The Era of the Muckrakers

The Era of the Muckrakers

The Era of the Muckrakers

The Era of the Muckrakers

Excerpt

It has been the endeavor in this volume to present in readable form an interesting and picturesque phase of recent American history. The period covered is, roughly, the first decade of the twentieth century. The source from which most of the information has been derived is the popular magazine. In order to understand how the magazines came to engage in muckraking, a dozen of the leading periodicals of the last decade of the nineteenth century were carefully examined. The results of this phase of the investigation will be found in the first four chapters, but particularly in Chapter III.

The statement has been made that the muckrakers and their work do not deserve dignified historical treatment. Whether or not the present study can be called dignified, the reader must judge for himself; but if it sheds any new light on the period under consideration, it can--from the historical point of view--be justified.

In some ways, it seems to the writer, conditions in this country are today very similar to those of thirty years ago. There is corruption in every type of government unit, from the small town or county up to the federal government. The buying and selling of votes is so common in certain sections that newspapers comment on it as a matter of course. And behind all this, today as thirty years ago, is business. The treatment that the laborers receive in some of the coal fields of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania is almost beyond belief. There is still the old problem of power . . .

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