Does journalism matter? Here is a book that documents an alternative journalistic tradition - one marked by depth of vision, passion for change, and remarkable bravery. In collecting the kind of reportage that all too rarely appears in this age of media triviality and corporate conglomeration, Muckraking! makes clear that American journalists have changed the country for the better. Ranging across three centuries - from the Stamp Act to the abolition movement to the Vietnam War, from the integration of baseball to Watergate - this book contains more than 125 greatest works of American Journallism. -- Cover.
A critical study of the power and effectiveness of good investigative journalism celebrates the work of twenty-one distinguished authors and journalists whose dedication changed American society, including Upton Sinclair, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Ralph Nader, Malcolm X, Betty Friedan, and others.
Great investigative journalism is present-tense literature: part detective story, part hellraising. This is the first anthology of its kind, bringing together outstanding (and often otherwise unavailable) practitioners of the muckraking tradition, from the Revolutionary era to the present day. Ranging from mainstream figures like Woodward and Bernstein to legendary iconoclasts such as I. F. Stone and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the dispatches in this collection combine the thrill of the chase after facts with a burning sense of outrage. As American history, Shaking the Foundations offers a you-are-there chronicle of great scandals and debates as reporters revealed them to their contemporaries: Jim Crow and financial trusts, migrant labor and wars, witch-hunts and government corruption. As journalism, these readings—from writers as diverse as Henry Adams and Ralph Nader, Lincoln Steffens and Barbara Ehrenreich—are a source of inspiration for today's muckrakers. For the general reader, Shaking the Foundations reveals investigative journalism as a storytelling force capable of bringing down presidents, freeing the innocent, challenging the logic of wars, and exposing predatory corporations. Other selected contributors include Henry Adams, John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, Edward R. Murrow, Rachel Carson, Jessica Mitford, Susan Brownmiller, Anthony Lukas, Neil Sheehan, Drew Pearson, and Jack Anderson.
100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World
Author: Anya Schiffrin
Publisher: New Press, The
Category: Social Science
Crusading journalists from Sinclair Lewis to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have played a central role in American politics: checking abuses of power, revealing corporate misdeeds, and exposing government corruption. Muckraking journalism is part and parcel of American democracy. But how many people know about the role that muckraking has played around the world? This groundbreaking new book presents the most important examples of world-changing journalism, spanning one hundred years and every continent. Carefully curated by prominent international journalists working in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, Global Muckraking includes Ken Saro-Wiwa’s defense of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta; Horacio Verbitsky's uncovering of the gruesome disappearance of political detainees in Argentina; Gareth Jones’s coverage of the Ukraine famine of 1932–33; missionary newspapers’ coverage of Chinese foot binding in the nineteenth century; Dwarkanath Ganguli’s exposé of the British "coolie" trade in nineteenth-century Assam, India; and many others. Edited by the noted author and journalist Anya Schiffrin, Global Muckraking is a sweeping introduction to international journalism that has galvanized the world’s attention. In an era when human rights are in the spotlight and the fate of newspapers hangs in the balance, here is both a riveting read and a sweeping argument for why the world needs long-form investigative reporting.
"As the twentieth century opened, Americans were jolted out of their laissez-faire complacency by detailed exposures, in journalism and fiction, of the corruption underlying the country's greatest institutions. This rude awakening was the work of the muckrakers, as Theodore Roosevelt christened these press agents for reform. From 1902, when it latched onto such mass circulation magazines as Collier's and McClure's, until it merged into the Progressive movement in 1912, muckraking relentlessly pricked the nation's social conscience by exposing the abuses of industry and politics. Ranging in tone from the scholarly to the sensational, muckraking articles attacked food adulteration, unscrupulous insurance practices, fraudulent claims for patent medicines, and links between government and vice. When muckrakers raised their voices against child labor, graft, monopoly, unsafe mill conditions, and the white slave trade of poor immigrant girls, they found a receptive audience. ""I aimed at the public's heart,"" wrote Upton Sinclair about The Jungle, ""and by accident I hit it in the stomach.""Gathering the most significant pieces published during the heyday of the muckraking movement, The Muckrakers brings vividly to life this unique era of exposure and self-examination. For each article, Arthur and Lila Weinberg provide concise commentary on the background of its subject and the specific and long-range repercussions of its publication. The volume features the work of both journalists and fiction writers, including Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, Ray Stannard Baker, Samuel Hopkins Adams, Thomas W. Lawson, Charles Edward Russell, and Mark Sullivan. Eloquent and uncompromising, the muckrakers shocked America from a state of lethargy into Progressive reform. This generous volume vividly captures the urgency of their quest."
Tell Me No Lies is a celebration of the very best investigative journalism, and includes writing by some of the greatest practitioners of the craft: Seymour Hersh on the My Lai massacre; Paul Foot on the Lockerbie cover-up; Wilfred Burchett, the first Westerner to enter Hiroshima following the atomic bombing; Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting from the Gaza Strip in the 1990s; Gunter Wallraff, the great German undercover reporter; Jessica Mitford on 'The American Way of Death'; Martha Gelhorn on the liberation of the death camp at Dachau. The book - a selection of articles, broadcasts and books extracts that revealed important and disturbing truths - ranges from across many of the critical events, scandals and struggles of the past fifty years. Along the way it bears witness to epic injustices committed against the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor and Palestine. John Pilger sets each piece of reporting in its context and introduces the collection with a passionate essay arguing that the kind of journalism he celebrates here is being subverted by the very forces that ought to be its enemy. Taken as a whole, the book tells an extraordinary 'secret history' of the modern era. It is also a call to arms to journalists everywhere - before it is too late.
Jessica Mitford was a member of one of England’s most legendary families (among her sisters were the novelist Nancy Mitford and the current Duchess of Devonshire) and one of the great muckraking journalists of modern times. Leaving England for America, she pursued a career as an investigative reporter and unrepentant gadfly, publicizing not only the misdeeds of, most famously, the funeral business (The American Way of Death, a bestseller) and the prison business (Kind and Usual Punishment), but also of writing schools and weight-loss programs. Mitford’s diligence, unfailing skepticism, and acid pen made her one of the great chroniclers of the mischief people get up to in the pursuit of profit and the name of good. Poison Penmanship collects seventeen of Mitford’s finest pieces—about everything from crummy spas to network-TV censorship—and fills them out with the story of how she got the scoop and, no less fascinating, how the story developed after publication. The book is a delight to read: few journalists have ever been as funny as Mitford, or as gifted at getting around in those dark, cobwebbed corners where modern America fashions its shiny promises. It’s also an unequaled and necessary manual of the fine art of investigative reporting.
A journalist explores his family’s history to reveal the hybrid cultural and political landscape of Pakistan, the world’s first Islamic democracy Shahan Mufti’s family history, which he can trace back fourteen hundred years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammad, offers an enlightened perspective on the mystifying history of Pakistan. Mufti uses the stories of his ancestors, many of whom served as judges and jurists in Muslim sharia courts of South Asia for many centuries, to reveal the deepest roots—real and imagined—of Islamic civilization in Pakistan. More than a personal history, The Faithful Scribe captures the larger story of the world’s first Islamic democracy, and explains how the state that once promised to bridge Islam and the West is now threatening to crumble under historical and political pressure, and why Pakistan’s destiny matters to us all.
The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism
Author: Dean Starkman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Business & Economics
In this sweeping, incisive post mortem, Dean Starkman exposes the critical shortcomings that softened coverage in the business press during the mortgage era and the years leading up to the financial collapse of 2008. He locates the roots of the problem in the origin of business news as a market messaging service for investors in the early twentieth century. This access-dependent strain of journalism was soon opposed by the grand, sweeping work of the muckrakers. Propelled by the innovations of Bernard Kilgore, the great postwar editor of the Wall Street Journal, these two genres merged when mainstream American news organizations institutionalized muckraking in the 1960s, creating a powerful guardian of the public interest. Yet as the mortgage era dawned, deep cultural and structural shifts—some unavoidable, some self-inflicted—eroded journalism's appetite for its role as watchdog. The result was a deafening silence about systemic corruption in the financial industry. Tragically, this silence grew only more profound as the mortgage madness reached its terrible apogee from 2004 through 2006. Starkman frames his analysis in a broad argument about journalism itself, dividing the profession into two competing approaches—access reporting and accountability reporting—which rely on entirely different sources and produce radically different representations of reality. As Starkman explains, access journalism came to dominate business reporting in the 1990s, a process he calls "CNBCization," and rather than examining risky, even corrupt, corporate behavior, mainstream reporters focused on profiling executives and informing investors. Starkman concludes with a critique of the digital-news ideology and corporate influence, which threaten to further undermine investigative reporting, and he shows how financial coverage, and journalism as a whole, can reclaim its bite.
Conversations with America's Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft
Author: Robert Boynton
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Forty years after Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and Gay Talese launched the New Journalism movement, Robert S. Boynton sits down with nineteen practitioners of what he calls the New New Journalism to discuss their methods, writings and careers. The New New Journalists are first and foremost brilliant reporters who immerse themselves completely in their subjects. Jon Krakauer accompanies a mountaineering expedition to Everest. Ted Conover works for nearly a year as a prison guard. Susan Orlean follows orchid fanciers to reveal an obsessive subculture few knew existed. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spends nearly a decade reporting on a family in the South Bronx. And like their muckraking early twentieth-century precursors, they are drawn to the most pressing issues of the day: Alex Kotlowitz, Leon Dash, and William Finnegan to race and class; Ron Rosenbaum to the problem of evil; Michael Lewis to boom-and-bust economies; Richard Ben Cramer to the nitty gritty of politics. How do they do it? In these interviews, they reveal the techniques and inspirations behind their acclaimed works, from their felt-tip pens, tape recorders, long car rides, and assumed identities; to their intimate understanding of the way a truly great story unfolds. Interviews with: Gay Talese Jane Kramer Calvin Trillin Richard Ben Cramer Ted Conover Alex Kotlowitz Richard Preston William Langewiesche Eric Schlosser Leon Dash William Finnegan Jonathan Harr Jon Krakauer Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Michael Lewis Susan Orlean Ron Rosenbaum Lawrence Weschler Lawrence Wright
Only the scathing wit and searching intelligence of Jessica Mitford could turn an exposé of the American funeral industry into a book that is at once deadly serious and side-splittingly funny. When first published in 1963, this landmark of investigative journalism became a runaway bestseller and resulted in legislation to protect grieving families from the unscrupulous sales practices of those in "the dismal trade." Just before her death in 1996, Mitford thoroughly revised and updated her classic study. The American Way of Death Revisited confronts new trends, including the success of the profession's lobbyists in Washington, inflated cremation costs, the telemarketing of pay-in-advance graves, and the effects of monopolies in a death-care industry now dominated by multinational corporations. With its hard-nosed consumer activism and a satiric vision out of Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One, The American Way of Death Revisited will not fail to inform, delight, and disturb. "Brilliant--hilarious. . . . A must-read for anyone planning to throw a funeral in their lifetime."--New York Post "Witty and penetrating--it speaks the truth."--The Washington Post
The Year that Defined American Journalism explores the succession of remarkable and decisive moments in American journalism during 1897 – a year of significant transition that helped redefine the profession and shape its modern contours. This defining year featured a momentous clash of paradigms pitting the activism of William Randolph Hearst's participatory 'journalism of action' against the detached, fact-based antithesis of activist journalism, as represented by Adolph Ochs of the New York Times, and an eccentric experiment in literary journalism pursued by Lincoln Steffens at the New York Commercial-Advertiser. Resolution of the three-sided clash of paradigms would take years and result ultimately in the ascendancy of the Times' counter-activist model, which remains the defining standard for mainstream American journalism. The Year That Defined American Journalism introduces the year-study methodology to mass communications research and enriches our understanding of a pivotal moment in media history.
The Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead, Britain's First Investigative Journalist
Author: W. Sydney Robinson
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A major work by a brilliant young biographer, Muckraker details the tenacity and verve of one of Victorian Britain's most compelling characters. Credited with pioneering investigative reporting, W. T. Stead made a career of 'muckraking': revealing horrific practices in the hope of shocking authorities into reform. As the editor of the Northern Echo, he won the admiration of the Liberal statesman William Gladstone for his fierce denunciation of the Conservative government; at the helm of London's most ininfuential evening paper, the Pall Mall Gazette, he launched the career-defining Maiden Tribute campaign. To expose the scandal of child prostitution, Stead abducted thirteen-year-old Eliza Armstrong (thought by many to be the inspiration behind Eliza Doolittle, from friend George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion), thrusting him into a life of notoriety. Labelled a madman in later life for dabbling in the occult, W. T. Stead conducted his life with an invincible zeal right up until his tragic demise aboard the Titanic. Revealing a man full of curious eccentricities, W. Sydney Robinson charts the remarkable rise and fall of a true Fleet Street legend in this enthralling biography.
The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia
Author: Audrey Kahin,George McTurnan Kahin
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Category: Political Science
Based on access to secret documents and interviews with many of the participants, Subversion as Foreign Policy is an extraordinary account of civil war in Indonesia provoked by President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and resulting in the killing of thousands of Indonesians and the destruction of much of the country's air force and navy. "This startling new book reveals a covert intervention by the United States in Indonesia in the late 1950s involving, among other things, the supply of thousands of weapons, the creation and deployment of a secret CIA air force and logistical support from the Seventh Fleet. The intervention occurred on such a massive scale that it is difficult to believe it has been kept almost totally secret from the American public for nearly 40 years. And this CIA operation proved to be even more disastrous than the Bay of Pigs". -- San Francisco Chronicle "An exemplary study of an ignominious chapter of the Cold War in Southeast Asia". -- Journal of Asian Studies "Subversion as Foreign Policy is a remarkable book.... The Kahins have provided a rare insight into the workings of U.S. policy towards Indonesia, both clandestine and official". -- London Times Literary Supplement
From robber barons to titanic CEOs, from the labor unrest of the 1880s to the mass layoffs of the 1990s, two American Gilded Ages—one in the early 1900s, another in the final years of the twentieth century—mirror each other in their laissez-faire excess and rampant social crises. Both eras have ignited the civic passions of investigative writers who have drafted diagnostic blueprints for urgently needed change. The compelling narratives of the muckrakers—Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Ray Stannard Baker among them—became bestsellers and prizewinners a hundred years ago; today, Cecelia Tichi notes, they have found their worthy successors in writers such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Eric Schlosser, and Naomi Klein. In Exposés and Excess Tichi explores the two Gilded Ages through the lens of their muckrakers. Drawing from her considerable and wide-ranging work in American studies, Tichi details how the writers of the first muckraking generation used fact-based narratives in magazines such as McClure's to rouse the U.S. public to civic action in an era of unbridled industrial capitalism and fear of the immigrant "dangerous classes." Offering a damning cultural analysis of the new Gilded Age, Tichi depicts a booming, insecure, fortress America of bulked-up baby strollers, McMansion housing, and an obsession with money-as-lifeline in an era of deregulation, yawning income gaps, and idolatry of the market and its rock-star CEOs. No one has captured this period of corrosive boom more acutely than the group of nonfiction writers who burst on the scene in the late 1990s with their exposés of the fast-food industry, the world of low-wage work, inadequate health care, corporate branding, and the multibillion-dollar prison industry. And nowhere have these authors—Ehrenreich, Schlosser, Klein, Laurie Garrett, and Joseph Hallinan—revealed more about their emergence as writers and the connections between journalism and literary narrative than in the rich and insightful interviews that round out the book. With passion and wit, Exposés and Excess brings a literary genre up to date at a moment when America has gone back to the future.
How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America
Author: Peter Richardson
Publisher: The New Press
Category: Social Science
A Mother Jones "Best Book of 2009," A Bomb in Every Issue uncovers the largely untold story of Ramparts magazine, the spectacular San Francisco muckraker that captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s and repeatedly scooped the New York Times, changing American journalism forever. Launched in 1962 as a Catholic literary quarterly, Ramparts quickly transformed into a "radical slick," winning a George Polk Award in 1967 for its "explosive revival of the great muckraking tradition." According to the Los Angeles Times, the magazine "not only blew the cover off the biggest stories of the era, it also helped set the ideological agenda for its core demographic, the New Left, and forced the mainstream press to follow its lead." Ramparts' list of contributors—including Noam Chomsky, César Chávez, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Susan Sontag—formed a who’s who of the American left. Although Ramparts folded for good in 1975, former staffers founded Rolling Stone and Mother Jones and include some of the most illustrious names in journalism (names like Robert Scheer, Jann Wenner, and Warren Hinckle), and Ramparts remains an inspiration to investigative journalists today.