Walter Lippmann began his career in 1910. He ended it six decades later as America’s most honored journalist. In the years between he edited the greatest newspaper of its day, Pulitzer’s World, wrote books on public opinion and public policy, created a newspaper column that was required reading, and left his imprint on virtually every important issue of American public life. Yet perspectives change from decade to decade, and today Lippmann seems a rather neglected figure. Does his work have an enduring legacy for the present?
Ronald Steel is Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California, and twice a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center. His books include Pax Americana (1967), Temptations of a Superpower (1995), and Imperialists and Other Heroes (1971). His 1980 biographical study, Walter Lippmann and the American Century, received numerous honors, including the Bancroft Prize, the National Book Award, and the Book Critics Circle Award.