Jann Wenner doesn’t like the new book about him. But you just might.

Jann Wenner in the Manhattan offices of Rolling Stone in 2006. (Helayne Seidman for The Washington Post) Jann Wenner doesn’t like the way a new biography of him turned out. He’s called the book “deeply flawed and tawdry.” Maybe that’s because that’s a pretty good description of Wenner’s life, which the author, Joe Hagan, explores in great (sometimes too great) detail, and with apparent honesty and allegiance to the truth. That’s quite a bit more than Wenner’s magazine did when it committed egregious journalistic sins in 2014’s “A Rape on Campus,” the debunked story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia. In “Sticky Fingers,” Hagan, once a Rolling Stone intern, portrays Wenner — who co-founded Rolling Stone in 1967 — as a driven visionary: wildly ambitious, conflicted, arrogant and insecure. Although he is sometimes tough on Wenner, Hagan is more than fair. Ultimately, he seems to agree with former Rolling Stone editor Will Dana that Wenner, though torn between the virtues and vices of his generation, is “51 percent good.” He tells, for example, of Wenner’s journalistic leadership in covering that nightmare of craven stupidity and violent death that was the Altamont Free Concert in northern California. […]

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