Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Unsanctioned Voice; World War I; Adolph Ochs; Gay Talese; Leo Frank; Walter Rathenau; New York Times

Click these links for discussions of the Writer's Note , Chapters 1 and 2, Chapter 3 and Chapters 4-6 of Bruce Ramsey's Unsanctioned Voice.

I catalogue these chapters so that I might find this information more easily at some future date and so that the information will appear online and can be cited, quoted or linked more easily.

Chapter 7 deals with Garrett's time on the editorial board at the New York Times in 1915 and 1916. Ramsey relies on Garrett's private journal for insights into Garrett's thinking during this time. Ramsey quotes a 1969 book by Gay Talese (The Kingdom and the Power) for some indication of Garrett's influence on the Times.

Chapter 8 (pp. 47-53) discussess the case of Leo Frank, a sensational murder trial that receieved national attention in 1915 and was the subject of much ink in the pages of the New York Times. Ramsey notes the personal involvement of publisher Adolph Ochs, the role played by Garrett, the changing positions of the Times and Garrett's frustration with the Times' focus on the Frank case instead of the ongoing diplomatic situation involving Germany and the war.

Chapter 9 provides more background into Garrett's thoughts on the war (pp. 55-59) during 1915, including his writing for the New York Times and his discussions with Adolph Ochs (as reflected in Garrett's Journal). Garrett's pre-war opinion on U.S. involvement was still developing at that time. It was nearly impossible in 1915 to foresee the broader context into which the war would fit (Federal Reserve creation, massive debt expansion to fund the war, credit expansion/bubble during the post-war period, bubble collapse leading to worldwide depression and the resulting massive government expansion in the 1930's). One obtains a much broader picture of the whole scenario from Garrett's Bubble that Broke the World a decade and a half later. It would have been difficult, in 1915, to fit the war into a larger scenario that, even today, continues to spiral out of control as the United States transitions to its eventual status as a bankrupt empire.

Chapter 10 continues the discussion of the war (1915-1916) and includes roles for Garrett beyond mere writing. In 1915, the Times sent Garrett to Germany to interview Walter Rathenau (p. 61), the head of Germany's war production. The interview lasted for hours and remained off the record. Rathenau was murdered in 1922. Garrett later included accounts of the meeting in The Saturday Evening Post (1940), Ouroboros (1926) and A Time Was Born (1944).

Garrett returned from Germany with a diplomatic message from Berlin, which the President refused to receive. Garrett instead presented it to the Secretary of State. Garrett was not optimistic that it would do any good. (p. 63).

The chapter concludes with Garrett's resignation from the Times in 1916 and hiring by the New York Tribune (p. 65).

Click here for a discussion of Chapters 11 and 12 of Unsanctioned Voice.

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