From Thomas Paine to Gloria Steinem, Applegate (journalism, Middle Tennessee State Univ.) has chosen an unusual collection of writers whom he categorizes as journalists, muckrakers, and advocates. The 101 entries range from well-known muckrakers like Ida Tarbell and I.F. Stone to writers like Alice Walker and James Baldwin who are better known for their contributions in literature. Applegate provides little information about his selection process, offering a brief overview of the new journalism popular in the 1960s and 1970s without discussing the relevance of this history to his coverage of writers from the past three centuries. The most extensive entries seem to be reserved for the best-known writers, so while Jonathan Swift rates five pages, Thomas Ross receives only two paragraphs. Representative works are included at the end of each biographical sketch. This book would have benefited from a careful editing; readers will be distracted by unusual usages such as Joseph Alsop's receiving "notable credibility for his comprehensive coverage of the Hauptmann trial." Ultimately, its eclectic nature makes this collection an unpredictable reference source. Only comprehensive journalism collections need to consider purchasing.Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
H. L. Mencken, Jack Anderson, Rachel Carson, William F. Buckley, Thomas Paine, Ralph Nader, Gloria Steinem, and Karl Marx are among the writers profiled. Most are from the US during the past century. The articles, typically a page or two long, include brief biographical information and fuller details of their writing career emphasizing their advocacy and muckraking work. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.