The Man Time Forgot

From Time:

Hadden1005 TIME has always been regarded as the brainchild of founder Henry Luce. But is it possible that Britton Hadden, the co-founder of TIME, who died in 1929 at the age of 31, was actually more influential in the creation of the magazine than Luce? That’s the contention of Isaiah Wilner, 28, the author of the newly published The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine (HarperCollins). In writing his book, Wilner was given full access to Time Inc.’s voluminous archives. TIME’s publishing reporter, Andrea Sachs, spoke with Wilner:

TIME: How did you decide to write this book?

Wilner: Back when I was at the Yale Daily News, I used to work every night beneath this portrait of Britton Hadden, and it was a very mysterious picture. He had almost a Mona Lisa smile. So I started wondering about who he was. I began reading his old editorials in the bound volumes of the Yale Daily News, and his style in those old papers sounded just like the early voice of TIME. It was very flip, brash, clever, a lot of short sentences. It was full of energy. That’s when I started thinking much more seriously about the plaque in the building’s lobby, which has Britton Hadden’s name and the inscription: “His genius created a new form of journalism.” I began to think, if this were the case, how come I’d never heard of him?

More here.