9780316836319 / 0316836311

The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times


Publisher:Back Bay Books



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About the book:

This mammoth history of the dynasty that created and controls The New York Times is as epic in its scope as is the role of the newspaper in America. Like any good epic, this story is filled with its fair share of personal ambition, disappointment, competing heirs to the throne, fierce loyalties, and powerful intrigue. The story of The Times starts in 1896, when Adolph Ochs, a young German Jew, buys the undistinguished and nearly bankrupt The New-York Times (the dash was later dropped). He worked hard to distinguish its style from the florid journalism that marked rival papers, and soon Ochs's paper, with its straightforward reporting, became the favorite of the Wall Street and Uptown sets. He toiled, too, to ensure that The Times never earned the moniker "too Jewish." Ochs assiduously declined to promote Jewish editors and was an outspoken opponent of the free state of Israel. And writers Susan Tifft and Alex Jones argue persuasively that in its drive to appear absolutely objective about Jewish issues, the paper (under the leadership at this point of Ochs's son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger) underreported the Holocaust--keeping stories of Hitler's early maneuvers off the front page, failing to name concentration-camp victims as Jews. Though significant, World War II was just one moment in the hundred-year-long history of the paper thus far. The Trust vividly chronicles some of the The Times's most famous moments--the controversial publication of the Pentagon Papers and its transition to a publicly held company in the late '60s are just two--along with the personal histories of four generations of Ochses and Sulzbergers. With its strong foundation of well-researched facts, thoughtful analysis, and excellent narration, The Trust is itself a great work of journalism that does its storied subject proud. --Anna Baldwin

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