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In All His Glory: The Life of William S. Paley

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In All His Glory is a big (744 pages), wonderfully detailed biography with a compelling narrative drive. The story of William S. Paley, the son of a Chicago cigar-maker who reinvented himself as a suave tycoon, built CBS, and then presided over its decline, reads like the sort of story Theodore Dreiser or Frank Norris would have seized upon as emblematic of the American Century. With its small cast of powerful characters at the helm of television, radio, movies, and print it also reads like a chapter from Ben Bagdikian’s Media Monopoly. A-