Henry Demarest Lloyd 1984 Charged headlong into the Standard Oil Company with his book Wealth Against Commonwealth.
Thorstein Veblem 1899 Assailed the new rich in The Theory of the Leisure Class. This was a savage attack on “predatory wealth” and “conspicuous consumption”.
Jacob A. Riis 1890 Danish immigrant Reporter of the New York Sun Shocked the middle class with How The Other Half Lives It was a damning indictment of the dirt, disease, vice, and miseries of New York slums. The book deeply influenced a future New York City Police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Dreiser Novelist Financier (1912) The Titan (1914) In these two works, he used blunt prose to batter promoters and profiteers.
Most Aggressive Magazines (1902) McClure’s Cosmopolitan Collier’s Everybody’s
Muckrackers Exposing evil to the public was a flourishing industry. Enterprising editors financed extensive research and encouraged pugnacious writing by their young reporters. President Roosevelt branded them “Muckrackers” in 1906. He compared the reporters to the figure in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress who was so intent on racking manure, that he could not see the celestial crown hanging overhead.
Lincoln Steffens 1902 New York reporter Launched a series of articles in McClure’s titled “The Shame of the Cities.” Unmasked the corrupt alliance between nig business and municipal government.
Thomas W. Lawson Made $50 million on the stock market Rocketed the circulation of Everybody’s between 1905 and 1906 The series of articles were titled “Frenzied Finance” By fouling his own nest, he made many enemies among his rich associates Died a poor man
David G. Phillips 1906 Wrote a series of articles in the Cosmopolitan titled “The Treason of the Senate” Boldly stated that 75/90 senators did not represent the people at all, but represented railroads and trusts. Impressed President Roosevelt Continued his attacks through novels and was fatally shot by a deranged young man whose family he had allegedly maligned.
Social Evils Ray Stannard Baker’s Following the Color Line (1908) informed that 90% of the blacks lived in the south and 1/3 of them were illiterate. John Spargo’s The Bitter Cry of the Children brought to light the abuses of child labor that occurred.