Maxwell

Joe Haines, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (525p) ISBN 978-0-395-48929-1
Haines's cheerfully upbeat, authorized biography of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell was a bestseller in Great Britain, but readers in the U.S. may react with less enthusiasm. To some a blustering, power-mad egomaniac, to others a bold entrepreneurial genius, Maxwell presides over a vast printing/publishing/cable TV/film empire and is seeking a major publishing acquisition in this country. Haines, political editor of Mirror Group Newspapers (which Maxwell owns) devotes chapters to the press lord's heroism in the Czech underground (he was born Ludvik Hoch in Ruthenia); his fighting on the Dutch-German front in WW II; his ouster from and subsequent recapture of Pergamon, a scientific publishing company; and his 15-odd years in politics, when he tried unsuccessfully to modernize the Labor Party. Although Haines capably reports backroom maneuvers and deals, we get little sense of the complexities of a man Fleet Street loves to hate. (September)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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