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How Magazines Once Supported American Authors

brinkley.jpgIt seems like a fantasy now, but a number of great 20th Century writers enjoyed a fairly luxurious day job with Time, Inc.–writing for magazines while finishing the Great American Novel. Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Alan Brinkley, an author and history professor at Columbia University–talking about his new biography, The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century.

We focused on the life of Henry Luce, the man who founded Time, Life and Fortune–shaping the modern media landscape. Tomorrow night Brinkley will discuss his biography with the NY TimesFrank Rich at the 92nd Street Y.

Press play below to listen.

Here’s an excerpt: “A long list of famous writers [wrote for Luce], including at various times, [John] Steinbeck and [William] Faulkner. People wrote for Time, Life, and Fortune because the magazines had a large audience, but also because Luce paid very well. It was a kind of golden handcuffs for some of these people who were writers and poets that had migrated into the Time, Inc. world to make some money while they wrote their novels and poetry–the magazine swallowed them up. It was hard to leave because they were paid so well and they had big expense accounts. So there was a lot of fear and loathing at Time, Inc..”

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