One of the most colorful and important figures of turn-of-the-century America, was William Randolph Hearst, fictionalized as Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welles' classic film 'Citizen Kane.'
This authoritative account of Hearst's extraordinary career in newspaper and politics provides a fascinating reassessment of the man who changed the face of American journalism and whose influence extends to the present day. Born to great wealth -- his father was a partial owner of four fabulously rich mines -- Hearst began his career in his early 20s by revitalizing a rundown newspaper, the "San Francisco Examiner." Utiliizing what had been a relatively sedate form of communicating information, Hearst essentially created the modern tabloid, complete with outrageous headlines, comic strips, wide photo coverage, and crusading zeal. His papers fairly bristled with life.
By 1910, he had built a newspaper empire -- eight papers and two magazines read by nearly three million people. Hearst did much to create 'yellow journalism' -- with the emphasis on sensationalism and lowering of journalistic standards. But Procter shows that Hearst's papers were also challenging and innovative and powerful: They exposed corruption, advocated progressive reforms, strongly supported recent immigrants, became a force in the Democratic Party, and helped ignite the Spanish-American War. Procter vividly depicts Hearst's own political career from his 1902 election to Congress to his presidential campaign in 1904 and his bitter defeats in New York's Mayoral and Gubernatorial races.