Citizen Reporters: S.S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That Rewrote America

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The Gilded Age was ground zero for materialism and greed, where ethics and morality took a back seat. A shadow of doubt about the future direction of the country loomed. The corruption and greed and willful disregard for the public needed to be reined in. The majority needed a voice; McClure’s Magazine became that voice. S.S. McClure hailed from Ireland where he emerged from a humble background possessing a stubborn perseverance that colored his eventful life. His determined nature pushed him in pursuit of education, love, and owning his own publication. Ida Tarbell inhabited a more luxurious life in Pennsylvania, the discovery of oil playing a large role in family fortunes. The negative turn in her family’s monetary situation amongst many others was due to the ever-expanding Rockefeller empire. McClure and Tarbell were restless in their initial publishing forays until McClure discovered Tarbell’s work and hired her. McClure’s was founded in 1893, barely surviving a financial panic and McClure’s free-spending ways, yet the finished work published spoke volumes.

Citizen Reporters recounts the heady days of progressive journalism with a flourish. Stephanie Gorton provides a lush narrative of the magazine alongside the biographies of two crucial pieces in the magazine’s growth: founder and star reporter. The successes and trials along the way make for an engaging book. A must-read.


Reviewed By:

Author Stephanie Gorton
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2020-02-18
ISBN 9780062796646
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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