Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia

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Henry Robinson Luce (1898-1967) founded Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. Born in China to missionary parents, Luce was a kind of lay preacher, anxious to mold the American mind and advance his ideological program: intervention, capitalism, democracy (when appropriate) and Christian activism. The most celebrated and influential editor of his day, Luce was also obsessed with the American mission in the world, and with China and East Asia, the place of his birth. Luce tried to 'sell' this mission to a sometimes reluctant public. A passionate anti-Communist interventionist, he also convinced Americans that the US had perversely 'lost' China to the Communists. A fervent advocate of the Vietnam intervention, Luce, author of the American Century edited incoming cables so that magazines might conform to his ideas.