Event—Public Programming

Two Books on Newspapers and the Making of Modern America

Dead Tree Media

Dead Tree Media

Dead Tree Media

Listen to an audio recording of this program.

Join us as authors Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm discuss the rise and fall of the printed newspaper, in Chicago and nationwide.

Guarneri's Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans tells the linked histories of daily newspapers and the cities they served. Guarneri shows that in the early twentieth century, newspapers did not just report on cities, but truly helped to build them by hosting marketplaces, waging civic campaigns, and teaching readers new urban habits. She looks beyond newspapers’ front pages to much-loved features such as the sports page, the Sunday magazine, and the comic strips. Although dismissed by critics as crass and commercial, these features attracted millions of new readers and magnified the power of the paper.

Stamm's Dead Tree Media: Manufacturing the Newspaper in Twentieth-Century North America reveals the international history of the commodity chains connecting Canadian trees and US readers. Drawing on newly available corporate documents and research in archives across North America, and focusing particularly on the Chicago Tribune Company, Stamm traces newspapers' industrial production from the forest to the newsstand. He provides an account of the obscure and often hidden labor involved in this manufacturing process, driven by not only publishers and journalists but also lumberjacks, paper mill workers, policymakers, chemists, and urban and regional planners.

After their talk, the authors will sign copies of the books, which will be available for purchase in the Newberry Rosenberg Bookshop.

Julia Guarneri, a historian of American culture, media, and urban life, is a lecturer in US history at the University of Cambridge.

Michael Stamm, a political and cultural historian whose research explores media and journalism history, is associate professor of history at Michigan State University.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute, and explore materials about journalism and journalists in the Newberry's Modern Manuscripts collection.

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