Josephus Daniels: His Life & Times
Lee A. Craig. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. 474 pp. Illus. Notes. Biblio. Index. $35.
Reviewed by Frederick Harrod
If Josephus Daniels is remembered today, it is probably as the Secretary of the Navy who ended the officers’ wine mess. A staunch prohibitionist, Daniels would probably not be unhappy with this association. Yet, as Lee A. Craig makes clear in his ably-written biography, Daniels was much more.
Primarily a newspaperman, Daniels identified himself as such, yet he also embodied an American success story. Born in 1862, he rose from humble surroundings to considerable wealth, the foundation of which was newspapers. Starting with a North Carolina weekly, he honed his skills and in 1894 purchased the Raleigh News and Observer.