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Newsprint Metropolis

City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans

Julia Guarneri

Newsprint Metropolis

Julia Guarneri

368 pages | 8 color plates, 59 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226341330 Will Publish November 2017
E-book $45.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226341477 Will Publish November 2017
At the close of the nineteenth century, new printing and paper technologies fueled an expansion of the newspaper business. Newspapers soon saturated the United States, especially its cities, which were often home to more than a dozen dailies apiece. Using New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Chicago as case studies, Julia Guarneri shows how city papers became active agents in creating metropolitan spaces and distinctive urban cultures.

Newsprint Metropolis offers a vivid tour of these papers, from the front to the back pages. Paying attention to much-loved features, including comic strips, sports pages, advice columns, and Sunday magazines, she tells the linked histories of newspapers and of the cities they served. Guarneri shows how themed sections for women, businessmen, sports fans, and suburbanites illustrated entire ways of life built around consumer products. But while papers provided a guide to individual upward mobility, they also fostered a climate of civic concern and responsibility. Charity campaigns and metropolitan sections painted portraits of distinctive, cohesive urban communities. Real estate sections and classified ads boosted the profile of the suburbs, expanding metropolitan areas while maintaining cities’ roles as economic and information hubs. All the while, editors were drawing in new reading audiences—women, immigrants, and working-class readers—helping to give rise to the diverse, contentious, and commercial public sphere of the twentieth century.
Contents
Introduction
 
One: A New Newspaper Model
 
Two: Making Metropolitans
 
Three: Building Print Community
 
Four: Connecting City, Suburb, and Region
 
Five: Nationalizing the News
 
Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Appendix: Sources

Notes
Review Quotes
David Nasaw, author of The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst
“Beautifully written, brightly illustrated, and prodigiously researched, Guarneri’s Newsprint Metropolis will, the day it is published, become the ‘go-to’ book on the history of twentieth century American newspapers. We forget, at our peril, how important the daily newspaper was in spreading wide and far the gospel of business, the joys of consumerism, the tensions between the local and the national, and the changing gender roles that defined daily life in the decades surrounding the turn of the century. Guarneri’s new book, like all good history, brings our present into focus by illuminating some essential, but nearly forgotten aspects of our past.”
David Paul Nord, Indiana University
Newsprint Metropolis is a splendid study of big city daily and Sunday newspapers at the dawn of the twentieth century. Guarneri explores the marvelously diverse universe of newspaper content and influence, from news and advertising, to comics and advice columns, to politics and popular culture. And she persuasively supports a bold claim: that newspapers were not just chroniclers but were creators of the modern American city.”
Alice Fahs, author of Out on Assignment: Newspaper Women and the Making of Modern Public Space
“Guarneri’s decision to examine mass-readership newspapers in four major cities allows her not only to look at the epicenter of newspaper publishing at the turn of the century—New York—but also to examine the similarities and differences in newspaper publishing in other major metropolitan markets. The result is detailed and fascinating social history, as well as a set of interlinked arguments regarding the ‘metropolitan’ and its relationship to the creation of regional and national cultures.”
David Henkin, University of California, Berkeley
“Not in several decades has a scholar offered as comprehensive and geographically balanced an account of the American daily newspaper in its commercial and aesthetic heyday. In clear, crisp, and lively prose, at once authoritative and evocative, Newsprint Metropolis neither presumes nor demands prior familiarity with the period or the historical literature. Instead it rewards curiosity about a time when cheap daily papers anchored, expanded, and reshaped their massive readership’s sense of community and place.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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