Columnist and editor-in-chief of the Hearst newspapers, Hearst Jr. is heir to the publishing empire founded by his father. In this brisk, unpretentious, opinionated autobiography, he expectedly defends Hearst Sr. as a ``true populist'' who made ``massive contributions'' to journalism. Not so predictably, he partially blames his mother, Millicent, for the marital breakup caused by her husband's long-term affair with alcoholic actress Marion Davies. Writing with veteran reporter Casserly, Hearst Jr. recounts the saga of his grandparents George and Phoebe, who left a Missouri farm for California's gold fields, becoming multimillionaires. He offers a stirring account of his own adventures as a WW II correspondent and nostalgically recreates the New York City news beat of the 1950s and '60s. He also records encounters with Churchill, Nehru, Damon Runyon, Clark Gable, Thatcher, Carter; and offers barbed commentary on such figures as Walter Winchell (``a real bastard'') and LBJ (``one of the loneliest men I ever met''). Photos. 60,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)
Forty years after the death of the controversial media magnate William Randolph Hearst comes his son's memoir of the family and business. Unsurprisingly, the tone differs from critical biographies such as W.A. Swanberg's Citizen Hearst ( LJ 8/61). Although he lacked his father's flamboyance, Hearst Jr., now 83, was a publisher, editor, reporter, and columnist. He offers candid details of his family and personal life, and several of his journalistic tales are gripping, e.g., the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and interviews with Nikita Khrushchev and other Soviet officials for which he shared a 1956 Pulitzer Prize. The ordeals of his niece Patty Hearst also make for compelling reading. He contends his father should be treated more sympathetically by future historians. The Hearst Corporation remains a billion-dollar enterprise, so ``Pop'' must have done something right. Recommended for those interested in the history of journalism.-- Bruce Rosenstein, ``USA Today'' Lib., Arlington, Va.