Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century


Exuberantly written, highly informative, Jensen's Stories That Changed America examines the work of twenty-one investigative writers, and how their efforts forever changed our country. Here are the pioneering muckrakers, like Upton Sinclair, author of the fact-based novel The Jungle, that inspired Theodore Roosevelt to sign the Pure Food and Drug Act into law; "Queen of the Muckrakers" Ida Mae Tarbell, whose McClure magazine exposés led to the dissolution of Standard Oil's monopoly; and Lincoln Steffens, a ...

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Stories that Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century

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Exuberantly written, highly informative, Jensen's Stories That Changed America examines the work of twenty-one investigative writers, and how their efforts forever changed our country. Here are the pioneering muckrakers, like Upton Sinclair, author of the fact-based novel The Jungle, that inspired Theodore Roosevelt to sign the Pure Food and Drug Act into law; "Queen of the Muckrakers" Ida Mae Tarbell, whose McClure magazine exposés led to the dissolution of Standard Oil's monopoly; and Lincoln Steffens, a reporter who unearthed corruption in both municipal and federal governments.
You'll also meet Margaret Sanger, the former nurse who coined the term "birth control"; George Seldes, the most censored journalist in American history; Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck; environmentalist Rachel Carson; National Organization of Women founder Betty Friedan; African American activist Malcolm X; consumer advocate Ralph Nader; and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters whose Watergate break-in coverage brought down President Richard Nixon.
The courageous writers Jensen includes in this deftly researched volume dedicated their lives to fight for social, civil, political and environmental rights with their mighty pens.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Jensen (communications studies, Sonoma State Univ.), the author of Twenty Years of Censored News, expands his theme in this book to cover a century of muckrakers. Jensen presents 21 writers, including Edward R. Murrow, Upton Sinclair, Ida Mae Tarbell, and Seymour Hersh, as the initiators of muckracking and complements the brief excerpts from their work with short biographies. Yet Jensen's definition of "muckraker" is problematically broad--William Fulbright fits the bill, but Malcolm X? Did he uncover plots, expose wrongs, or simply take controversial stands on social crises? Likewise, Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is too epic simply to fall into the contentious realm of muckraking. Selections aside, the structure of the book, the length, and the vocabulary of the entries make this a good undergraduate textbook that is also recommended for college-tracked high school students.--Robert Moore, Raytheon, Sudbury, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A professor emeritus of communications at Sonoma State University, Jensen produces an annual summary of the news stories that were most neglected (or censored) by the mainstream media. From his work as director of Project Censored came the popular compilation, Twenty Years of Censored News (Seven Stories, 1997). This new volume collects a century's worth of American muckraking, focusing on such noted authors as Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, I. F. Stone, Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein. The author provides brief biographical and background information, along with samples from the writers' most influential work. This format serves readers interested in the broad topic of investigative journalism, as well as students doing research on a particular writer or writers. The prose is straightforward, the tone engaging, and the vocabulary nonacademic. Although some of Jensen's 21 selections are questionable (Malcolm X and J. William Fulbright are seldom thought of as muckrakers), all of his subjects have altered the political, social, and cultural course of our nation's history with their words. Many teens will be fascinated by these dedicated individuals who demonstrated by their courageous work that, without freedom of the press, democracy cannot be sustained.-Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583225172
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 269
  • Sales rank: 488,085
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

DR. CARL JENSEN is a professor emeritus of Sociology and Communications Studies at Sonoma State University in California and the author of Censored-The News That Didn't Make the News and Why from 1976 to 1996, and 20 Years of Censored News, in 1997. He founded Project Censored, the internationally recognized media research project, in 1976.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Muckraking in the Twentieth Century 15
Ida Mae Tarbell 25
Excerpts from The History of the Standard Oil Company 33
Young John Davison Rockefeller 33
Creating a Monopoly 35
Lincoln Steffens 39
Excerpt from The Shame of the Cities 45
Tweed Days in St. Louis 45
Upton Sinclair 51
Excerpts from The Jungle 57
From Chapter Three: Tour of the Stockyards 57
From Chapter Nine: Bubbly Creek Lard 61
From Chapter Fourteen: Spoiled Meat 61
Margaret Sanger 65
Excerpts from The Woman Rebel 71
The Aim 71
Abortion in the United States 72
Suppression 73
A Little Lesson for Those Who Ought to Know Better 75
George Seldes 77
Excerpts from In fact 83
Cigarets Shorten Life 83
Tobacco Shortens Life 83
Make Users' Flesh Creep 83
61% Excess Deaths 84
Journalistic Bombshell 84
Documentation 85
Excerpt from The Facts Are ... 86
The Greatest Power in War and Peace 86
John Steinbeck 89
Excerpt from The Grapes of Wrath 95
From Chapter Five: Who Can We Shoot? 95
J. William Fulbright 103
Excerpts from The Pentagon Propaganda Machine 109
From Chapter One: The Starbird Memorandum 109
From Chapter Two: Information to Propoganda 112
Rachel Carson 115
Excerpt from Silent Spring 121
A Fable for Tomorrow 121
I. F. Stone 123
Excerpt from I. F. Stone's Weekly 129
A Crisis and a Turning Point Approaches in Vietnam 129
Edward R. Murrow 133
Excerpts from In Search of Light 139
CBS news broadcast - March 10, 1950 139
CBS news broadcast - February 23, 1954 139
See It Now broadcast - March 9, 1954 142
CBS news broadcast - June 10, 1954 142
CBS news broadcast - May 2, 1957 144
Jessica Mitford 145
Excerpt from The American Way of Death 151
Myth of the Twentieth-Century American Funeral Rite 151
Betty Friedan 157
Excerpt from The Feminine Mystique 163
From Chapter Twelve: The Comfortable Concentration Camp 163
Malcolm X 169
Excerpt from Alex Haley's Playboy Interview with Malcolm X 177
Excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X 179
From Chapter Seventeen: Letter from Mecca 179
Michael Harrington 183
Excerpt from The Other America 189
From Chapter One: The Invisible Land 189
Paul Brodeur 195
Excerpt from Expendable Americans 201
The Dust that Ate Us Up 201
Paul Ehrlich 207
Excerpts from The Population Bomb 213
Too Many People 213
Too Little Food 215
A Dying Planet 216
Ralph Nader 219
Excerpt from Unsafe at Any Speed 225
Who Benefits from Auto Accidents? 225
The Sporty Corvair: The 'One-Car' Accident 228
Seymour Hersh 231
Excerpts from My Lai 4 237
From Chapter Three: The Day - Part I 237
From Chapter Four: The Day - Part II 241
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein 243
Excerpt from the Washington Post 251
GOP Security Aide Among Five Arrested in Bugging Affair 251
Frances Moore Lappe 257
Excerpt from Diet for a Small Planet 263
From the Foreword: The Beginning 263
From Part One: Cultural Eating Habits 264
From Part One Cash Crops 264
From Part One: The Poisoned Food Chain 265
From Part Two: Protein Isn't Everything 266
About the Author 269
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