The Sun Shines for All: Journalism and Ideology in the Life of Charles A. Dana

Janet E. Steele, Author Syracuse University Press $35 (212p) ISBN 978-0-8156-2579-7
This excellent scholarly work interweaves biography with a consideration of 19th-century American social currents. Dana, born in New Hampshire in 1819, left Harvard after a year of being socially ostracized due to his poverty and joined Brook Farm, the famous hotbed of New England transcendentalism. There, he became a convert to the philosophy of Frenchman Charles Fourier, who preached the perfectibility of humans and cooperation among the classes. He also met Horace Greeley, who gave him his first job in journalism, as an editor of the New York Tribune , where he remained for 16 years. After working for the War Department during the Civil War, Dana in 1867 bought the New York Sun , which he transformed into the voice of American workers, immigrants and ethnic communities. By the time of his death in 1897, Dana had grown conservative and been replaced by Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World as journalism's preeminent advocate of the country's urban workers. Steele, who teaches rhetoric and communications at the University of Virginia, traces the evolution of Dana's career and ideas in a fine contribution to the history of journalism. Photos. ( Aug. )
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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