The Man Everybody Knew

The Man Everybody Knew

Bruce Barton and the Making of Modern America

Book - 2005
Rate this:
Everyone knew him then: Bruce Barton was a cultural icon. Two-thirds of American history textbooks today cite him to illustrate the 1920s adoration of the business mentality that then dominated American culture. Historians quote from his enormous best-seller, The Man Nobody Knows, in which Barton called Jesus the "founder of modern business" who "picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organization that conquered the world." But few know Bruce Barton now: he is the most famous twentieth-century American not to rate a biography. Richard M. Fried's compelling new study captures the full dimensions of Barton's varied and fascinating life. More than a popularizer of the entrepreneurial Jesus, he was a prolific writer--of novels, magazine articles, interviews with the mighty, pithy editorials of uplift. He edited a weekly magazine that anticipated the format of Life. Most famously, he co-founded the advertising agency that became Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn and grew to symbolize "Madison Avenue." He made GM and GE household initials. Barton's religious writings, especially The Man Nobody Knows, epitomized modernist religious thought in the twenties--at one point he had two religious books on the best-seller list. As a political spin merchant, he advanced the careers of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover; his agency scripted later campaigns for Republicans, notably Dwight Eisenhower. Barton himself was twice elected to Congress, ran for the U.S. Senate in 1940, and that year lent his name to FDR's famous mocking litany, "Martin, Barton, and Fish." In Richard M. Fried's illuminating biography, Barton comes to life as a man who often initiated, sometimes followed, and occasionally fought the social and political trends of his times--but always defined their essential qualities. He can truly be called a key figure in a large territory of the American mind. With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
Publisher: Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, 2005.
ISBN: 9781566636636
Branch Call Number: BIO BARTON B. Fried 2005
Characteristics: xv, 286 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top