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Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power    by James McGrath Morris order for
by James McGrath Morris
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

James McGrath Morris looks at the life of a man who is largely remembered today because of the literature and journalism prize that bears his name. However, during the 19th century, this Jewish Hungarian immigrant was as well known as Carnegie, Rockerfeller, Morgan or Vanderbilt.

Perhaps best known for the impact he had on American journalism, Joseph Pulitzer shaped the print media and created an empire that had immense political power. The media baron brought together emerging publishing technology to create a product that was not only informative but also entertaining. His efforts brought the newspaper into households throughout the country and allowed the entrepreneur to advance his progressive political agenda.

Pulitzer's classic battle with Theodore Roosevelt and the ensuing legal fight helped preserve freedom of the press at a time when powerful politicians were attempting to mute the voices of outspoken journalists.

Based on years of research and newly discovered documents, this portrait of an American media icon sheds new light on Joseph Pulitzer's life. Of course, the irony of this definitive biography is that it comes at a time when all its subject worked for is being challenged by economic conditions that threaten to change the very nature and integrity of modern journalism.

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