The Press: The Ciano Story

"The war's most devastating document! . . . Explosive! . . . Its secrets, when published, threaten to tumble still more famed figures from high places. . . . Secrets! Perfidies! Private Lives!"

So ran the Chicago Daily News's ballyhoo on its $75,000 pride & joy: the diary of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini's late son-in-law. Last week 70 U.S. papers, and 25 papers abroad, began printing it. Perhaps no document could have lived up to such advance billing; the Ciano diary did not even come close.

The News tailored the diary's meandering 450,000 words down to a tenth of its length. It also...

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