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This epic biography, with its remarkable new research and vivid, fast-paced writing, will delight anyone who wants to understand the tangled history of politics and the press in modern America.” —Debby Applegate, author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher “James McGrath Morris has given us everything we could have asked for in his new biography of Joseph Pulitzer. Gracefully written and thoroughly researched, his biography is easily the best we have on this remarkable man who so profoundly influenced the worlds of politics and publishing.” — David Nasaw, author of Andrew Carnegie Pulitzer is James McGrath Morris’s definitive biography of the Jewish Hungarian immigrant who created the modern American mass media—the first comprehensive biography of this remarkable historical icon in more than 40 years.
In this thorough, elegantly-written volume, biographer Morris (author of The Rose Man of Sing Sing, editor of Biographer's Craft magazine) explores the life of infamous media mogul Joseph Pulitzer, best known today for the journalism prize that bears his name. Pulitzer's story begins with the large Hungarian family of his mid-19th century youth, struck by monetary misfortune and the unexpected deaths of his father and some of his many siblings. Traveling to America in 1864, Pulitzer fought in the civil war before he settled in St. Louis, where he began his journey from newspaper reporter to politician to media baron. Morris goes into great detail regarding the events of Pulitzer's life and times, but also captures Pulitzer's character: hard-working, independent, and pursued by demons likely tied to his rough beginnings. Morris also notes Pulitzer's few, curiously strong attachments to his mother, wife, and an ambiguously sexual philosopher-mentor named Thomas Davidson. From the kill-or-be-killed ethos of his early journalistic and political career to his late-in-life preference for extreme solitude, Pulitzer proves a captivating figure, and Morris's handling superb. B&W photos