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Lead book review

Lord Northcliffe’s war of words

Andrew Lycett on the pugnacious British press baron dedicated to fighting the first world war through newsprint

30 July 2022

9:00 AM

30 July 2022

9:00 AM

The Chief: The Life of Lord Northcliffe Andrew Roberts

Simon & Schuster, pp.547, 25

‘What a man,’ enthused Wilhelm II from exile in 1921. ‘If we had had Northcliffe we would have won the war.’ The Kaiser wasn’t describing a general or politician but a not- so-humble newspaperman, Lord Northcliffe, the pugnacious proprietor of the Times,Daily Mail and a host of other print publications, who had ended the Great War pumping news into Germany as the British government’s director of propaganda in enemy countries.

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