About the Book

A deeply-reported journey inside the secretive world of Fox News and the life of its combative, visionary founder.

When Rupert Murdoch enlisted Roger Ailes to launch a cable news network in 1996, American politics and media changed forever. In his new book, New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman brings Ailes's unique genius to life, along with the outsized personalities--Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and others--who have helped Fox News play a defining role in the great social and political controversies of the past two decades. From the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal to the Bush-Gore recount, from the war in Iraq to the Tea Party attack on the Obama presidency, Roger Ailes has developed an unrivaled power to sway the political agenda. Even more, he has become the indispensable figure in conservative America and the man that any Republican politician with presidential aspirations must court.

How did this man, whose life story has till now been shrouded in myth, become the master strategist of our political landscape? Sherman chronicles Ailes's rise as a sickly kid from an Ohio factory town, who, through sheer willpower, the flair of a showman, fierce corporate politicking, and a profound understanding of the priorities of middle America, built the most influential news empire of our time.

Drawing on more than 600 interviews with people who've known Ailes over his remarkable five-decade career as well as a rich variety of other sources, Sherman documents Ailes's tactical acuity as he battles with the press, business rivals, and countless real and perceived enemies inside and outside Fox. He takes us inside the morning meetings in which Ailes and other high level executives strategize the network's presentation of the news to advance Ailes's political agenda, provides behind the scenes details of his crucial role as finder and shaper of talent, including his sometimes rocky relationships with Fox News stars such as O'Reilly and Hannity, and probes Ailes's fraught partnership with his equally brash and mercurial boss, Rupert Murdoch.

Roger Ailes's life is a story worthy of "Citizen Kane." The Loudest Voice in the Room is an extraordinary feat of reportage with a compelling human drama at its heart.



Ailes's World

Illustrations by Danilo Agutoli

 The Mike Douglas Show staff after a water fight in the production office; Ailes is second from right in a white T-shirt. 


"[A] definitive new biography..."

-- Frank Rich, New York Magazine

"[An] indispensable book..."

-- David Frum, CNN

"Actually fair and balanced ... [a] carefully documented biography."

-- Jacob Weisberg, The New York Times Sunday Book Review

"Enormously entertaining."

-- The New Republic

"Ailes is an entertainer. He's also a bogeyman."

-- Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

"thoroughly reported" ... "[a] look behind that curtain."

-- David Carr, The New York Times

"In just a week, the media hoopla surrounding its release has surpassed any book in recent memory."

-- Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, The New York Observer

"Sherman is at his best writing with sweep about the history of cable news and placing Ailes in context."

-- James Rainey, The Los Angeles Times

"Ailes comes across as both profoundly angry and whimsically charming, darkly driven and creatively humorous."

-- Steve Coll, The New York Review of Books

In 1968, while serving as executive producer of the Mike Douglas Show, Ailes formed production companies to pitch his own shows on the side. Here he is with the singer Hal Frazier while shooting a pilot of the Hal Frazier Show at the Hollywood Palace nightclub in Los Angeles. Ailes is second from right.

Photo by Nephi Niven

About the Author

GABRIEL SHERMAN is a contributing editor at New York magazine. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The New York Observer, and GQ, among other publications. He has served as a commentator on National Public Radio, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC's Morning Joe, NBC's Today show, and ABC's World News. Since 2012, he has been a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jennifer Stahl. This is his first book.



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Random House, Spiegel & Grau, The Dial Press