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Publisher's Summary

William Randolph Hearst, known to his staff as the "Chief", was a brilliant business strategist and a man of prodigious appetites. By the 1930s, he controlled the largest publishing empire in the United States, including 28 newspapers, the Cosmopolitan Picture Studio, radio stations, and 13 magazines. He quickly learned how to use this media stronghold to achieve unprecedented political power.

The son of a gold miner, Hearst underwent a public metamorphosis from Harvard dropout to political kingmaker; from outspoken populist to opponent of the New Deal; and from citizen to congressman. In The Chief, David Nasaw presents an intimate portrait of the man famously characterized in the classic film Citizen Kane.

With unprecedented access to Hearst's personal and business papers, Nasaw details Heart's relationship with his wife, Millicent, and his romance with Marion Davies; his interactions with Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, and every American president from Grover Cleveland to Franklin Roosevelt; and his acquaintance with movie giants such as Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Irving Thalberg. An "absorbing, sympathetic portrait of an American original," The Chief sheds light on the private life of a very public man (Chicago Tribune).

©2000 David Nasaw (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about The Chief

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Fascinating but

Having worked in newspaper publishing for over a decade, I had always been interested in this icon of the industry. His life was as interesting and bizarrely unconventional as you’d expect. The story was captivating but overtime the unconventionality became decedent and oppressively dark.
I listened enthralled to the end but was glad when it was over with little to celebrate.
On a production note; the narrator was appropriate but his cadence eventually led me to bump the speed to 1.2.

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Citizen Hearst

I listened to this book after seeing a documentary on Hearst. The Nasaw telling of this man is beautiful in its complexity. His story had many layers the documentary could not address. If you like a well-paced biography, this is the book for you.

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Hearstian Level Book

This book in epic. The writing is outstanding and the story being told is as large and encapsulating as you would imagine. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is into history and larger than life people.

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Outstanding- loved it.

Really well done. It is hard to fathom the life lived by this man. The connection to history, politicians, Hollywood and so forth are amazing. Story is well told and the pace is great.

I’m not into Hollywood at all but this book touches on the early days so, if you like that stuff, this will be of interest.

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Last of the Media Moguls

fascinating person who shaped journalism in this country.Rupert Murdoch must have been a admirer of W.R