NEWSPAPER TITANby Amanda Smith
The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of
Published by Knopf September 6, 2011
Author touring to Chicago, New York, Washington DC
“Absorbing… captivating… spellbinding.
“Drawing deeply on letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and family archives, Amanda Smith captivatingly traces the rapid rise and quite sudden fall of a woman who ambitiously and with canny journalist wiles fashioned herself into the only woman editor in chief of a major metropolitan newspaper.
“Patterson’s early life resembles closely that of many of Edith Wharton’s women. The product of a fashionable New England girls’ school at the turn of the 20th century, Patterson was tall and graceful, with a superb figure and a biting wit. Against the objections of her family, she married Josef Gizyckli, a Polish count well connected with the imperial Russian courts, but also with a history of incurring large debts and fathering illegitimate children. After fewer than four years of marriage, Patterson fled to the south of France, still bruised from her husband’s beating; it took her almost two years, and the intercession of various governments, to recover her almost four-year-old daughter who the count had kidnapped.
“In 1930, Patterson began her rise in the newspaper world by taking over William Randolph Hearst’s foundering Washington Herald. By the end of the 1930s, Patterson had also taken over the Washington Times, another Hearst paper, and by 1939 had merged them into the Washington Times-Herald, which with 10 editions daily cleared more than $1 million in profit yearly by 1945.
“Smith’s absorbing biography recounts the spellbinding tale of the woman who followed the motto: ‘When your grandmother gets raped, put it on the front page.’”
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