sr., in 1951, the author became the chain's editor-in- chief. Today, he remains titular head of editorial operations and writes a column for the empire's dwindling number of newspapers, but the family firm is controlled by professional managers. With scarcely a word here about his brothers (three of whom are now dead), Hearst offers often inane assessments of family members, friends, and acquaintances (on his father: ``He was in his own way like Pearl Buck who loved the land and the peasants of China''). Nor does Hearst provide keen insights on either the legendary journalists (Bob Considine, Dorothy Kilgallen, Westbrook Pegler, Walter Winchell) or many notables (Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, George Patton, George Bernard Shaw, etc.) with whom he came in contact. Hearst has a few harsh words for de Gaulle, Nehru, Richard Berlin (a corporate executive he accuses of working against the founder's legacy), and the producers of Citizen Kane. Otherwise, even in the case of niece Patty's abduction, he is the soul of circumspect discretion. An insider's memoir that reads like the self-censored testimonial of a loyal hack. The wispy text has over 100 photographs and other illustrations, including cartoons (some seen). -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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