Inside the Founding of Newsweek
Anne Alexander, contributor
A former wartime pilot and Time magazine’s first foreign editor, Thomas J. C. Martyn had a vision: to establish a weekly news magazine that would rival Time, which in the 1930s was the only magazine of its kind in the United States. Martyn succeeded—so resoundingly that Newsweek has prospered for over 80 years, first as a stalwart of print media and now in the digital era, as well. Newsweek was Martyn’s brainchild, brought to life through his own perseverance and ingenuity. So it came as a bitter blow when a series of rivalries and disputes led to his ousting from the Newsweek board just four years after its first edition. In the 1960s Martyn wrote this memoir, which his granddaughter Anne Martyn Alexander has recently brought to light. He draws a vivid picture of his efforts to get Newsweek off the ground; his meetings with powerful men such as President Roosevelt and Henry Ford; and his own idiosyncrasies that may have played a part in the rift with the Newsweek board. Like so many visionaries, Martyn was a charismatic yet difficult man to work with, and his often-feisty character comes through clearly in his memoir. This classic entrepreneur’s story reveals the struggles and triumphs of getting a national magazine off the ground during the depths of the Great Depression. One man’s pursuit of his dream meets the tumultuous era of the 1930s in a book which will entertain and engage Newsweek fans, entrepreneurs, and history buffs alike.