Muckraking [ePub]

by Ellen F. Fitzpatrick

This was an excellent book. It is well organized and carefully documented. In a short space, it offers an interesting, insightful view of a critical period in American history.

It was an engaging narrative well organized to provide the historical context needed to understand and appreciate the three essays. Despite criticism of the muckrakers’ efforts, I think their efforts were admirable, “a product of the social and political environment”of the time. Generally, their research was precise and thorough, and their writing style and presentation were inspired and clear despite the complexities of the issues.

Political commentator Walter Lippmann provided a thoughtful assessment of the value of the muckrakers:
There must have been real causes for dissatisfaction, or the land notorious for its worship of success would not have turned so savagely upon those who had achieved it….The muckrakers…played an important role in applying to business and politics an emerging public standard of ethics in government.

After President Theodore Roosevelt’s condemnation of muckraking in April 1906, the active muckraking movement slowly faded from American magazines.



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