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Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power

Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power

by James McGrath Morris


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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 chronicles the epic story of Joseph Pulitzer, a Jewish Hungarian immigrant who amassed great wealth and extraordinary power during his remarkable rise through American politics and journalism. Based on years of research and newly discovered documents, Pulitzer is a classic, magisterial biography. It is a gripping portrait of the media baron who transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence, and of the grueling legal battles he endured for freedom of the press that changed the landscape of American newspapers and politics.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060798703
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 737,260
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

James McGrath Morris is the author of Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power—which the Wall Street Journal deemed as one of the five best books on American moguls and Booklist placed on its list of the ten best biographies of 2010—and The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. He is one of the founders and past presidents of Biographers International Organization (BIO) and makes his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Prologue: Havana 1909 1

Part I 1847-1878

1 Hungary 9

2 Boots and Saddles 20

3 The Promised Land 29

4 Politics and Journalism 43

5 Politics and Gunpowder 56

6 Left Behind 70

7 Politics and Rebellion 80

8 Politics and Principle 95

9 Founding Father 111

10 Fraud and His Fraudulency 124

11 Nannie and Kate 138

Part II 1878-1888

12 A Paper of His Own 149

13 Success 162

14 Dark Lantern 175

15 St. Louis Grows Small 190

16 The Great Theater 204

17 Kingmaker 221

18 Raising Liberty 233

19 A Blind Croesus 248

Part III 1888-1911

20 Samson Agonistes 269

21 Darkness 284

22 Caged Eagle 299

23 Trouble from the West 319

24 Yellow 337

25 The Great God Success 349

26 Fleeing His Shadow 361

27 Captured for the Ages 383

28 Forever Unsatisfied 399

29 Clash of Titans 417

30 A Short Remaining Span 441

31 Softly, Very Softly 456

Acknowledgments 465

Notes 471

Bibliography 531

Index 537

What People are Saying About This

David Nasaw

“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.”

Jonathan Yardley

“An excellent book. . . . There have been other biographies of Pulitzer, most notably W.A. Swanberg’s published in 1967, but James McGrath Morris’s is the best. It is authoritative, lucid and fair to its complicated subject.”

Kai Bird

“James McGrath Morris masterfully demonstrates the power of biography to reveal our past and inform our future. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Morris has written the definitive Pulitzer.”

Debby Applegate

“Before there was Murdoch, Berlusconi, Bloomberg, or Hearst, there was Joseph Pulitzer. 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.”

Harold Evans

“Everyone knows the prize, fewer the man. Here’s an antidote to the hand-wringing about the future of the newspaper, a full-scale, full-blooded biography of a penniless immigrant from Hungary who showed what newspapers could do. Seriously good history.”

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