Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Citizen Hearst” as Want to Read:
Citizen Hearst
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Citizen Hearst

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews

William Randolph Hearst: just a name today, but once the mightiest force in American journalism. His income was $15 million a year (when it meant something)--yet he teetered constantly on the brink of financial disaster. He was a paradox: conservative on some issues, a radical reformer on others (he advocated eight-hour work days and women's rights).

He fanned the flames th

Hardcover, 576 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by BBS Publishing Corporation (first published January 1st 1961)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Citizen Hearst, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Citizen Hearst

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I took a break from reading in order to create time for other things. However, what is dear to somebody never departs. The philosophy is true with relation to books and my life. When I resumed studying my books, it was with 'Citizen Hearst' by W. A. Swanberg. It is a top notch political thriller.

It is an autobiography of Wilson Randolph Hearst. Am not an American therefore I might ger a benefit of doubt for not knowing who he was previously before my interaction with the novel. However, one thin
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've never really known much about William Randolph Hearst, aside from the fact that he was the inspiration for Citizen Kane and he owned some newspapers. What I didn't realize is how powerful a figure in American history he actually was.

This is a very engrossing biography that covers the man's entire life without coming off as dry or scholarly at all. The history of "yellow journalism" and the Spanish-American war were especially interesting, being topics I've never known much about.

There are t
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Father of Yellow Journalism, incited people to riots, war and hysterics for fun and/or profit. The last half of the book was a wonderful insomnia cure. Wouldn't have liked him much but I have always been fond of San Simeon.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A born-rich, billionaire (in 2016 dollars) playboy, tax-dodging, real estate investor (among other things) in NY, who specializes in fake news and lacks party loyalty, wants to become president on an inconsistent, populist "America first" platform; is accused of fascist sympathies.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
William Hearst wanted to be president in his day. The Trump comparisons are amazing. I took me a month to get through all 636 pages but it was very interestingl.
Nov 08, 2010 added it
Shelves: history-us
Swanberg has written a readable, very entertaining biography of William Randolph Hearst. This is a serious work, despite the title's allusive reference to the classic movie. Is well-researched, comprehensive, full of interesting detail, and amazingly objective - something not easily achieved with a figure as controversial as Hearst. Although he is probably now best remembered either as the character on which Orson Welles based his film, "Citizen Kane", or as the "yellow journalist" who instigate ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
William Randolph Hearst, baron of early 20th century newspaper publishing, was early to recognize the power of journalism in shaping the course of world events. He is probably best known for stirring up American public opinion against Spain's presence in Cuba in the lead up to the Spanish-American War. Hearst was so steadfast in his opposition to Spain that he resorted to making up lies in his newspapers, principal among which was the New York Journal-a sort of latter day New York Post. He is fa ...more
Rena Sherwood
I found this paperback in the free library at the Clifton Heights borough hall. It's spine was cracked several places and many pages were dog-eared. While I read it, the cover came off and many pages are threatening to come out. So, this copy is a "well-loved" copy but I am not one of those who loved it, although I read it (and even read the damn bibliography, too, 'cause that's the kind of nutcase I am.)

I will admit that one of the most off-putting aspects to this book was it's tiny print. If t
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved the tongue in cheek! I handed it off to my mother-in-law and she couldn't finish it. (We have a good relationship). So, you either get the approach or not, editor's note). I've yet to check out what else Swanberg has done, but his voice in attending to this bizarre family is consistent and brilliant. You want to know the true Citizen Kane? Read the book!
Cyndie Todd
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring journalists, writers, bloggers, fans of old Hollywood
A must read for all aspiring journalists. It's important to understand where the term yellow journalism comes from. Hearst had a huge impact on journalism in America that still resonates today. His wealth was breathtaking, which adds to the fun as well as complications.
Niola c
Jul 07, 2007 rated it liked it
Hisatory keeps repeating itself... Trashy journalism, rich man tryng to buy presidency with a third party, felt like I had lived throught the same occurances. But they happened more than 1/2 a century ago...
Byron Clark
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
It was sort of interesting, but I had high expectations because this book was recommended by a tour guide at Heart's Castle. I was expecting Hearst to be more powerful than he turned out to be. The book is well-written; Hearst just isn't as interesting as I thought he would be.
Brenda Leavy
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Quite the character. A madman and possibly a genius. Many characters overlap from Hearst to Runyon. Will lead you to reading more bios and revisiting your hostory books. Also, whenever I start to feel guilty about spending too much money I can now just say "Well at least I'm no Hearst!
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This was actually the first biography I ever read. It turned me on to biographies, which I have enjoyed ever since.
Steve Shilstone
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a life. One of the great romances in American history was that of Hearst and Marion Davies.
Terrence Crimmins
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is must reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of American newspapers.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2009
An in depth biography of a difficult and contradictory person, who, in many ways seems to be a forerunner of several aspects of contemporary media and politics.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It was a compelling biography on a larger than life individual. Definitely a fun read, and a good look into the era he lived in and largely influenced.
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should watch the classic film, Citizen Kane.
Everyone should visit the Hearst Castle on the coast of California.
And, everyone should read this biography of William Randolf Hearst.
Mike Huey
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Terrific book about a fascinating and divisive character. He was a bundle of contradictions. Like him or not (I doubt I would) he was perhaps the most influential person of his time.
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. A long life with so much history! Author presented in a fair manner. Enjoyed the book very much although long; he lived a good long life.
G Ream
Dec 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
very good look at this fascinating figure
Frank Palardy
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Interesting life.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
5 stars just because Hearst Castle is my favorite place ive been, taking a total of about 10 tours
rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2010
Daniel Gamaldi
rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2013
Darla Ebert
rated it it was ok
Aug 09, 2016
Scott Wood
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst
  • Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, Journalism's Legendary Editor
  • Walter Lippmann and the American Century
  • Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism
  • The Imperial Presidency
  • The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms & the CIA
  • Associated Press Guide to News Writing: The Resource for Professional Journalists
  • The Long Fuse: An Interpretation of the Origins of World War I
  • The Collapse of the Third Republic
  • No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
  • Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life
  • All my best friends
  • Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous
  • Stengel: His Life and Times
  • Reflections on a Ravaged Century
  • The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century
  • Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era
  • The Last Days of Dead Celebrities
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »