The Chief : The Life of Lord Northcliffe Britain's Greatest Press Baron-9781398508712

The Chief : The Life of Lord Northcliffe Britain's Greatest Press Baron

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Author: Roberts, Andrew

Biography: historical, political & military

Published on 17 August 2023 by Simon & Schuster Ltd in the United Kingdom.

Paperback | 560 pages, 1x8pp colour
197 x 131 x 37 | 390g

'Superb...his pages fizz with character and colour' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 'Scholarly and very readable' Andrew Lycett, Spectator 'Energetic and hugely entertaining' A.N.Wilson, TLSThe definitive biography of Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, the first and greatest press magnate in history and the genius who invented modern popular journalism.

The turn of the century was a period when the world was opening up in new and exciting ways – radio, telegrams, the advent of flight. With literacy and the right to vote extending across an ever-expanding populace, politics and journalism were embarking on a power struggle that continues unabated to this day. Lord Northcliffe rose to the challenges of this new world by employing cutting-edge technology, upending the outdated mores of traditional journalism and radically reshaping the very concept of ‘news’.

He was a tough and uncompromising businessman, frequently levelled with charges of megalomania, but in The Chief Andrew Roberts puts Northcliffe’s ruthlessness in the context of a life of visionary business skill, journalistic brilliance, distinguished wartime public service and heartfelt patriotism. The man was, undoubtedly, a genius – albeit a flawed one. From a modest background, growing up on the outskirts of Dublin, by twenty-seven he presided over a magazine empire with the largest circulation in the world. By the time of his tragically early death in 1922, Northcliffe had founded the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, and had also owned The Times and the Observer. At one point he owned two thirds of all the titles on Fleet Street.

Based on exclusive access to the Harmsworth family archive, The Chief charts Lord Northcliffe’s rise to power and his highly controversial influence in a politically critical period. His influence still resonates today both through his remarkable business innovations and in the way we consume our news and politics.