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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Stories that Changed America

Muckrakers of the 20th Century

by Carl Jensen

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Edited by Carl Jensen, PhD

With a foreword by Hugh Downs

Until the twentieth century, a "muckrake" was simply a three-pronged pitchfork-like tool used to clean stables and barns. But in March 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt appropriated the word to wield at investigative reporters for exposing corruption.

Exuberantly written, highly informative, Jensen's Stories That Changed America examines the work of twenty-one investigative writers, and shows how their efforts forever changed our country. Here are the pioneering muckrakers, like Upton Sinclair, author of the fact-based novel The Jungle, which inspired Theodore Roosevelt to sign the Pure Food and Drug Act into law; "Queen of the Muckrakers" Ida Mae Tarbell, whose McClure magazine exposé led to the dissolution of Standard Oil's monopoly; and Lincoln Steffens, a reporter who unearthed corruption in both municipal and federal governments. You'll also meet Margaret Sanger, the former nurse who coined the term "birth control"; George Seldes, the most censored journalist in American history; Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck; environmentalist Rachel Carson; National Organization of Women founder Betty Friedan; African American activist Malcolm X; consumer advocate Ralph Nader; and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters whose Watergate break-in coverage brought down President Richard Nixon.

The courageous writers Jensen includes in this deftly researched volume dedicated their lives to fight for social, civil, political, and environmental rights with their mighty pens.

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“A refreshingly old-line-liberal anthology that celebrates 21 crusader journalists who needed to change the world with their words—and did.”

blog — November 01

Celebrating 40 Years of Project Censored

Did you know that the U.S. military is deployed in 70% of the world's nations? Or that leaked State Deptartment cables show that the U.S. planned to instigate civil strife in Syria as early in 2006? What about the chronic problem of medical neglect in private, for-profit, U.S. immigrant-only jails?

No? Neither did the rest of the world. That's because these and countless other news items are suppressed or ignored by our nation's "free press" every day. For the past forty years, Project Censored has been unearthing the buried stories that corporate media deem unfit to print. They also just hosted a jam-packed Media Freedom Summit and co-founded the Global Critical Media Literacy Project in partnership with the Action Coalition for Media Education and the graduate program in Media Literacy and Digital Culture at Sacred Heart University.

To celebrate, we're showcasing Censored 2017 at a 25% off online discount and offering 50% off Censored backlist titles (from Censored 1996 to Censored 2006), along with select Seven Stoires books on media literacy, including titles by Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky.

Check out our discounted Project Censored and media literacy collection!



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Carl Jensen (1929–2015) was born in Brooklyn, NY, served in Air Force intelligence during the Korean War, and later worked in advertising during its Mad Men-era heyday. In the late sixties, realizing that his current occupation did not match his intellectual and humanitarian ambitions, he went back to school and earned his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In the mid-seventies, observing the increasing stranglehold corporate interests had on U.S. news media, Jensen saw the need for an independent organization capable of monitoring the news and exposing the corporate bias reflected in how events were—or weren’t—portrayed there. This organization became Project Censored, the media watchdog group that to this day continues its work covering stories suppressed or underreported by the mass media. In addition to editing Project Censored’s yearly anthologies, Jensen wrote and edited several other books of media criticism, including The Millennium: A Comedy of the Year 2000 and Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century.