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Brady, James 1928–

Brady, James 1928–

(James Winston Brady)

PERSONAL:

Born November 15, 1928, in Brooklyn, NY; son of James Thomas (a freight solicitor in the shipping industry) and Marguerite Brady; married Florence Kelly, April 12, 1958. Education: Manhattan College, A.B., 1950; attended New York University, 1953-54. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Home—East Hampton, NY; New York, NY. Agent—Jack Scovil, Scovil, Chichak, Galen, 381 Park Ave. S., New York, NY, 10016.

CAREER:

Writer. Macy's, New York, NY, copywriter, beginning 1950; Fairchild Publications, Inc., New York, NY, Washington, DC, correspondent, 1953-58, bureau chief in London, England, 1958-59, and Paris, France, 1960-64; Women's Wear Daily, publisher, 1964-71, editorial director, 1968-71; Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp., vice president, 1969-71; Hearst Corp., vice president, 1971-72; Harper's Bazaar, New York, NY, publisher and editor, 1971-72; talk show host, 1973-74; World News Corp., New York, NY, editor of National Star, 1974-75, vice chair, beginning 1975; MBA Communications, Inc., editor-in-chief, 1976-77; New York Magazine, editor, 1977; WCBS-TV, news commentator, 1981-87; full-time writer, beginning c. 1983; CNBC, news commentator, 1997-99. Military service: Marine Reserve; U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, active duty, 1951-52, in Korea; became first lieutenant; Bronze Star for valor.

MEMBER:

University Club.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Emmy Award, New York Television Academy, 1973-74; W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award, 2003, for Warning of War: A Novel of the North China Marines.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Paris One, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1976.

Nielsen's Children, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.

The Press Lord, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1981.

Holy Wars, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1983.

Fashion Show; or, The Adventures of Bingo Marsh, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1992.

Further Lane: A Novel of the Hamptons, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Gin Lane: A Novel of Southampton, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

The House that Ate the Hamptons: A Novel of Lily Pond Lane, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

A Hamptons Christmas, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Warning of War: A Novel of the North China Marines, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Marine: A Novel of War from Guadalcanal to Korea, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2003.

OTHER

Superchic (nonfiction), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974.

The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea, Orion (New York, NY), 1990.

The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea (travel and memoir), Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Columnist for various periodicals, including New York Post, 1980-83, Advertising Age, Parade, New York, Crain's New York Business, and for King Features. Contributing editor, New York, 1973-74; editor-at-large, Advertising Age, beginning 1983.

ADAPTATIONS:

One of Brady's novels set in the Hamptons has been adapted to film. The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War was bought by Winkler Films in 2000; books have been adapted as audiobooks, including Warning of War, Brilliance, 2002.

SIDELIGHTS:

Journalist and novelist James Brady has worked in various capacities within the publishing industry. He has held such posts as bureau chief for Fairchild Publications, Inc., publisher and editorial director of Women's Wear Daily, publisher and editor of Harper's Bazaar, and editor of Rupert Murdoch's National Star. He has also been a news commentator and television talk show host. However, it is as a columnist that he is most widely known. Brady's columns, which have focused on celebrities and have addressed New York society and style, have appeared in various periodicals, including the New York Post, Advertising Age, Parade, New York, Crain's New York Business, and Forbes.

Before beginning his career in the publishing industry, Brady served as a U.S. Marine Corps first lieutenant in the Korean War. Four decades later, he produced a 1990 memoir chronicling his experiences in the war. "[The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea] has drawn good reviews and has been praised by combat veterans," reported Ken Gross in a 1990 issue of People. New York Times contributor Herbert Mitgang lauded Brady's account: "In The Coldest War, Mr. Brady has written a superb personal memoir of the way it was." Mitgang added: "What distinguishes Mr. Brady's book is its clarity and modesty; there is no heroic flag-waving here. Like all honest reporting about the reality of combat in any war, it leaves an antiwar aftertaste." "Brady has no trouble remembering—often in riveting detail—the shock of sudden death and common heroism, as well as the mundane facts of everyday life," praised Gross, who observed: "The book not only limns some hidden corners of combat, it also illuminates a side of Brady that few have seen."

Gross related in his 1990 review of The Coldest War that "[f]or a long time … [Brady] had tried to write about Korea as fiction, but it wouldn't work." "‘The truth is often eloquent,’ Brady says with a shrug. It is often more lasting as well." However, ten years after The Coldest War Brady did publish a work of fiction featuring the war—The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War. Although written about two years after the release of The Coldest War, it was not published until 2000, becoming Brady's eleventh novel. For The Marines of Autumn, Brady fictionalized his real-life commander in the Korean War, "a captain whose leadership style extended to calmly scooping up thrown Chinese Communist hand grenades and flinging them back where they came from," related Michael Kilian in Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service.

"In the largest sense The Marines of Autumn is about all the Marines who were sent by that grandiose horse's ass, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, up to the Chosin in the autumn of 1950, and how, frostbitten and bleeding, carrying their dead and wounded with them they clawed their way back again," wrote Kilian, indicating that "Brady … has given us the whole horrible experience … through [the fictional Capt. Thomas Verity's] eyes." "Brady tells it like it was and tells it extremely well," proclaimed Budd Arthur in Booklist. Library Journal contributor Edwin B. Burgess felt, however, that in presenting the story of Verity, Brady "glorif[ies] the heroes on the ground" and also "misses no opportunity to savage MacArthur's bad judgment and overweening ambition." A Publishers Weekly contributor asserted that The Marines of Autumn "is a model of historical and moral accuracy." Brady "writes colorfully and convincingly … incisively mapping out the fine lines between hope and despair, heroism and cowardice." The reviewer also described Brady's novel as "powerful," "stunning," and "moving."

Brady's 1981 novel, The Press Lord, is "an excitingly authentic inside view of the tough and special world of New York's big newspapers," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Brady's fourth novel is the story of Campbell Haig, the ambitious owner of a group of popular newspapers, and his acquisition of a failing New York daily and the subsequent power struggle between this newcomer and the New York newspaper establishment. It is also a novel concerned with influential people: newspaper barons, columnists, media personalities, politicians, and even the widow of a former president. "In a vibrant, vital style … [the author] illuminates his variegated characters," stated Mark McCaffery in Best Sellers. "His plot is intriguing and carefully constructed with several brilliant twists to keep the reader's attention." "What really makes this novel work, however, are not the tendrils of subterfuge that hang around the edge," noted Marilyn Willison in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. "It is, instead, Brady's ability to make the reader feel strongly about Campbell Haig." Another of the book's merits, added Willison, is that "Brady's innate love of newspapering comes through on every page."

In 1997 Brady published the first in a projected series of five novels highlighting the trendy social life in the Hamptons, an area in which Brady resides on a part-time basis. In successive years, Brady released Further Lane: A Novel of the Hamptons, Gin Lane: A Novel of Southampton, The House That Ate the Hamptons: A Novel of Lily Pond Lane, and A Hamptons Christmas.

In his 2002 book, Warning of War: A Novel of the North China Marines, Brady once again writes about the marines, this time focusing on a group caught in northern China following the bombing of Pearl Harbor as Japan invades China. Before long, the Marines, who were stationed in this remote part of China to protect Chinese business interests, find themselves battling a ruthless Japanese officer and his soldiers. Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, recommended the book for its "adventure combined with a realistic portrayal of men in war." A Kirkus Reviews contributor referred to the novel as "shapely, an absolute natural for film." Another reviewer, writing in Publishers Weekly, noted: "Authentic atmospherics and crackling action are sure to keep fans turning the pages."

The Marine: A Novel of War from Guadalcanal to Korea tells the story of Colonel James Cromwell, who is serving as a military attaché in South Korea when North Korea launches its surprise invasion of June 25, 1950. Taking place during the first one hundred days of the war, the novel follows Cromwell as he joins General Douglas McArthur as he invades Inchon and moves the American forces toward Seoul. Writing in Booklist, George Cohen called The Marine "a gripping adventure story." In a review in Marines magazine, John Neal wrote: "The combination of historical fact and fictional points of view makes for entertaining and educational reading."

The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea resulted from a Parade magazine assignment that sent Brady back to South Korea fifty years after he had fought there as a young man. An American Heritage contributor wrote that "his account of his return is part history, part memoir, part travelogue, and part meditation on the passing of time and the inevitable disappointments of trying to retrieve the past." Roland Green, writing in Booklist, noted: "The contemporary scenes become most eloquent when Brady pays tribute to old comrades." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called The Scariest Place in the World "an affecting memoir … of service in what is still a strangely forgotten war."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Brady, James, The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Brady, James, The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.

PERIODICALS

Advertising Age, November 19, 2001, Rance Crain, "Marine Corps Pins a Medal on 1st Lt. James Brady," p. 16.

American Heritage, June-July, 2005, review of The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea, p. 17.

Best Sellers, April, 1982, Mark McCaffery, review of The Press Lord.

Booklist, May 1, 2000, Budd Arthur, review of The Marines of Autumn: A Novel of the Korean War; March 1, 2002, Jay Freeman, review of Warning of War: A Novel of the North China Marines, p. 1089; May 15, 2003, George Cohen, review of The Marine: A Novel of War from Guadalcanal to Korea, p. 1637; April 15, 2005, Roland Green, review of The Scariest Place in the World, p. 1425.

Chicago Tribune, June 17, 2005, Michael Kilian, review of The Scariest Place in the World.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of Warning of War, p. 5.; April 15, 2003, review of The Marine, p. 570; March 1, 2005, review of The Scariest Place in the World, p. 270.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, June 21, 2000, Michael Kilian, "Novel Takes a Look Back at the Korean War," p. K2747.

Library Journal, May 1, 2000, Edwin B. Burgess, review of The Marines of Autumn, p. 152; February 15, 2002, Robert Conroy, review of Warning of War, p. 176; July 21, 2003, "James Brady Wins W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award"; December 1, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of The Scariest Place in the World, p. 90; May 1, 2005, Edwin B. Burgess, review of The Scariest Place in the World, p. 100.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 30, 1982, Marilyn Willison, review of The Press Lord.

Marines, July-September, 2003, John Neal, review of The Marine, p. 38.

New York Times, June 23, 1990, Herbert Mitgang, "Two Views of Korean War, One Lofty, One Muddy," p. 15.

People, October 1, 1990, Ken Gross, "Trading Gossip for Gunfire, Columnist James Brady Writes a Powerful Korean War Memoir," p. 91.

Publishers Weekly, January 1, 1982, review of The Press Lord; May 1, 2000, review of The Marines of Autumn, p. 46, and William D. Bushnell, "Publishers Weekly Talks with James Brady," p. 47; March 4, 2002, review of Warning of War, p. 56; May 26, 2003, review of The Marine, p. 47; March 28, 2005, review of The Scariest Place in the World, p. 70.

ONLINE

CelebrityCafe.com,http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/ (November 30, 2006), review of The Marines of Autumn.

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