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The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"I've been watching him, and I notice that when he wants cake, he wants cake; and he wants it now. And I notice that after a while he gets his cake." - Senator George Hearst, on his son, William Randolph Hearst

A lively, unexpected and impeccably researched piece of popular history, The Uncrowned King reveals how an unheralded young newspaperman from San Francisco walked in
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Counterpoint (first published November 4th 2008)
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Ryan Holiday
Jul 05, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it really liked it
Tyler Cowen remarked offhandedly in his review of The Uncrowned King that it was a revisionist biography of William Randolph Hearst. I would not only disagree but would say that the book's lack of moral judgment is refreshing and helpful.

The book looks exclusively at the 3 years it took Hearst to rise to the top of the New York newspaper market. In the process, he unseated two of the greatest editors in American history, Charles Dana and Joseph Pulitzer. Whyte doesn't excuse the tactics that Hea
Mar 27, 2014 BurntOrangeOwl rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, biography, 2014
A refreshingly positive take on the business and journalistic accomplishments of WRH during his takeoff. Slightly apologetic given his sometimes cavalier attitudes toward the truth, but on the whole a useful corrective. Lots of vivid detail and color. Good blend of narrative and argument. Much indebted to journalism historians. No real engagement with business records, new sources or voices, or the mechanics of distribution, but good on newsgathering process.
Sep 01, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
Living near the Hearst Castle, I wanted to find out more about the man who built the grand estate. This was the most highly rated biography on William Randolph Hearst available on Kindle - I think I would have liked The Chief better but it's not available on Kindle. This biography was interesting with its focus on how he established himself as a prominent journalist (The Journal) and newspaper owner going head to head with Joseph Pulitzer (The World). This author sought to debunk many of the myt ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This study reassesses William Randolph Hearst’s meteoric rise as a newspaper publisher, covering the period 1895-1900, from his purchase of the New York Journal to the end of the Spanish-American War. Whyte focuses on Hearst’s professional life rather than on the personal; the book is about Gilded Age newspaper publishing, yellow journalism, and Hearst’s accomplishments (positive and negative). It is refreshingly free of the hysteria that so often accompanies any discussion of Hearst. (He is usu ...more
Julian Haigh
Sep 22, 2014 Julian Haigh rated it liked it
Enjoyable read about an important man at the height of newspapers influence in America. The book is mainly focused on the establishment of the journal in New York and an assessment of its place vis-a-vis the World and the Herald. Whyte uses this period to stress that Hearst won with more than just his money but with a dedication and interest in producing a great paper with an activist bent.
Allison Mclean
Too much focus on the Spanish American War. would have liked to see what happened to the NY Journal
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 18, 2015 Catherine Mustread rated it liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: Canadian National Business Book Award Finalist (2009)
In preparation and following a tour of Hearst Castle, I skimmed this in-depth biography of William Randolph Hearst's first 50 years, when he was perhaps at the height of his power and influence. Interesting family background as the only child of a rich father (discovered silver in Nevada) and an educated and culturally aware mother. Only the beginnings of the Castle are covered in this book. Two small sections of photos are included and there is an extensive index.
Bookmarks Magazine
Feb 05, 2009 Bookmarks Magazine rated it really liked it

This work is not only a captivating biography of William Randolph Hearst but also a biography of the key figures in the press during that time and a history of U.S. journalism. Entertaining and well researched, Uncrowned Kingpleased the critics. Although the volume doesn't offer much in the way of new information

Jun 30, 2009 Joyce rated it liked it
Very interesting, the newspaper industry in Hearst's days could be equated to today's internat. Although it was not difficult to read one did get tired of the continuous footnotes (worse than a text book or journal).
Feb 16, 2009 Douglas rated it really liked it
The early daiys of sensationalist "yellow" journalism. The great circulation war between Pulizer, Hearst and Dana and Hearst's triumph in the Cuban war. A good read.
Feb 14, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: history-american
A different take on a controversial subject that highlights the newspaper business in the U. S.
Nov 21, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
Start was ok but became a history of the times not of Hearst
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