American Mass-Market Magazines

By Alan Nourie; Barbara Nourie | Go to book overview

V VANITY FAIR

While the history of Vanity Fair can be traced back through a series of titles to 1889, it is with the appearance of volume 1, number 1 of Dress and Vanity Fair in September 1913 that the magazine's unique identity began to emerge. The seeds sown in that September issue blossomed so fruitfully that four issues later, in January 1914, Dress was dropped from the title, which became simply Vanity Fair.

But from that first issue, heralded by its editors as the birth of "a new publication, with no preconceived notions and no prejudices," its guiding purpose was clear, if also ambivalent: to chronicle "the brighter side of life . . . the joy of living . . . and much, too, of its more serious aspects" (September 1913, p. 13). By celebrating "the wonder and variety of American life," its pages sought to present to readers "cheerfully, month by month, a record of current achievements in all the arts and a mirror of the progress and promise of American life" (September 1914, p. 15).

Under the editorial policies of Frank Crowninshield, who became editor in March 1914 and whose credentials included having served as publisher of the Bookman and art editor of the Century, the magazine's raison d'être occasionally took on the zealous overtones of a social missionary. Vanity Fair would counter the puritanical "tendency . . . of many parental warnings, admonitory sermons, and somewhat lugubrious editorials" to condemn the "increased devotion [in recent American life] to pleasure, to happiness, to dancing, to sport (in which we appear to have a laughable lead over the rest of the world), and to all forms of cheerfulness." Americans "as a nation, have come to realize the need for more cheerfulness, for hiding a solemn face, for a fair measure of pluck, and for great good humor." Vanity Fair would satiate that need by looking "at the highly-vitalized, electric, and diversified life of our day from the frankly cheerful

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American Mass-Market Magazines
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A 3
  • The American Farmer 3
  • American Heritage 7
  • American Magazine and Historical Chronicle 12
  • American Mercury 13
  • The American Whig Review 18
  • Argosy 29
  • Atlantic Monthly 32
  • C 47
  • Changing Times 47
  • The Columbian Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine 58
  • Cosmopolitan 78
  • Crawdaddy 88
  • D 95
  • Debow's Review 95
  • E 103
  • F 119
  • G 131
  • H 149
  • Health 152
  • High Times 161
  • Home Mechanix 165
  • Horizon 170
  • I 177
  • K the Kiplinger Magazine. See Changing Times 181
  • L 193
  • Liberty 195
  • Life 207
  • Lippincott's Magazine 213
  • Littell's Living Age 222
  • Look 225
  • M 235
  • Mcclure's Magazine 247
  • N 271
  • National Police Gazette 284
  • Niles' Weekly Register 329
  • O 341
  • P/Q 349
  • Parade 349
  • People Weekly 359
  • Playboy 367
  • Playgirl 375
  • Popular Science: the What's New Magazine 385
  • Prevention Magazine 399
  • Psychology Today 404
  • R 419
  • Reader's Digest 425
  • Rolling Stone 442
  • S 445
  • Saturday Review 452
  • Scribner's Magazine 458
  • The Smart Set 467
  • Smithsonian 474
  • Sunset 479
  • T 491
  • Travel-Holiday 507
  • True Story 510
  • Tv Guide 519
  • U 529
  • Usa Weekend 531
  • U.S. News and World Report 534
  • V 547
  • Vanity Fair 547
  • Village Voice 551
  • Vogue 556
  • W 561
  • Index 585
  • Contributors 605
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