Lippmann, Walter

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Lippmann, Walter

Walter Lippmann, 1889–1974, American essayist and editor, b. New York City. He was associate editor of the New Republic in its early days (1914–17), but at the outbreak of World War I he left to become Assistant Secretary of War, later helping to prepare data for the peace conference. From 1921 to 1931 he was on the editorial staff of the New York World, serving as editor the last two years. In 1931 he began writing for the New York Herald Tribune a highly influential syndicated column, which moved to the Washington Post in 1962. He ceased writing a regular newspaper column in 1967. Lippmann's early books, written when he was a champion of liberalism, include A Preface to Politics (1913), Public Opinion (1922), and A Preface to Morals (1929). An early supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Lippmann became disillusioned and condemned collectivism in The Good Society (1937). His political stance became one of moderate detachment, and he won distinction as a farsighted and incisive analyst of foreign policy. A special Pulitzer Prize citation (1958) praised his powers of news analysis, which he demonstrated in U.S. War Aims (1944), The Cold War (1947), Isolation and Alliances (1952), and Western Unity and the Common Market (1962).

See M. W. Childs and J. B. Reston, ed., Walter Lippmann and His Times (1959); E. W. Weeks, ed., Conversations with Walter Lippmann (1965); R. Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century (1980).

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