The Journalist as Reformer: Henry Demarest Lloyd and Wealth against Commonwealth

Synopsis

Henry Demarest Lloyd was one of the post-bellum 19th-century's best known journalists and non-fiction writers. In fact, only E.L. Godkin exceeded Lloyd in influence and prestige, and Godkin wrote no book-length expose with the impact of Lloyd's 1894 Wealth Against Commonwealth. This biography, based in part on previously unpublished archival information, is a study of the mentality of the journalist as an advocate for reform. It is an examination of Wealth Against Commonwealth, the most influential expose and "starting point for every public investigation" of the late 19th-century industrial monopolies. Lloyd's pre- and post-Wealth journalism is investigated as well, including "Story of a Great Monopoly," Lloyd's 1881 Atlantic Monthly article said to be the first example of American muckraking, and Lloyd's published investigations of reforms such as cooperatives, labor arbitration, minimum wage, and social security. His contact with a variety of his intellectual contemporaries is also featured, including Horace Greeley, Jane Addams, Ida M. Tarbell, Samuel F. Gompers, Clarence S. Darrow, Joseph Medill, Henry George, William Dean Howells, and Eugene V. Debs.