Books: On Time


by Hedley Donovan

Henry Holt; 463 pages; $27.95

Three decades after Henry Luce slated him as heir apparent, Hedley Donovan still professes uncertainty as to what virtues the Time Inc. founder saw in deciding he would become (as he did from 1964 to 1979) the company's editor in chief. But readers of Donovan's urbane, frequently self-chiding memoir will be able to guess. He blended a heartland bourgeois regard for American values with a worldly disdain for puffery. He took pride in being able to change his mind -- notably, on Viet Nam and Richard Nixon. In chronicling...

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