Books: Genus: Successful Crank

DAMNED OLD CRANK: A SELF-PORTRAIT OF E. W. SCRIPPS (259 pp.)—Edited by Charles R. McCabe—Harper ($3.50).

All one spring night in 1878, a lanky, redheaded American tourist from Detroit walked the streets of London thinking about life and trying to decide what to do with his own. At 23, Edward Wyllis Scripps was already city editor of his brother's Detroit Evening News, but that night he decided that it was folly to work for anybody but himself. He also threw overboard the idea that all men were created equal: "Sadly I acknowledged to myself...

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