Current disclosure practices require me to mention that the author of The Uncrowned King, Kenneth Whyte, is a friend of many years and that we happily worked together on several publications.[1] He is a brilliant editor and publisher, as is abundantly clear from his many insights in this ground-breaking book about William Randolph Hearst. If it were not an excellent book, I would have declined to review it.

The picture of Hearst that emerges here is far more credible and nuanced than any that has been seriously advanced before. The Hearst legend preceded any serious consultation of primary sources by many years, and Ken Whyte has very assiduously gone through thousands of editions of all the New York titles in the first several years of Hearst’s ownership of the New York Journal and an enterprising breadth of relevant correspondence. The long-accepted...


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