THE HOUSE OF NORTHCLIFFE
by PAUL FERRIS 340 pages. World. $10.
In Fontainebleau, the British newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe once tried on Napoleon's hat. "It fits me," he wrote delightedly. Northcliffe was crazy by then, but putting on Napoleon's hat wasn't as crazy as it sounded. There was never anyone in Fleet Streetperhaps not in journalism anywherewho suited it better.
Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, first (and only) Viscount Northcliffe, was indubitably the First Press Lord of Britain. Northcliffe's Daily Mail was the first 1,000,000-circulation newspaper. He founded the Daily Mirror, which at 4.3 million...