Pulitzer : a life in politics, print, and power

by James McGrath Morris

Hardcover, 2010




New York : Harper, [2010]


Like Alfred Nobel, Joseph Pulitzer is better known today for the prize that bears his name than his contribution to history. Yet, in 19th-century industrial America, Pulitzer invented the modern mass media. Morris offers the definitive biography of this remarkable icon."Comprehensive biography of media mogul Joseph Pulitzer"--Provided by publisher.

Media reviews

6 more
No doubt I will not be the only one to remark upon the timing of this excellent book: a thorough, possibly definitive biography of the man who shaped the modern newspaper more than anyone else -- being published at the precise moment when the modern newspaper is staring into the abyss. ... There have been other biographies of Pulitzer, most notably W.A. Swanberg's published in 1967, but James McGrath Morris's is the best. It is authoritative, lucid and fair ...
Associated Press
The drama of Pulitzer's own life story rivals any that might appear in his news pages.
Booklist (starred review)
"Morris deftly outlines the transformations of this era by focusing on Pulitzer's own story...The most fascinating part of the biography, though, is Morris' depiction of the blindness that beset Pulitzer at the height of his fame...Morris gives a fascinating portrayal of the man, his era, and his long-ranging impact."
Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Morris presents a colorful and critical account of the life of Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) and Pulitzer's transformative use of the press in his battles for reform...this book offers new insights derived in part from previously unpublished sources from Pulitzer's brother and wife (to her lover), both providing enriched context for Pulitzer's often turbulent family life...With breezy prose style and expository endnotes taking earlier secondary sources to account, this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for both casual readers and students of the history of American journalism between the Civil War and World War I."
Kirkus Reviews
A substantial, balanced biography of a complicated, mesmerizing figure who embodied both the American Dram and the American Nightmare...Morris aptly depicts a volatile, irascible, impulsive, unscrupulous man who betrayed and subverted his brother, verbally abused his wife and children, preached democracy, practiced autocracy and believed fervently that he was never wrong. A Horatio Alger tale shaded with Shakespearean darkness."

User reviews

LibraryThing member applemcg
this is the age my grandfather grew from; more later when i finish the book; initial reaction: good book, unpleasant man!
LibraryThing member Athenable
Update: one of the best books I've read in a long time. Pulitzer shaped this country with his sharp intelligence and insistence on journalistic independence. I highly recommend it to biography lovers and anyone who wants to understand that time in America's history.

I won a copy through First Reads and it arrived today! I've just started it, but so far it's an entertaining, informative read. Looking forward to more of the same.… (more)
LibraryThing member JBD1
An excellent biography of Pulitzer, whose life makes for totally engrossing reading (though he seemed like a total pill). The author's deep and thorough research is obvious, but the book remains thoroughly readable.



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