By Harry Haskell
On the flip of the 20th century, the Kansas urban famous person was once a trust-busting newspaper acclaimed for its revolutionary spirit; fifty years later it used to be a busted belief, specified within the most crucial antitrust motion ever introduced opposed to an American day-by-day. Haskell takes readers into the superstar s urban room and govt workplaces and tells the tale of the 3 males with contrasting personalities and agendas who formed the paper: William Rockhill Nelson, one of the final of the good own editors from journalism s golden age; the scholarly Henry J. Haskell, who led the celebrity to its top of effect within the Nineteen Thirties and 40s; and Roy A. Roberts, who went directly to mix the jobs of newspaper writer and political kingmaker. Haskell recounts such milestones because the famous person s position within the urban appealing stream that helped rework the US s city facilities, the state s access into worldwide wars, a daring yet ill-starred scan in worker possession, and the paper s conflict with Boss Pendergast s mythical political computer.
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Additional info for Boss-busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and Its Star
25 Its pronouncements carried the more weight in that they emanated from the paper’s own manifest decorum, decency, and good taste. Like Pulitzer, Nelson understood that the acquisition of power and influence in the newspaper business was largely a numbers game. But whereas Pulitzer counted his mass readership in the hundreds of thousands, Nelson honed in on a relatively small group of movers, shakers, and taste makers. Kansas City in the late 1800s was rapidly approaching maturity. It needed what every growing city needed—population, investment, and clean, progressive government.
Nelson’s journalistic model would be the high-class Boston Transcript, whose prestige rested on a slender base of some thirty thousand “serious-minded” subscribers. “I do not want the Star to be a Transcript,” Nelson would tell his staff in later years, “for the latter does not seek any circulation that is not of its kind, and I want all kinds, but I for sure want the Star to have the necessary 30,000. We can get along without the baseball extras, the wasted papers in the street cars, the Board of Trade and Stock Yards circulation but the loss of those 30,000 serious-minded readers would mean the Star’s finish and so T he Daily W.
Arriving at Kansas City’s new Union Depot in early August 1880, the thirtynine-year-old Nelson was a picture of health and confidence: portly, babyfaced, clean-shaven, his hair already thinning and gray as iron. Morss, his junior by nearly a dozen years, was slight of build and, as would shortly become apparent, constitutionally far from robust. With his bushy side-whiskers and pince-nez spectacles, he looked more like a mild-mannered bank clerk than a hard-boiled newsman. The partners took rooms in the Pacific House Hotel at Fourth and Delaware, in what passed for the central business district.
Boss-busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and Its Star by Harry Haskell