William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863-1910

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Oxford University Press, Apr 16, 1998 - History - 384 pages
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William Randolph Hearst was one of the most colorful and important figures of turn-of-the-century America, a man who changed the face of American journalism and whose influence extends to the present day. Now, in William Randolph Hearst, Ben Procter gives us the most authoritative account of Hearst's extraordinary career in newspapers and politics. Born to great wealth--his father was a partial owner of four fabulously rich mines--Hearst began his career in his early twenties by revitalizing a rundown newspaper, the San Franciso Examiner. Hearst took what had been a relatively sedate form of communicating information and essentially created the modern tabloid, complete with outrageous headlines, human interest stories, star columnists, comic strips, wide photo coverage, and crusading zeal. His papers fairly bristled with life. By 1910 he had built a newspaper empire--eight papers and two magazines read by nearly three million people. Hearst did much to create "yellow journalism"--with the emphasis on sensationalism and the lowering of journalistic standards. But Procter shows that Hearst's papers were also challenging and innovative and powerful: They exposed corruption, advocated progressive reforms, strongly supported recent immigrants, became a force in the Democratic Party, and helped ignite the Spanish-American War. Procter vividly depicts Hearst's own political career from his 1902 election to Congress to his presidential campaign in 1904 and his bitter defeats in New York's Mayoral and Gubernatorial races. Written with a broad narrative sweep and based on previously unavailable letters and manuscripts, William Randoph Hearst illuminates the character and era of the man who left an indelible mark on American journalism.
 

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Contents

1 The Romantic Legend of the Hearsts
1
2 The Rebel from California
11
3 The Newspaperman
37
4 Monarch of the Dailies
59
5 News War in New York
79
6 Yellow Journalism
95
7 The journals War
115
8 Political Activist
135
Illustrations
150
9 Running for President
163
10 Uncrowned Mayor of New York
193
11 Patron Saint of the Independents
229
Notes
265
Index
335
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About the author (1998)

Ben Procter is Professor of History at Texas Christian University and the author of Not Without Honor: The Life of John H. Reagan, Battle of the Alamo, and Just One Riot. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

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