Publishers: The Eternal Apprentice

The ballroom of London's Dorchester Hotel was crammed with stuffed beavers, scarlet-coated Mounties, feathered Indians, and R.A.F. trumpeters announcing the roast beef. Moist-eyed press lords bawled Happy Birthday to You and Land of Hope and Glory. All of which seemed only proper for a party given by Roy Thomson, the Canadian-born press lord who owns more newspapers than anyone else, for Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, another Canadian-born press lord, who long since established himself as one of journalism's greats.

Burdened though he may be by sciatica, gout, and the cumulative fatigue of the 85 years he had come to...

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