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Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Powerby James Mcgrat Morris
Synopses & Reviews
Like Alfred Nobel, Joseph Pulitzer is better known today for the prize that bears his name than for his contribution to history. Yet, in nineteenth-century industrial America, while Carnegie provided the steel, Rockefeller the oil, Morgan the money, and Vanderbilt the railroads, Pulitzer ushered in the modern mass media.
James McGrath Morris traces the epic story of this Jewish Hungarian immigrant's rise through American politics and into journalism where he accumulated immense power and wealth, only to fall blind and become a lonely, tormented recluse wandering the globe. But not before Pulitzer transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence. As the first media baron to recognize the vast social changes of the industrial revolution, he harnessed all the converging elements of entertainment, technology, business, and demographics, and made the newspaper an essential feature of urban life. Pulitzer used his influence to advance a progressive political agenda and his power to fight those who opposed him. The course he followed led him to battle Theodore Roosevelt who, when President, tried to send Pulitzer to prison. The grueling legal battles Pulitzer endured for freedom of the press changed the landscape of American newspapers and politics.
Based on years of research and newly discovered documents, Pulitzer is a classic, magisterial biography and a gripping portrait of an American icon.
"In this thorough, elegantly-written volume, biographer Morris (author of The Rose Man of Sing Sing, editor of Biographer's Craft magazine) explores the life of infamous media mogul Joseph Pulitzer, best known today for the journalism prize that bears his name. Pulitzer's story begins with the large Hungarian family of his mid-19th century youth, struck by monetary misfortune and the unexpected deaths of his father and some of his many siblings. Traveling to America in 1864, Pulitzer fought in the civil war before he settled in St. Louis, where he began his journey from newspaper reporter to politician to media baron. Morris goes into great detail regarding the events of Pulitzer's life and times, but also captures Pulitzer's character: hard-working, independent, and pursued by demons likely tied to his rough beginnings. Morris also notes Pulitzer's few, curiously strong attachments to his mother, wife, and an ambiguously sexual philosopher-mentor named Thomas Davidson. From the kill-or-be-killed ethos of his early journalistic and political career to his late-in-life preference for extreme solitude, Pulitzer proves a captivating figure, and Morris's handling superb. B&W photos" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This epic biography, with its remarkable new research and vivid, fast-paced writing, will delight anyone who wants to understand the tangled history of politics and the press in modern America.” —Debby Applegate, author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
“James McGrath Morris has given us everything we could have asked for in his new biography of Joseph Pulitzer. Gracefully written and thoroughly researched, his biography is easily the best we have on this remarkable man who so profoundly influenced the worlds of politics and publishing.” — David Nasaw, author of Andrew Carnegie
Pulitzer is James McGrath Morriss definitive biography of the Jewish Hungarian immigrant who created the modern American mass media—the first comprehensive biography of this remarkable historical icon in more than 40 years.
About the Author
James McGrath Morris is the author of The Rose Man of Sing Sing, selected as a Washington Post Best Book of 2004. He is the editor of the monthly Biographer's Craft, and his writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Observer, and other newspapers and magazines.
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