The first biography in over thirty years of Condé Nast, the pioneering publisher of Vogue and Vanity Fair and main rival to media magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamourous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early twentieth century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. Alongside his editors, Edna Woolman Chase at Vogue and Frank Crowninshield at Vanity Fair, he built the first-ever international magazine empire, introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience.
Credited with creating the “café society,” Nast became a permanent fixture on the international fashion scene and a major figure in New York society. His superbly appointed apartment at 1040 Park Avenue, decorated by the legendary Elsie de Wolfe, became a gathering place for the major artistic figures of the time. Nast launched the careers of icons like Cecil Beaton, Clare Boothe Luce, Lee Miller, Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. He left behind a legacy that endures today in media powerhouses such as Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and Graydon Carter.
Written with the cooperation of his family on both sides of the Atlantic and a dedicated team at Condé Nast Publications, critically acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald reveals the life of an extraordinary American success story.
About the Author
Born and raised in the United States, SUSAN RONALD has lived in England for more than twenty-five years. She is the author of A Dangerous Woman, Hitler's Art Thief, Heretic Queen, The Pirate Queen, and Shakespeare’s Daughter.
Praise for Condé Nast:
“In her new biography, Susan Ronald describes [Nast’s] ambitions and excesses, and the simultaneously fashionable and intellectual world he inhabited.” —The New Republic
“Groundbreaking…This big, glittering book provides a full and human portrait of Condé Nast. Lively, detailed descriptions of the early decades of the 20th century complete the setting of Nast’s life story.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Ronald’s account succeeds as a social history of this fizzy time as she documents the interconnected worlds covered by Vogue and Vanity Fair — fashion, high society, literature, the arts and entertainment — from writers Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley of the Algonquin Round Table to New York socialites won over by Nast’s charm offensive.” —Newsday
"With her breezy, gossipy style, Ronald brings to life the story of the influential American publisher and his magazines." —Library Journal
“[Ronald] does an exceptional job of integrating the story of Nast’s personal fortunes and misfortunes and the lives of those he sought to refine and educate.” —Booklist
"The thoroughly researched story of Condé Nast...a highly flattering biography of an important figure in American publishing." —Kirkus Reviews
"Ronald writes in a vivid, sparkling, amused style...and revels in the era’s repartee, clothes and gossip. ...her evocation of the vibrant scene around [Nast] will keep readers entertained." —Publishers Weekly
Praise for A Dangerous Woman:
"Energetic...Ronald's group portrait is breath-taking and quite modern." —New York Times Book Review
“A lively picture of the world in which Florence moved, with all its intricate financial shenanigans, rivalrous investors and glittering social occasions.” —Wall Street Journal
“Ronald traces Gould’s amoral life and high-flying times…elegant and beautiful, she used sex and charm as her currency, trading them for favors and luxuries that let her sail through the war years unscathed." —New York Post
Praise for Hitler's Art Thief:
“[A] riveting portrait of Gurlitt, who detested the Nazis, and stole from them, but did their bidding in the name of ‘saving modern art’.” —The New Yorker
“Susan Ronald situates Gurlitt’s life and career amid the turmoil of Weimar Germany and then the evolution of Nazi art-looting campaigns from the late 1930s to the end of World War II. Ms. Ronald, a popular historian, presents many new details about Gurlitt’s dealings.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Susan Ronald’s new book tells the back story of what may be the most startling art-world bust in modern history.” —USA Today
“Susan Ronald chronicles one man’s extraordinary career of thievery…an exhaustively researched and well written book that has a cautionary tale for all of us.” —Forbes