The Dream of a New Social Order: Popular Magazines in America

The Dream of a New Social Order: Popular Magazines in America

by Matthew Schneirov
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231082908

ISBN-13: 9780231082907

Pub. Date: 10/20/1994

Publisher: Columbia University Press

This lively book explores how magazines became the first national mass medium in the United States and how they expressed a new American culture based on the dream of a better future. Matthew Schneirov argues that the birth of such popular magazines as Munsey's, McClure's, and Cosmopolitan helped to form the foundations of contemporary consumer culture. These…  See more details below

Overview

This lively book explores how magazines became the first national mass medium in the United States and how they expressed a new American culture based on the dream of a better future. Matthew Schneirov argues that the birth of such popular magazines as Munsey's, McClure's, and Cosmopolitan helped to form the foundations of contemporary consumer culture. These magazines, which usurped genteel "family house magazines" such as Harper's Monthly and The Atlantic Monthly at the turn of the century, actively spread ideas of abundance, social control, and justice. Revolutionary concepts and products from the skyscraper to the camera, the automobile, and the new-fangled "flying machine" were extolled in their pages as icons of the technological promise that would transform modern living. By promoting consumer culture, these dynamic magazines galvanized the national mood. Headed by savvy, cosmopolitan editors who were equally committed to the cultural and intellectual education of their fellow Americans and the growth of mass print culture, these publications encouraged readers to expand their personal horizons to accommodate a spirit of progress. Articles on consumerism, therapeutic culture, and social welfare were juxtaposed with the exposes of the "muckrakers" - a new breed of journalists including Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White who investigated municipal and corporate corruption in the "Gilded Age" of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Tammany Hall. This vision transformed the traditional and elitist view of culture as a repository of timeless and fixed virtues to a springboard of ideas and energies directed toward achieving a cohesive, cooperative society. Engaged in the "whirlpool of real life," the popular magazines pointed to the vitality of consumerism and the industrial cities as sure signs of progress. Informative and stylish, as well as expansive in its eclectic coverage of the popular magazine, Schneirov brilliantly shows how this phenomenon

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231082907
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
10/20/1994
Pages:
357
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Power and a Pleasure1
Pt. 1The Gospel of Culture and the Victorian Reader25
Ch. 1The Family House Magazines and the Gospel of Culture27
Ch. 2The Victorian Reader and the Political Economy of the Magazine48
Pt. 2The Magazine Revolution73
Ch. 3The Magazine Revolution of the 1890s75
Ch. 4"The Whirlpool of Real Life": The Popular Magazine Project103
Pt. 3Dreams of Abundance, Social Control, and Social Justice125
Ch. 5The New Secular Religion of Health127
Ch. 6"New Worlds to Conquer": The Dreams of Progress161
Ch. 7Muckraking, Realism, and the Dream of Social Justice202
Ch. 8Dreams of a New Social Order245
Appendix 1: Circulation in Thousands of the Leading General Interest Magazines from 1900 to 1913265
Appendix 2: Topics of Lead Cosmopolitan Articles, 1893-1901266
Appendix 3: Topics of Lead Cosmopolitan Articles, 1905-1914267
Appendix 4: Century Magazine Articles, 1893-1900268
Appendix 5: Cosmopolitan Magazine Articles, 1893-1900269
Appendix 6: Contributors to Walker's Cosmopolitan270
Notes273
Bibliography333
Index345

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