front cover of Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley
Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley
Gregory A. Borchard
Southern Illinois University Press, 2011
On the American stages of politics and journalism in the mid-nineteenth century, few men were more influential than Abraham Lincoln and his sometime adversary, sometime ally, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. In this compelling new volume, author Gregory A. Borchard explores the intricate relationship between these two vibrant figures, both titans of the press during one of the most tumultuous political eras in American history. Packed with insightful analysis and painstaking research, Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley offers a fresh perspective on these luminaries and their legacies.

Borchard begins with an overview of the lives of both Lincoln and Greeley, delving particularly into their mutual belief in Henry Clay’s much-debated American System, and investigating the myriad similarities between the two political giants, including their comparable paths to power and their statuses as self-made men, their reputations as committed reformers, and their shared dedication to social order and developing a national infrastructure. Also detailed are Lincoln’s and Greeley’s personal quests to end slavery in the United States, as well as their staunch support of free-soil homesteads in the West. 

Yet despite their ability to work together productively, both men periodically found themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Their by turns harmonious and antagonistic relationship often played out on the front pages of Greeley’s influential newspaper, the New York Tribune. Drawing upon historical gems from the Tribune, as well as the personal papers of both Lincoln and Greeley, Borchard explores in depth the impact the two men had on their times and on each other, and how, as Lincoln’s and Greeley’s paths often crossed—and sometimes diverged—they personified the complexities, virtues, contradictions, and faults of their eras. 

Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley goes beyond tracing each man’s personal and political evolution to offer a new perspective on the history-changing events of the times, including the decline of the Whig Party and the rise of the Republicans, the drive to extend American borders into the West; and the bloody years of the Civil War. Borchard finishes with reflections on the deaths of Lincoln and Greeley and how the two men have been remembered by subsequent generations. 

Sure to become an essential volume in the annals of political history and journalism, Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley is a compelling testament to the indelible mark these men left on both their contemporaries and the face of America’s future.
[more]

front cover of All the News Is Fit to Print
All the News Is Fit to Print
Profile of a Country Editor
Chad Stebbins
University of Missouri Press, 1998

For nearly half a century, Arthur Aull captivated a rural Missouri town and a national audience with his sensationalistic, all-the- news-is-fit-to-print approach to journalism. As editor and publisher of the Lamar Democrat from 1900 to 1948, he disregarded most of the traditional rules of news coverage. Every scandal and piece of gossip he could turn up helped fill the pages of his newspaper, an afternoon daily in a town of about 2,300. His tales of grisly accidents, murders, rapes, juvenile crime, suicides, and sensational divorces reminded skeptics of the earlier yellow journalism era.

Aull embellished nearly all of his stories with a personal, homespun flavor, and that's what caught the attention of syndicated columnists O. O. McIntyre and Ted Cook in the late 1920s. They started sprinkling their columns with curious items from the Democrat, and soon after unusual stories from the paper began showing up in the New York Times, the New York World-Telegram, the New Yorker, and even the Journal of the American Medical Association. Feature stories about Aull appeared in Publishers' Auxiliary, the Chicago Daily News, Life, Time, Newsweek, American Magazine, and Harper's. Aull became known coast to coast as one of the most colorful figures in country journalism, and the Democrat attracted subscribers in all forty-eight states plus Canada and England. Even President Truman, who was born in Lamar, noted Aull's death on May 7, 1948, declaring that an "able and picturesque figure in American journalism has passed on."

Despite the national acclaim, Aull remained an unpretentious small- town editor. He had his own code of ethics, which he refused to modify to reflect the changing times. He was sued for libel three times, assaulted with a club, threatened with other kinds of bodily harm, and cursed by many. Yet, he persisted in scouring the town of Lamar for any news that would help him sell a few more copies of the Democrat.

Although the influence of country journalism on American society cannot be disputed, relatively little has been written on the vital role country journalists play. All the News Is Fit to Print, which traces Aull's transformation from a struggling schoolteacher to one of the best-known small-town newspapermen in America, will help remedy that oversight. Anyone with an interest in the history of journalism or small-town life will find this work fascinating.

[more]

front cover of A Boyhood Dream Realized
A Boyhood Dream Realized
Half a Century of Texas Culture, One Newspaper Column at a Time
Burle Pettit
University of North Texas Press, 2019

front cover of Charles K. McClatchy and the Golden Era of American Journalism
Charles K. McClatchy and the Golden Era of American Journalism
Steven M. Avella
University of Missouri Press, 2016

Charles K. McClatchy was twenty-five when he inherited The Sacramento Bee from his father, and his ensuing career as the paper’s editor extended well beyond the newsroom. Until his death in 1936, McClatchy was a consistent advocate for Progressive politics, a crusader for urban reform, a staunch isolationist, and a voice for Northern California. This biography explores his career as the long-time editor of the Bee in a work that weaves the history of Northern California with that of American newspapers.

[more]

logo for University of Tennessee Press
Dear Courier
The Civil War Correspondence of Editor Melvin Dwinell
Ford Risley
University of Tennessee Press, 2017

Among the many extant volumes of Civil War correspondence penned by military men, few can boast of the writing quality of Dear Courier: The Civil War Correspondence of Editor Melvin Dwinell. This Yankee-turned-Rebel was both fighter and journalist: second lieutenant of the Rome Light Guards and editor of the Rome Courier.

Born in East Calais, Vermont, in 1825, Melvin Dwinell came to the South and was won over to its way of life. He soon found his calling in journalism, purchasing the Rome (Georgia) Courier and serving as its editor. Though he initially opposed Georgia’s immediate secession, Dwinell fully supported his adopted state’s cause, proclaiming that “a great and glorious Confederacy would arise from the ashes of the United States.”

At the outbreak of the war, Dwinell joined the Eighth Georgia Infantry and began an almost weekly correspondence published in his newspaper. The editor’s letters provide vivid descriptions of some of the most important campaigns of the Civil War. Dwinell’s lively account of the “most glorious victory” at Manassas surely delighted his readers, though the list of casualties from the area would have proved sobering. Wounded at Gettysburg in 1863, Dwinell openly described the heavy price paid by the Confederacy in rather a different tone: “The carnage was greater probably than on any other field since the commencement of this wicked war.”

Dwinell resigned his position as second lieutenant to run for the Georgia legislature, where he served until the state was overrun by the Union army. Dwinell was one of the first in Floyd County to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution following Confederate defeat. Scholars have drawn upon Melvin Dwinell’s accounts because of the author’s grasp of strategy, strong writing skills, and journalistic instincts. Dear Courier will appeal to those interested in the campaigns of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, as well as those looking for accessible primary documents about the Civil War.

[more]

front cover of Editors Make War
Editors Make War
Donald E. Reynolds
Southern Illinois University Press, 2006
In early 1860 most Southern newspapers promoted Unionist sentiments for peace, but by 1861 they advocated secession and disunion, often calling for bloodshed. Using the editorials published in 196 newspapers during that pivotal year before the outbreak of the Civil War, Donald E. Reynolds shows the evolution of the editors’ viewpoints and explains how editors helped influence the traditionally conservative and nationalistic South to revolt and secede.
Editors Make War is the first complete study of how Southern newspapers influenced the secession crisis in 1860, effectively outlining how editors played on their readers’ racial fears and distrust of the North. Showing how newspaper coverage can affect its readers, this classic study illuminates such events as the nominating conventions, fires in Texas that were blamed on slaves and abolitionists, state elections in the North, Lincoln’s presidential victory, failed attempts at compromise, the secession of the lower Southern states, the attack at Fort Sumter, and the Federal call for troops in April 1861.
[more]

front cover of Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star
Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star
C. W. Snedden and the Crusade for Alaska Statehood
Terrence Cole
University of Alaska Press, 2010
When Alaskans in the 1950s demanded an end to "second-class citizenship" of territorial status, southern powerbrokers on Capitol Hill were the primary obstacles. They feared a forty-ninth state would tip the balance of power against segregation, and therefore keeping Alaska out of the Union was simply another means of keeping black children out of white schools.

C.W. "Bill" Snedden, the publisher of America's farthest north daily newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, helped lead the battle of the Far North against the Deep South. Working behind the scenes with his protege, a young attorney named Ted Stevens, and a fellow Republican newspaperman, Secretary of Interior Fred Seaton, Snedden's "magnificent obsession" would open the door to development of the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay, inspire establishment of the Arctic Wildlife Range (now the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), and add the forty-ninth star to the flag.

Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star is the story of how the publisher of a little newspaper four thousand miles from Washington, D.C., helped convince Congress that Alaskans should be second-class citizens no more.
[more]

front cover of The Governor and the Colonel
The Governor and the Colonel
A Dual Biography of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby
By Don Carleton
University of Texas Press, 2020

William P. “Will” Hobby Sr. and Oveta Culp Hobby were one of the most influential couples in Texas history. Both were major public figures, with Will serving as governor of Texas and Oveta as the first commander of the Women’s Army Corps and later as the second woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Together, they built a pioneering media empire centered on the Houston Post and their broadcast properties, and they played a significant role in the transformation of Houston into the fourth largest city in the United States. Don Carleton’s dual biography details their personal and professional relationship—defined by a shared dedication to public service—and the important roles they each played in local, state, and national events throughout the twentieth century.

This deeply researched book not only details this historically significant partnership, but also explores the close relationships between the Hobbys and key figures in twentieth-century history, from Texas legends such as LBJ, Sam Rayburn, and Jesse Jones, to national icons, including the Roosevelts, President Eisenhower, and the Rockefellers. Carleton's chronicle reveals the undeniable impact of the Hobbys on journalistic and political history in the United States.

[more]

front cover of If It Ain't Broke, Break It
If It Ain't Broke, Break It
How Corporate Journalism Killed the Arkansas Gazette
Donna Lampkin Stephens
University of Arkansas Press, 2015
The Arkansas Gazette, under the independent local ownership of the Heiskell/Patterson family, was one of the most honored newspapers of twentieth-century American journalism, winning two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of the Little Rock Central Crisis. But wounds from a fierce newspaper war against another local owner—Walter Hussman and his Arkansas Democrat—combined with changing economic realities, led to the family’s decision to sell to the Gannett Corporation in 1986.

Whereas the Heiskell/Patterson family had been committed to quality journalism, Gannett was focused on the bottom line. The corporation shifted the Gazette’s editorial focus from giving readers what they needed to be engaged citizens to informing them about what they should do in their leisure time. While in many ways the chain trivialized the Gazette’s mission, the paper managed to retain its superior quality. But financial concerns made the difference in Arkansas’s ongoing newspaper war. As the head of a privately held company, Hussman had only himself to answer to, and he never flinched while spending $42 million in his battle with the Pattersons and millions more against Gannett. Gannett ultimately lost $108 million during its five years in Little Rock; Hussman said his losses were far less but still in the tens of millions.

Gannett had to answer to nervous stockholders, most of whom had no tie to, or knowledge of, Arkansas or the Gazette. For Hussman, the Arkansan, the battle had been personal since at least 1978. It is no surprise that the corporation blinked first, and the Arkansas Gazette died on October 18, 1991, the victim of corporate journalism.
[more]

front cover of The Making of an American
The Making of an American
The Autobiography of a Hungarian Immigrant, Appalachian Entrepreneur, and OSS Officer
Cathy Cassady Corbin
University of Tennessee Press, 2018
Martin Himler emigrated from Hungary to America in 1907, and he arrived in New York City with no money and no plan other than to find work. From these impoverished beginnings, Himler persevered to become a self-made new American. As a coal mining entrepreneur, he established the Himler Coal Company—a bold experiment in a worker-owned mine—founded the small town of Himlerville, Kentucky—a town almost completely populated by Hungarian immigrants—and founded and edited a weekly newspaper, the Magyar Bányászlap (Hungarian Miners’ Journal). During WWII, Himler was called by the United States government to work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Colonel Himler arrested more than 300 Nazi war criminals and interrogated 40 himself.

Himler’s autobiography tells in Himler’s own words his life story as it evolves into the American dream, wherein hard work results in success. Himler captivates readers from his earliest memories of his childhood in Hungary to his experiences with the OSS.

Following Himler’s death, the manuscript of the autobiography was passed down among Himler family members and then donated to the Martin County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inez, Kentucky, in 2007. Editor Cathy Cassady Corbin’s annotations enhance Himler’s words, while the introduction by scholar Doug Cantrell provides historical context for Himler’s migration to Appalachia. Finally, Charles Fenyvesi’s foreword analyzes Himler’s courageous OSS work.
[more]

front cover of Mediating America
Mediating America
Black and Irish Press and the Struggle for Citizenship, 1870-1914
Brian Shott
Temple University Press, 2019

Until recently, print media was the dominant force in American culture. The power of the paper was especially true in minority communities. African Americans and European immigrants vigorously embraced the print newsweekly as a forum to move public opinion, cohere group identity, and establish American belonging.

Mediating America explores the life and work of T. Thomas Fortune and J. Samuel Stemons as well as Rev. Peter C. Yorke and Patrick Ford—respectively two African American and two Irish American editor/activists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Historian Brian Shott shows how each of these “race men” (the parlance of the time) understood and advocated for his group’s interests through their newspapers. Yet the author also explains how the newspaper medium itself—through illustrations, cartoons, and photographs; advertisements and page layout; and more—could constrain editors’ efforts to guide debates over race, religion, and citizenship during a tumultuous time of social unrest and imperial expansion. 

Black and Irish journalists used newspapers to recover and reinvigorate racial identities. As Shott proves, minority print culture was a powerful force in defining American nationhood.

[more]

front cover of My Odyssey Through the Underground Press
My Odyssey Through the Underground Press
Michael Kindman
Michigan State University Press, 2011
In 1963, Michigan State University, the nation’s first land grant college, attracted a record number of National Merit Scholars by offering competitive scholarships. One of these exceptional students was Michael Kindman. After the beginning of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, Kindman, in line to be editor-in-chief of the official MSU student newspaper, felt compelled to seek a more radical forum of intellectual debate. In 1965, he dropped out of school and founded The Paper, one of the first five members of Underground Press Syndicate. This gripping autobiography follows Kindman’s inspiring journey of self-discovery, from MSU to Boston, where he joined the staff of Avatar, unaware that the large commune that controlled the paper was a charismatic cult. Five years later, he fled the commune’s outpost in Kansas and headed to San Francisco, where he came out as a gay man, changed his name to Mica, and continued his work as an activist and visionary.
[more]

front cover of No Ordinary Joe
No Ordinary Joe
A Life of Joseph Pulitzer III
Daniel W. Pfaff
University of Missouri Press, 2005
The widely known Pulitzer name is considered by many to be synonymous with the Pulitzer Prizes and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Joseph Pulitzer III (1913–1993) was editor and publisher of the Post-Dispatch, as were his father and grandfather before him. In No Ordinary Joe, Daniel W. Pfaff provides an insightful look at the life and career of Joseph Pulitzer III, using correspondence and records that were made available exclusively to the author. Pfaff also includes interviews with more than seventy individuals who knew and/or worked with Pulitzer.
Trained for succession to the Pulitzer media empire by his father, Joseph Pulitzer III strove above all to maintain the paper’s liberal/reformist philosophy profitably practiced since 1878 by his predecessors. When other newspapers began blurring the boundary between news and entertainment as a way of keeping and attracting readers and advertisers, Pulitzer resisted letting the Post-Dispatch put profit motives ahead of journalistic independence. When Pulitzer died in 1993, he had managed to sustain the Post-Dispatch’s distinguished tradition of editorial independence, and he left behind a company that was substantially larger and more competitive than when he took charge thirty-eight years before.
In addition to his work with the Post-Dispatch, Pulitzer was the head of the Pulitzer Publishing Company from 1955 to 1993. He also served as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University for thirty-one years. The board, which had been established by his grandfather, was responsible for awarding the coveted annual prizes in journalism, letters, and music.
As much as Pulitzer was known for his affiliation with the Post-Dispatch, he was also known for his collection of contemporary art, regarded as one of the largest and finest in the world. He was known, too, for the stately way in which he carried himself, for his elegant attire, and for his impeccable taste and manners.
This remarkable biography will be of interest to scholars of journalism and media history and American history generally, as well as those interested in the tribulations of family businesses. It will also appeal to cultural historians and general readers, who will be interested in how this bearer of a widely known name handled the power, responsibility, and privilege of the position into which he was born.
[more]

front cover of Oveta Culp Hobby
Oveta Culp Hobby
Colonel, Cabinet Member, Philanthropist
By Debra L. Winegarten
University of Texas Press, 2014

This young adult biography introduces middle school readers to a remarkable woman who founded the Women’s Army Corps, served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and ran a media empire that included the Houston Post newspaper and radio and TV stations.

Winner, Gold Medal for Biography, Military Writers Society of America, 2015

Oveta Culp Hobby (1905–1995) had a lifetime of stellar achievement. During World War II, she was asked to build a women’s army from scratch—and did. Hobby became Director of the Women’s Army Corps and the first Army woman to earn the rank of colonel. President Eisenhower chose her as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, making her the second woman in history to be appointed to a president’s cabinet. When she wasn’t serving in the government, Hobby worked with her husband, former Texas governor William P. Hobby, to lead a media empire that included the Houston Post newspaper and radio and TV stations. She also supported the Houston community in many ways, from advocating for civil rights for African Americans to donating generously to the Houston Symphony and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Oveta Culp Hobby is the first biography of this important woman. Written for middle school readers, it traces her life from her childhood in Killeen to her remarkable achievements in Washington, DC, and Houston. Debra Winegarten provides the background to help young adult readers understand the times in which Hobby lived and the challenges she faced as a woman in nontraditional jobs. She shows how Hobby opened doors for women to serve in the military and in other professions that still benefit women today. Most of all, Oveta Culp Hobby will inspire young adults to follow their own dreams and turn them into tangible reality.

[more]

front cover of The Pen Makes a Good Sword
The Pen Makes a Good Sword
John Forsyth of the Mobile Register
Lonnie A. Burnett
University of Alabama Press, 2006
This book is a biography of Alabama native John Forsyth Jr. and documents his career as a southern newspaper editor during the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. From 1837 to 1877 Forsyth wrote about many of the most important events of the 19th century. He used his various positions as an editor, Civil War field correspondent, and Reconstruction critic at the MobileRegister to advocate on behalf of both the South and the Democratic Party.
 
In addition, Forsyth played an active role in the events taking place around him through his political career, as United States Minister to Mexico, state legislator, Confederate Peace Commissioner to the Lincoln administration, staff officer to Braxton Bragg, and twice mayor of the city of Mobile.
[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter