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The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century

Author: Alan Brinkley

tl;dr: Relative to his impact on America Henry Luce may be one of the most under-remembered figures of the 20th century. The Founder and CEO of Time, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Fortune magazines and more, he influenced both news media and American events more than he gets credit for.

His personal mission, which he never saw the fruits of, was opening China up to the West. Growing up in China as the son of missionaries, Luce was eager to mend the two worlds and bring prosperity to their people. Overall his world view was predicated on American economic and military might being used as forces for good in the world.

Luce was more influential, friend and counselor to what seemed to be every important mid-20th century figure, than any journalist or media operator can claim to be today.

In February of 1941 Luce penned the essay, The American Century. He argued that the 20th century was destined to become the American Century if we chose to seize it. The essay set the stage at a meta level for Pax Americana.

Brinkley does a great job detailing Luce as both a businessman and political missionary.


Amazon: The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century

First published on May 23, 2020