About this Item
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Title: THE MAGAZINE IN AMERICA, 1741-1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York
Publication Date: 1991
Edition: First Edition; First Printing.
About this title
Already popular in England, the magazine did not appear in America until 1741, the last of the print media to be established in the New World. Pioneered by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Noah Webster, these first periodicals were written for an elite, and often slavishly followed the patterns established by their British predecessors. Today, American magazine publishing is the most innovative in the world and, far from elitist, reaches a mass market of millions.
In this new volume, John Tebbel and Mary Ellen Zuckerman do for magazines what Tebbel did for book publishing in Between Covers, providing the first comprehensive one-volume history of the medium. This carefully researched and sweeping work ranges from tales of the earliest magazines, The General Magazine of Benjamin Franklin and American Magazine by Andrew Bradford, to contemporary giants such as TV Guide and Sports Illustrated, and includes a history of the business press. There are sections devoted to women's magazines--surprisingly diverse and widespread, even in the 19th century--and to periodicals for black Americans--an area most often overlooked in media history. All of the big names of magazine publishing are here, too: Hearst, the Harper Brothers, and Henry Luce, whose Time revolutionized the way news was reported, and whose Life became known as "America's magazine." Tebbel and Zuckerman cover an impressive array of magazines, from the staid (like William F. Buckley's National Review) to the offbeat (like Semiotext, which is aimed at "unidentified flying leftists, neo-pagans...and poetic terrorists"); and from the million-selling (which Ladies' Home Journal was the first to become in 1903) to the marginal (like The Masses, whose publishers invited Socialist Max Eastman to be editor with the succinct invitation, "You are elected editor of The Masses. No pay."). Along the way we find dozens of surprising details, even about the most familiar magazines; how many readers know, for example, that in the early part of this century, the publishers of Cosmopolitan wanted to establish a "Cosmopolitan University," and that they also tried to purchase Cuban independence from the Spanish for $100 million?
The Magazine in America is packed with odd facts, candid portraits, and other insights into the world of magazine publishing. From accounts of business deals to anecdotes of the people involved, there is something for everyone interested in the medium and its history.
About the Authors:
John Tebbel is the leading historian of American publishing and author of such books as The Press and the Presidency and Between Covers. Mary Ellen Zuckerman is Professor of Marketing at SUNY Geneseo. She was recently a Gannett Fellow in Media Studies at Columbia University, and is presently at McGill University as a Visiting Professor.
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