The Newspaper Axis Six Press Barons Who Enabled Hitler Kathryn S. Olmsted

Publication date:
26 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
328 pages: 235 x 156mm
9 b-w illus.

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How six conservative media moguls hindered America and Britain from entering World War II

As World War II approached, the six most powerful media moguls in America and Britain tried to pressure their countries to ignore the fascist threat. In America, Robert McCormick’s Chicago Tribune and its associated radio station, McCormick’s cousin Joe Patterson’s Daily News, and Patterson’s sister Eleanor “Cissy” Patterson’s Washington Times-Herald, as well as William Randolph Hearst’s media empire, all pushed isolationist viewpoints; while in England, Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail extolled Hitler’s leadership and Lord Beaverbrook’s Daily Express insisted that Britain had no interest in defending Hitler’s victims on the continent.
Kathryn S. Olmsted shows how these media titans worked in concert—including sharing editorial pieces and coordinating their responses to events—to influence public opinion in a right-wing populist direction, how they echoed fascist and anti-Semitic propaganda, and how they delayed both Britain’s and America’s response to Nazi aggression.

Kathryn S. Olmsted is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism. She lives in Davis, CA.