William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910

By Ben Procter | Go to book overview

5 News War in New York

For William Randolph Hearst, no place in the world held a greater attraction than New York City in the fall of 1895. Here was the center of American business activity, the hub of high society in the United States, the mecca for millions of immigrants who desired to pursue the "American Dream," the siren's song for rural Americans who sought the excitement and glamor of a city on the move. On every corner, change was readily apparent. Skyscrapers, pointing majestically upward, followed the innovative principle set forth by architect Louis Sullivan that "form follows function." They increasingly dotted the horizon. Elevated trains, in a rumbling cacophony of grinding starts and stops, roared continuously throughout many areas of the metropolis, bringing hordes of people into the center of the city to work, and returning them home again at the end of the day. Electric lights illuminated the streets, enhancing urban night- life with glittering theaters and quality restaurants such as Delmonico's. Electric wiring for telephones was also increasingly evident. All these factors made New Yorkers realize that technology was changing their lives from year to year, if not from day to day. 1

New York was a city of contrasts. With the population exploding in the 1890s from 1.5 million to almost 3.5 million, the gulf between rich and poor was ever widening. The posh hotels along lower Fifth Avenue and the magnificent graystone mansions of Mrs. William Astor, A. T. Stewart, J. P. Morgan, William C. Whitney, and the Vanderbilts opposite Central Park mirrored the vast wealth of American captains of industry, while nearby, along the East Side, the "rocky wastes" of Shantytown stretched for miles from 42nd to 110 streets, where, as one historian noted, "Irish squatters, goats, and pigs [were] living promiscuously together." In contrast to the "pillared citadels" of capital along Wall Street

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William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Romantic Legend of the Hearsts 1
  • 2 - The Rebel from California 11
  • 3 - The Newspaperman 37
  • 4 - Monarch of the Dallies 59
  • 5 - News War in New York 79
  • 6 - Yellow Journalism 95
  • 7 - The Journal's War 115
  • 8 - Political Activist 135
  • 9 - Running for President 163
  • 10 - Uncrowned Mayor of New York 193
  • 11 - Patron Saint of the Independents 229
  • Notes 265
  • Index 335
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