Like Alfred Nobel, Joseph Pulitzer is better known today for the prize that bears his name than his contribution to history. Yet, in 19th-century industrial America, while Carnegie provided the steel, Rockefeller the oil, Morgan the money, and Vanderbilt the railroads, Pulitzer invented the modern mass media. Pulitzer traces the epic story of this Jewish Hungarian immigrant’s rise through American politics and into journalism, where he accumulated immense power and wealth, only to fall blind and become a lonely tormented recluse wandering the globe — but not before Pulitzer transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence.
James McGrath Morris is the editor of the monthly Biographer’s Craft and serves as the Executive Director of Biographers International Organization. His previous book, The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism, was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year for 2004. He is currently working on the biography of journalist Ethel L. Payne.