BA in History, West Virginia University, 2012
History Journalism in the United States
"Gilded Pluralism: The New York Press and Political Culture, 1870-1920"
My work explores the political vision of liberalism as it appeared in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York City daily newspapers. I examine how ideas of race, class, and national communications came together in liberal editorials during the period when the United States emerged as a modern industrial nation. In a fin de siècle society multiplying in demographic, economic, and cultural complexity, New York’s leading practitioners of liberal journalism helped to shape public discourse. In the process, they editorialized on behalf of the traditional authority of Anglo-American liberals in a rapidly changing world. My study suggests that perceptions of a more plural society, in turn, drove liberals who helmed major urban dailies to elaborate a more expansive and ambitious vision of liberal civilization. The result was what I call a “gilded pluralism” in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century journalism, as the political values of orthodox liberalism evolved alongside the imperatives of newspaper professionalization amid a newly diverse culture and political society.