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The Genius of M B-W

from Real Clear Politics

Margaret Bourke-White’s True-to-Life Gift

By Carl M. Cannon

Eighty-four years ago today, a shiny and sophisticated pictorial publication hit the newsstands. The brainchild of Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, two prep school friends who ran the college newspaper at Yale, this glossy magazine would change the way Americans looked at their world. It was called, fittingly, Life.

Although Briton Hadden may be an unfamiliar name to you, he was a singular and pivotal figure in 20th century journalism. He and Luce had burst onto the scene in 1923 with Time, the nation’s first modern weekly newsmagazine. Its very conception was Brit Hadden’s, as was its distinctive voice, dubbed “Timestyle.” It was also Hadden who raised the money to launch it. All this was known in the 1920s, including by Time’s readers. In his authoritative account of those early years, scholar Isaiah Wilner produced an unpublished letter-to-the-editor from a reader who said, flatly, “Briton Hadden was the presiding genius.”

[ click to continue reading at RCP ]

Posted on November 23, 2020 by Editor

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