Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest

Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest

Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest

Charles F. Lummis: Editor of the Southwest

Excerpt

This is a study of a man and his magazine. It is not biography, nor is it the history of a western monthly, although it contains elements of both. It might be considered a chapter in the history of personal journalism, for Charles F. Lummis and Out West can claim a position on the far western flank of that company of American editors inextricably linked with their media -- men like Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, Hezekiah Niles of the Weekly Register, and E. L. Godkin of the Nation. Viewed from another aspect, the study is in large part regional history with a social and cultural emphasis, for much of the narrative is concerned with demonstrating the dedication of Lummis' magazine to southern California and the Southwest and revealing it as a reliable reflector of the regional scene. Is there too much Lummis in the story? Perhaps, but Out West was so clear a transmitter of its editor's ideas, so consistent an expositor of his enthusiasms, so faithful an extension of his personality that surely the reader deserves to know Lummis the man as well as Lummis the editor. Frequently the focus is on the magazine, at times to the virtual exclusion of Lummis as in the account of the monthly's founding or in the chapter devoted to lesser contributors. There is then a shifting focus, alternating between the man and the magazine and often merging the two. Through this approach the writer seeks to achieve integration of the two major elements in the story -- Lummis and Out West.

The suggestion that Charles Lummis and his western monthly were worth investigation came from Professor John W. Caughey of the University of California, Los Angeles. His guidance, encouragement, and understanding while the study was in progress have produced a debt that can be gratefully acknowledged but scarcely repaid.

Turbesé Lummis Fiske made available her father's journals and was a most gracious hostess on the occasion of several visits . . .

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