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The Overland Monthly and the Writing of the Modern American West
Founded in 1868, the Overland Monthly was a San Francisco–based literary magazine whose mix of humor, pathos, and romantic nostalgia for a lost frontier was an immediate sensation on the East Coast. Due in part to a regional desire to attract settlers and financial investment, the essays and short fiction published in the Overland Monthly often portrayed the American West as a civilized evolution of, and not a savage regression from, eastern bourgeois modernity and democracy.
Stories about the American West have for centuries been integral to the way we imagine freedom, the individual, and the possibility for alternate political realities. Reading for Liberalism examines the shifting literary and narrative construction of liberal selfhood in California in the late nineteenth century through case studies of a number of western American writers who wrote for the Overland Monthly, including Noah Brooks, Ina Coolbrith, Bret Harte, Jack London, John Muir, and Frank Norris, among others. Reading for Liberalism argues that Harte, the magazine’s founding editor, and the other members of the Overland group critiqued and reimagined the often invisible fabric of American freedom. Reading for Liberalism uncovers and examines in the text of the Overland Monthly the relationship between wilderness, literature, race, and the production of individual freedom in late nineteenth-century California.
New York City’s Public Libraries, 1754-1911
On May 11, 1911, the New York Public Library opened its “marble palace for book lovers” on Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street. This was the city’s first public library in the modern sense, a tax-supported, circulating collection free to every citizen. Since before the Revolution, however, New York’s reading publics had access to a range of “public libraries” as the term was understood by contemporaries. In its most basic sense a public library in the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth century simply meant a shared collection of books that was available to the general public and promoted the public good. From the founding in 1754 of the New York Society Library up to 1911, public libraries took a variety of forms. Some of them were free, charitable institutions, while others required a membership or an annual subscription. Some, such as the Biblical Library of the American Bible Society, were highly specialized; others, like the Astor Library, developed extensive, inclusive collections. What all the public libraries of this period held in common, at least ostensibly, was the conviction that good books helped ensure a productive, virtuous, orderly republic—that good reading promoted the public good._x000B__x000B_Tom Glynn’s vivid, deeply researched history of New York City’s public libraries over the course of more than a century and a half illuminates how the public and private functions of reading changed over time and how shared collections of books could serve both public and private ends. Reading Publics examines how books and reading helped construct social identities and how print functioned within and across groups, including but not limited to socio-economic classes. The author offers an accessible while scholarly exploration of how republican and liberal values, shifting understandings of public and private, and the debate over fiction influenced the development and character of New York City’s public libraries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries._x000B__x000B_Reading Publics is an important contribution to the social and cultural history of New York City that firmly places the city’s early public libraries within the history of reading and print culture in the United States._x000B_
Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age
Breaking down the walls of the traditional newsroom, Rebuilding the News traces the evolution of news reporting as it moves from print to online. As the business models of newspapers have collapsed, author C. W. Anderson chronicles how bloggers, citizen journalists, and social networks are implicated in the massive changes confronting journalism.
Through a combination of local newsroom fieldwork, social-network analysis, and online archival research, Rebuilding the News places the current shifts in news production in socio-historical context. Focusing on the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Anderson presents a gripping case study of how these papers have struggled to adapt to emerging economic, social, and technological realities.
As he explores the organizational, networked culture of journalism, Anderson lays bare questions about the future of news-oriented media and its evolving relationship with “the public” in the digital age.
Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663-1880
In 1663, the Puritan missionary John Eliot, with the help of a Nipmuck convert the English called John Printer, produced the first Bible printed in North America; it was printed not in English but in Algonquian, making it one of the first books printed in a Native language. Thus, the trajectory of printing history in North America is intimately tied to the indigenous cultures of this continent--even if it took another one hundred years before Samson Occom became the first Native American to publish his own book in 1772. In this ambitious and multidisciplinary work, Round examines the relationship between Native Americans and the printed book over a 200-year span, arguing persuasively for the essential role of the book and of print culture in Indian lives from the sixteenth century through the Removal Period to the rise of U.S. assimilation policies in the late nineteenth century. Merging the methods of book history and Native American studies, Round shows how books became a central point of contestation between Europeans eager to assimilate Native Americans and Native people themselves, who quickly recognized the power of print to stake out claims for cultural and political sovereignty. Round showcases the varied ways that Native peoples produced and/or utilized printed texts over time, addressing such issues as the role of white missionaries and Christian texts in the dissemination of print culture in Indian Country, the establishment of “national” publishing houses by tribes, the production and consumption of bilingual texts, the role of copyright in establishing Native intellectual sovereignty (and the sometimes corrosive effects of reprinting thereon), and the role of illustrations.
An essential reference for journalists, activists, and students, this book presents scientifically accurate and accessible overviews of 24 of the most important issues in the nuclear realm, including: • health effects • nuclear safety and engineering • TMI and Chernobyl • nuclear medicine • food irradiation • transport of nuclear materials • spent fuel • nuclear weapons • global warming. Each “brief” is based on interviews with named scientists, engineers, or administrators in a nuclear specialty, and each has been reviewed by a team of independent experts. The objective is not to make a case for or against nuclear-related technologies, but rather to provide definitive background information. (The approach is based on that of The Reporter’s Environmental Handbook, published in 1988, which won a special award for journalism from the Sigma Delta Chi Society of professional journalists.) Other features of the book include: • a glossary of hundreds of terms • an introduction to risk assessment, environmental and economic impacts, and public perceptions • an article by an experienced reporter with recommendations about how to cover nuclear issues • quick guides to the history of nuclear power in the United States, important federal legislation and regulations, nuclear position statements, and key organizations • print and electronic resources.
The Playwright in Peace and War
One of the nation's first film critics, an acclaimed speechwriter on his own and for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a propagandist during World War II, and a leading producer on Broadway, Robert E. Sherwood scripted some of the most popular plays and films of his day, including Waterloo Bridge, The Best Years of Our Lives, Idiot's Delight, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Rebecca. His work brought him four Pulitzer Prizes and an Oscar. In his personal life, however, he was driven by a deep conviction that war was a societal evil that must be eradicated and human rights a moral responsibility that all governments should protect. At times, his belief in pacifism and his commitment to defending freedom and justice came into conflict with each other, causing frustration and emotional trauma which found their way into his writings and actions. In this book, Harriet Hyman Alonso unravels Sherwood's inner struggle and portrays his political journey. Relying largely on his letters, diaries, plays, films, essays, and biography of Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins, she traces Sherwood's obsession with the world of politics and its effects on his life and art, from his experience as a soldier in World War I to the Cold War. She also describes his participation in the Algonquin Round Table, his friendships and working relationships with such notables as Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Edna Ferber, Spencer Tracy, Harry Hopkins, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, his two marriages and uneasy relationship with his daughter, and his leadership role in the Broadway community. Alonso brings together history, theater and film studies, and peace studies in this interdisciplinary political biography. In the process, she illuminates major currents in U.S. foreign policy, society, and culture from 1896 to 1955—the years of the remarkable life of Robert E. Sherwood.
The Evolution of a Southern Reporter
From a gullible cub reporter with the Daily Herald in Biloxi and Gulfport, to the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize winner at the Atlanta Constitution, to the peerless beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering civil rights in the South, Jack Nelson (1929-2009) was dedicated to exposing injustice and corruption wherever he found it. Whether it was the gruesome conditions at a twelve-thousand-bed mental hospital in Georgia or the cruelties of Jim Crow inequity, Nelson proved himself to be one of those rare reporters whose work affected and improved thousands of lives.His memories about difficult circumstances, contentious people, and calamitous events provide a unique window into some of the most momentous periods in southern and U.S. history. Wherever he landed, Nelson found the corruption others missed or disregarded. He found it in lawless Biloxi; he found it in buttoned-up corporate Atlanta; he found it in the college town of Athens, Georgia. Nelson turned his investigations of illegal gambling, liquor sales, prostitution, shakedowns, and corrupt cops into such a trademark that honest mayors and military commanders called on him to expose miscreants in their midst.Once he realized that segregation was another form of corruption, he became a premier reporter of the civil rights movement and its cast of characters, including Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Alabama's Sheriff Jim Clarke, George Wallace, and others. He was, through his steely commitment to journalism, a chronicler of great events, a witness to news, a shaper and reshaper of viewpoints, and indeed one of the most important journalists of the twentieth century.
In an age before radio and television, E. W. Scrippss ownership of twenty-one newspapers, a major news wire service, and a prominent news syndication service represented the first truly national media organization in the United States. In The Scripps Newspapers Go to War, 1914-18, Dale Zacher details the scope, organization, and character of the mighty Scripps empire during World War I to reveal how_x000B_the pressures of the market, government censorship, propaganda,_x000B_and progressivism transformed news coverage during wartime._x000B__x000B_This volume presents the first systematic look at the daily operations of any major newspaper operation during World War I and provides fascinating accounts of how the papers struggled with competition, their patriotic duties, and internal editorial dissent. The book also engages questions about American neutrality and the newspapers relationship with President Woodrow Wilson, the move to join the war, and the fallout from the disillusionment of actually experiencing war. Ultimately, Zacher shows how the progressive spirit and political independence at the Scripps newspapers came under attack and was forever changed by this crucial period in American history.