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The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Rediscover a man Americans turned to not only for news but for humor & wisdom. Growing up in Sacramento, Steffens (1866-1936) was an editor at the NY Evening Post, later at McClure’s Magazine. As popular as he was cantankerous, he brushed shoulders with presidents & corporate barons, tsars & dictators. His efforts to expose corruption took him all over the nati ...more
Paperback, California Legacy Book, 884 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Heyday (first published 1931)
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Jon Boorstin
This book brings to life New York City when it was defining itself. Cities, like most things, are most interesting when they are on the way up, and Steffens lived New York's Salad days, and brings them vividly to life. Life was larger than life then.
Connie
Apr 30, 2013 Connie marked it as to-read
Mentioned in Marilyn Monroe's autobiography.
The first book she had read that told the truth about people and life.
Thomas
The news reporters would get bored, get drunk, sit on the fire escape and throw grapefruit at passersby. Love it.
loafingcactus
It astonishes me that we have all heard of De Tocqueville, Alexis yet Lincoln Steffens remains in comparative obscurity. I would never have read this book were it not some off hand recommendation I read somewhere that I don't even remember.

What you can say of both de Tocqueville and Steffens is this: there is nothing a person can say about American politics which each of them did not already say in his own way.

Steffens obscurity is probably related to the fact that his observations do not fit an
...more
Lauren
Jun 01, 2011 Lauren added it
Studying Abroad//Journalism on Wall Street//"Muckraking" crime

I liked Steffens for his writing style -- simple, straight forward -- and his perceptiveness. This book is full of the kind of stories that make the author seem wise beyond his years, but they really happened, and they're well written.
Dondugdale
Oct 24, 2010 Dondugdale is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Historically interesting, especially if you're into the history of journalism or U.S. history around 1890-1920. The first third of the book is the best written.
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Steffens was born April 6, 1866, in San Francisco. He grew up in a wealthy family and attended a military academy. He studied in France and Germany following graduation from the University of California.
Steffens began his career as a journalist at the New York Evening Post . He later became an editor of McClure's magazine, where he became part of a celebrated muckraking trio with Ida Tarbell an
...more
More about Lincoln Steffens...
The Shame of the Cities The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens, Vol 1 The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens, Vol 2 The System: Journalism 1897 - 1920 The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens: Complete in One Volume

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“An educated mind is nothing but the God-given mind of a child after his parents’ and his grandparents’ generation have got through molding it. We can’t help teaching you; you will ask that of us; but we are prone to teach you what we know, and I am going, now and again, to warn you:

Remember we really don’t know anything. Keep your baby eyes (which are the eyes of genius) on what we don’t know. That is your playground, bare and graveled, safe and unbreakable.”
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