Readers Digest was conceived in Montana when DeWitt Wallace, a college dropout and struggling with life by publishing an agricultural digest for farmers.
DeWitt Wallace thought about why he could not do the same with general articles from leading magazines for a wider public.Dewitt wallace worked on his dream two years later in a hospital in Aix-les-Bains, France,, as World War 1 intervened
Dewitt Wallace felt magazines at that time or either too long or not worth reading
Dewitt relocated to USA and then used to go to Minneapolis Public Library,and attempted to cut a selected article in a magazine by as much as 75% while still retaining the substance and the author's style.
Dewitt then selected 31 such articles(one for one day) and published it as a pocket sized book and named it Readers Digest
Dewitt approached leading magazine publishers but none showed any interest. So Dewitt decided to sell it directly to the subscribers. He wrote a mail-order circular and posted it to a list of potential subscribers
Dewitt Wallace and his wife Lila launched the magazine in 1922 with a mission: to help new immigrants learn how to become American citizens.
Way ahead of his time and amazing focused execution that's what I think made RD such a iconic brand. I hope RD survives the recent crisis