The Smart Magazines: 50 Years of Literary Revelry and High Jinks at Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Life, Esquire, and the S

George H. Douglas, Author Archon Books $32.5 (229p) ISBN 978-0-208-02309-4
The five ``smart magazines'' whose fortunes are chronicled here-- Vanity Fair , New Yorker , Life , Esquire and Smart Set --were designed, at least superficially, for social elites but reached out to a sizable audience. Sharing a community of talent, these magazines attracted E. B. White, O. Henry, Dorothy Parker, Anita Loos, Edmund Wilson, H. L. Mencken, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other literary upstarts, disaffected eccentrics and sardonic castaways. The magazines evolved drastically. Vanity Fair was launched in 1913 as a voice for the avant-garde. Life , begun as a humor weekly in 1883, was sold to Time Inc. in 1936 for its foray into photo journalism. Douglas, an English professor at the University of Illinois, brings to life each magazine's reigning personalities and politics in a delightful, gossipy collective portrait that evokes a journalistic era when substance counted as much as slickness. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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