ABOUT THIS BOOK
At the close of the nineteenth century, new printing and paper technologies fueled an expansion of the newspaper business. Newspapers soon saturated the United States, especially its cities, which were often home to more than a dozen dailies apiece. Using New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Chicago as case studies, Julia Guarneri shows how city papers became active agents in creating metropolitan spaces and distinctive urban cultures.
Newsprint Metropolis offers a vivid tour of these papers, from the front to the back pages. Paying attention to much-loved features, including comic strips, sports pages, advice columns, and Sunday magazines, she tells the linked histories of newspapers and of the cities they served. Guarneri shows how themed sections for women, businessmen, sports fans, and suburbanites illustrated entire ways of life built around consumer products. But while papers provided a guide to individual upward mobility, they also fostered a climate of civic concern and responsibility. Charity campaigns and metropolitan sections painted portraits of distinctive, cohesive urban communities. Real estate sections and classified ads boosted the profile of the suburbs, expanding metropolitan areas while maintaining cities’ roles as economic and information hubs. All the while, editors were drawing in new reading audiences—women, immigrants, and working-class readers—helping to give rise to the diverse, contentious, and commercial public sphere of the twentieth century.