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Preface McClure's Magazine, which appeared as an inexpensive monthly in 1893, became by common assent the leading muckraking journal. The pejorative term "muckraking" was a popular misnomer. Its usage by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 was deceptive, for whether the term was borrowed from Henry George's Progress and Poverty or from John Bunyan himself, it was mainly applicable to Roosevelt's malefactors of great wealth: the main principals raking treasure without lifting their gaze to the Celestial City. Although the expression remained as a description of ex­ posures of economic and political privilege, Roosevelt was careful to inform the leading muckrakers at McClurefS that they were excluded from the odium of the phrase. Indeed, the muckrakers were more than exposers; they were the vanguard of a revolution in thinking. Their writ­ ings accurately reflected the growing public interest in literary realism, pragmatic philosophy, institutional eco­ nomics, the cult of efficiency, sociological jurisprudence, and experimental psychology. It is not surprising, then, that the magazine press, and especially McClure's, should have be­ come a forum for new questions about the nature and direction of American society and government. The growth of industry and population created an un­ precedented national problem. In a half century the United States had grown from an economic power comparable to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the most powerful in the world. The specialization of labor and its growth into national organizational groupings, the increased concentra­ tion of financial wealth in Wall Street, and the professionalization of traditional middle-class pursuits of law, medicine, and education created dissensions which strained the fabric of American pluralistic culture. In the newly grown urban areas these problems were compounded when an immense European immigration placed considerable stress upon ν P R E F A C E traditional political institutions. These and other questions were the subjects of numerous exposes. Rather self-consciously these propagandists for the pro­ gressive movement worked their way towards substantive answers. At the heart of reform journalism lay a quest for order and higher law in a society fragmenting into special interest groups. Before either Croly or Weyl, the muckrakers generated nationalist sentiments for a new and more powerful structure of government. They felt that a new, perhaps unitary, state should undertake such reforms as the direct primary, postal savings banks, workers' compensation, minimum wages, child labor laws, woman suffrage, and graduated income tax. The proposed state would prevail over each and all of its parts. The McClure's group em­ ployed the techniques and championed the causes of tradi­ tional reform; they dallied with socialism, but in the end they found their own motivations and radical conclusions in calling to heel the financial and political oligarchy threat­ ening the country. ANY STUDY owes deep obligations to those who gave aid and comfort. James Harvey Young of Emory University first fanned my old interest in Lincoln Steffens' Autobiography and suggested the possibilities of a group study of McClure's muckrakers. Richard Griifin (Northern Virginia), James W. W. Daniel (Wesleyan College), and William Wade (King College), fellow historians, have given both friendship and scholarly encouragement. Special appreciation is also due Louis Harlan (University of Maryland) and John Braeman (University of Nebraska), who enriched a long summer of research at the Library of Congress. Additional obligations I owe to the seminars of C. Vann Woodward (Yale), Charles Barker (Johns Hopkins), and Walter Posey (Emory). The interdisciplinary seminars of the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, directed by James Smith, have afforded a truly unique contact with many original and stimulating scholars such as Richard Hocking, P R E F A C E Charles Hartshorne, Thomas J. J. Altizer, and Gregor Sebba. But in this profession, which is much like a priest­ hood with the transmission of its own occult arts, my greatest debt of gratitude is to James Harvey Young and Gregor Sebba, who have always mixed forbearance and kindness with the sternest academic criticism. Of many helpful librarians, special appreciation is due the stafiE of the Lilly Library, University of Indiana. This research in part has been generously financed by the National Foundation on the Humanities, the Old Dominion University Foundation,and theShell Foundation. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400872305
MARC Record
OCLC
614006860
Pages
360
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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