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Muckrakers: How Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and Lincoln Steffens Helped Expose Scandal, Inspire Reform, and Invent Investigative Journalism

by Ann Bausum

Published by National Geographic, 2007
111 pages
ISBN: 9781426301377

Ages 11-15

Investigative journalism is something we take for granted today. But early in the twentieth century it was just developing as a facet of journalism—one seeded by the fierce desire to expose corruption and foment change. Ann Bausum profiles the emergence of investigative journalism through the work of three pioneers in the field: Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and Lincoln Steffens. Steffens laid bare political corruption in St. Louis, Minneapolis, and other cities; Tarbell took on the Rockefeller family and the monopoly of Standard Oil that trod on smaller businesses and workers; Sinclair exposed the terrible conditions in the meatpacking industry, hoping to improve the plight of its workers (instead his work horrified the American public about unsanitary food and inspired food safety legislation). Bausum also touches upon the work of other journalists, as well as groundbreaking editors at magazines such as McClure’s who supported and published their work. Brief accounts of key events and individuals in the history of investigative journalism, from the mid-eighteenth century though today, end this eye-opening volume.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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