American Journalists (Oxford Profiles)

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9780195328370: American Journalists (Oxford Profiles)

In 60 essays, this volume profiles American journalists from colonial times to the present--reporters, editors, publishers, photographers, and broadcasters--whose careers reflected major developments in their profession and in the history of the United States. In a speech to Newsweek correspondents in 1963, publisher Philip Graham described journalism as "the first rough draft of history." These journalists confronted and helped to shape the discussion of major issues and events in American history, from the American revolution through abolition, westward expansion, the Civil War, the civil rights movement, immigration, and the women's movement, as well as major constitutional issues involving the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press. Biographies of well-known journalists, from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine to Walter Cronkite and Rupert Murdoch, appear alongside some who may be less familiar, such as Elias Boudinot, founder of the first Cherokee language newspaper; Abraham Cahan, editor of the Jewish Daily Forward; and Daniel Craig, who in the 1830s used carrier pigeons to ferry the news. Other subjects include Margaret Green Draper, the revolutionary printer; Claude Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press; photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White; war correspondent Ernie Pyle; and Allen Neuharth, founder of USA Today. Illustrations, fact boxes, and quotations from the subjects themselves make this volume an indispensable reference for students of American history as well as a fascinating read.

Journalists profiled include:
Horace Greeley
Frederick Douglass
Mark Twain
Thomas Nast
Joseph Pulitzer
Nellie Bly
William Randolph Hearst
Ida Wells-Barnett
H. L. Mencken
Dorothy Thompson
Walter Winchell
Red Smith
Edward R. Murrow
Walter Cronkite
Bernard Shaw
Cokie Roberts
Manuel de Dios Unanue
and many more

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About the Author:

Donald A. Ritchie is the author of The Young Oxford Companion to the Congress of the United States, Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents. He is associate historian of the U.S. Senate.


"An informative compendium of biographical sketches detailing the personal and professional lives of an array of American journalists from 1700 to the present.... Especially fascinating and refreshing is the inclusion of a number of groundbreaking female journalists and several members of the long overlooked and vastly underrated African American press.... This lively collective biography also doubles as an invaluable introduction to the evolution of American journalism."--Booklist

"Reports on the leading figures of the American press from the early eighteenth century to today."--Publishers Weekly

"A real treat."--School Library Journal

"The readable text by Donald Ritchie shows how the work of these journalists influenced events and issues in our history... Illustrations, fact boxes, and quotations from the subjects themselves make this volume a valuable reference for students. By grouping the biographies into four time periods, the author increases the usefulness of this work in the curriculum."--Library Lane

"It wasn't always the case that historical collections like this, by a white author who profiles 57 journalists and adds shorter bios of 80 others, recognized people of color.... Well-referenced book for students."--National Association of Black Journalists

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