Dimensions: 720 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.57 in
Published: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0375411003
ISBN - 13: 9780375411007
Read from the Book
Go west, young man. One winter night,” Joseph Medill would recall of the evening of February 22, 1844, “I saw a light on the Western horizon, distant seven miles, and a couple of hours later learned it was my father’s house and home which had made it, and there was no insurance.” Although there had been no loss of life, the conflagration and the devastation it wrought would utterly change young Medill’s situation, his prospects, and the course of his life—much as that Great Fire nearly three decades later would forever recast the fortunes of the extinguished prairie town of Chicago and the magisterial city that sprang from its ashes, with which Joseph Medill and his Tribune were to become so inextricably associated. Medill was not yet twenty-one in the winter of 1844; his plans to attend college were among the luxuries with which his family would be forced to dispense in the aftermath of the calamity. They “were left in no condition,” he remembered, “to pay the expenses of a college course, or even to spare my labors on the place, as my father was bedridden by inflammatory rheumatism.” The ruined family farm, near the settlement of Massillon in Stark County, Ohio, some five miles from Canton, had not been Joseph Medill’s birthplace. Despite the ferocity with which he would later champion the preservation of the Union—by force and bloodshed if necessary—and demand unsparing retribution against those
From the Publisher
From the author of Hostage to Fortune; The Letters of Joseph P.
Kennedy ("Superb" -Michael Beschloss; "Remarkable" -Arthur
Schlesinger), the galvanizing story of Eleanor Medill (Cissy)
Patterson, celebrated debutante and socialte, scion of the
Chicago Tribune empire, and the twentieth century''s first
woman editor in chief and publisher of a major metropolitan daily
newspaper, the Washington Times-Herald.
She was called the most powerful woman in America, surpassing
Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Clare Boothe Luce, and Dorothy
Cissy Patterson was from old Republican stock. Her grandfather was
Joseph Medill, firebrand abolitionist, mayor of Chicago, editor in
chief and principal owner of the Chicago Tribune, and one
of the founders of the Republican Party who delivered the crucial
Ohio delegation to Abraham Lincoln at the convention of 1860.
Cissy Patterson''s brother, Joe Medill Patterson, started the New
York Daily News.
Her pedigree notwithstanding, Cissy Patterson came to
publishing shortly before her forty-ninth birthday, in 1930, with
almost no practical journalistic or editorial experience and a life
out of the pages of Edith Wharton (or more likely the other way
around: shades of Cissy are everywhere in the Countess
Amanda Smith writes that in the summer of 1930, Cissy Patterson,
educated at the turn of the century at Miss Porter''s School in
Farmington, Connecticut, for a vocation of marriage and motherhood
and a place in society, took over William Randolph Hearst''s
foundering Washington Herald and began to learn what
others believed she could never grasp-how to run and build up a
newspaper. She vividly lived out the Medill family''s editorial
motto (at least in spirit): "When you grandmother gets raped, put
it on the front page."
Patterson soon bought from Hearst the Herald''s evening
sister paper, the Washington Times, merged the two, and
became editor, publisher, and sole proprietor of a big-city
newspaper, a position almost unprecedented in American history. The
effect of the merger was "electric"...
By 1945, the Washington Times-Herald, with ten daily
editions, was clearing an annual profit of more than $1
Amanda Smith, in this huge, fascinating biography gives us the
(infamous) life and monumental times of Cissy Patterson, scourge of
liberals, advocate of appeasing Hitler, lover of poodles, and hater
Here is her twentieth-century Washington: its politics and society,
scandals and feuds, and at the center-the fierce newspaper wars
that consumed and drove the country''s press titans, as Patterson
took the Washington Times-Herald from a chronic tail-ender
in circulation and advertising, ranked fifth in the town, and made
it into the most widely read round-the-clock daily in the
national''s capital, deemed by many to be "the damndest newspaper
to ever hit the streets."
About the Author
Amanda Smith was born and raised in New York City.
She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. She is the
editor of Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P.
Kennedy. Smith lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and