The World of Swope eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play

(cover by Susan Erony)

The World of Swope by E.J. Kahn, Jr. (194,000 words, 16 illustrations)

Herbert Bayard Swope (1882-1958) was a reporter, foreign correspondent and newspaper editor: he spent most of his career at the New York World and was the first and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting. He knew virtually everyone, gangsters, socialites, ward politicians and American Presidents. Wherever he went he dominated the gathering by virtue of his height, his flaming red hair, his seemingly inexhaustible fund of information on all subjects and his unabashed enthusiasm for taking center stage.

After leaving journalism in the late 1920s, Swope was at various times, and often simultaneously, a force in the Democratic party, adviser to politicians, financiers and industrialists, New York State Racing Commissioner, consultant to a Secretary of War, a founder and director of Freedom House, and confidant of Al Smith, Bernard Baruch and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also gambled enthusiastically and for breathtaking stakes, and entertained lavishly.

“[A] merciless exposure as well as a celebration of [Swope’s] career. Mr. Kahn has brought to his work the intelligence, polish and sophistication which have distinguished his 10 previous books and his
New Yorker pieces... Mr. Kahn tells us more about Herbert Bayard Swope than we care to know... What saves this excellent biography, however, is that in digging up, sorting and assembling so impressive an array of material, Mr. Kahn has also given us an engaging, fascinating picture of only yesterday in New York.” — John Tebbel, The New York Times

“Kahn's biography is perceptive as opposed to intimate, reflective instead of psychoanalytic... A thorough enough subtle, and well-written book.” —