Magazines in the United States: Their Social and Economic Influence

Magazines in the United States: Their Social and Economic Influence

Magazines in the United States: Their Social and Economic Influence

Magazines in the United States: Their Social and Economic Influence

Excerpt

The United States is, and has been since Colonial times, a magazine-reading country. In 1948 nearly 7,000 periodicals other than newspapers were published here. About three and a half billion copies of American magazines were printed and circulated during the year. Magazines go everywhere in this country. They are seen by almost everyone and read by almost everyone who is able to read. It is hardly possible to avoid them, and, seemingly, Americans have never wished to avoid them.

This book attempts to show, from general magazines that were important in their time and from some of the nationally circulated magazines of today, something of the social and economic influence of magazines in the United States. Following a broad chronological pattern, it traces and gauges the force of such periodicals from Benjamin Franklin General Magazine in 1741 to the magazines of the present, critically examining both their achievements and their shortcomings. It shows how magazines have reflected and moulded American tastes, habits, manners, interests, and beliefs; how they have shaped opinion on public questions; how they have crusaded effectively for social and political reforms; how magazine advertising, as well as magazine editorial content, has affected the American home and standard of living.

The study was undertaken in order to bring together in a single volume material that has hitherto been widely scattered and in some instances not readily available. The comparatively few books and the many articles which have been written about magazines have sometimes touched on the subject, but have not . . .

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