The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens

The first of the muckrakers, in the finest tradition of American journalism

Here, in what The Nation publisher Victor Navasky says “ought to be assigned reading,” is the autobiography of one of the world’s first celebrity journalists: Lincoln Steffens, a man whose writing was so notorious that President Theodore Roosevelt coined a term for it—muckraking.

Growing up in Sacramento, Steffens (1866-1936) was an editor at the New York Evening Post, and later at McClure’s Magazine. As popular as he was cantankerous, he brushed shoulders with presidents and corporate barons, tsars and dictators. Inspiring, entertaining, and lyrical, The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens is the story of a brilliant reporter with a passion for examining the complex and contradictory conditions that breed corruption, poverty, and misery.

About the Editor

Thomas C. Leonard has published many books on the origins of modern American journalism, including The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting and News for All: America’s Coming-of-Age with the Press. He is a University Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, and a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism.