The Press: Post-Mortem

Nothing in its life became the Saturday Evening Post less than its leaving it. Born in 1821, the magazine bloomed over the first half of this century into an American institution almost as beloved as Thanksgiving. Then it was killed. Not suddenly, but slowly, painfully. Not by any one person but by many. The fact that the killing was not premeditated, that nobody really meant to do the magazine any harm, only made the death more ugly.

Of three books published this year by former Post executives, none reflects the ugliness more graphically than Otto Friedrich's Decline and Fall (Harper & Row;...

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