History of Time Magazine Part 2

About the history of Time magazine, the founding and publishing in America.



Time was, however, primarily Hadden's creation, and that was a problem for Luce, who did not enjoy being upstaged and who was also creative, but in a different direction. Luce was fascinated by power and the road to it--money. In the late 1920s he began plans for a new magazine, to be centered on the business world, which he planned to call Power. Later it emerged as Fortune. In December, 1928, Hadden developed influenza and two months later he died. Luce named John Martin managing editor of Time, but there was never any doubt about who was in control.

Time retained Hadden's news lingo after his death, but it saw two notable departures in policy: business began to receive considerably more emphasis, all positive, and the Soviet Union more attention, all negative. The tyrannies of Russia and Italy had long been compared on Time's pages, and their leaders were treated very differently; Stalin was always "relentless" and "ruthless," Mussolini, "firm" and "resolute." At Time a communist dictatorship was quite another thing from a capitalist one. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's recognition of Soviet Russia was one battle lost, but the war would go on.

Other events of the 1930s were dealt with in typical Lucean style. The Depression would go away if one worked and prayed hard enough, and if some people starved, well, it was pretty much their own fault. Luce never had any sympathy for losers. The rise of Nazism was clearly a problem, although a "thoroughly misunderstood" one. In any case, we should be rearming faster than we were. That was the one issue on which Time and Roosevelt agreed--practically the only one. Then there was the civil war in Spain. The legally elected Popular Front government, being left of center, was by definition insupportable. With Luce's blessings, Time's foreign news editor Laird Goldsborough habitually referred to President Manuel Azana as "frog-faced," "obese," and "blotchy," while Generalissimo Francisco Franco was a man of "soldierly simplicity," "soft-spoken" and "serious."

Not only its slant but also its subject matter and style increasingly gave the magazine the reputation of existing primarily to call attention to itself. Many editors complained about the overworked word coinages ("tycoon" and "cinemansion" were favorites), the inverted sentence structure, and the recognizable euphemisms ("great and good friend" for mistress or homosexual partner). Sex and scandal, such as the Edward VIII--Wallis Simpson romance and the Mary Astor custody case in which George S. Kaufman figured, were elaborated upon at length. No mention was made, however, of Luce's own romance with Clare Boothe Brokaw, which led to his divorce and remarriage, although these events took him away from Time for a good part of 1935. It hardly mattered. The machine was so well oiled by now that it could operate almost independently of him, and effectively did so while he was preoccupied with the founding of Life.


You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » History and Information on Major Magazines and Periodicals » History of Time Magazine Part 2
« History of Time Magazine Part 1History of Time Magazine Part 3 »
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm