At the dawn of the twentieth century, Lincoln Steffens, an internationally known and respected political insider, went rogue to work for McClure’s Magazine. Credited as the proverbial father of muckraking reporting, Steffens quickly rose to the top of McClure’s team of investigative journalists, earning him the attention of many powerful politicians who utilized his knack for tireless probing to battle government corruption and greedy politicians. A mentor of Walter Lippmann, friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and advisor of Woodrow Wilson, Steffens is best known for bringing to light the Mexican Revolution, the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times, and the Versailles peace talks.
Now, with print journalism and investigative reporters on the decline, Lincoln Steffens’ biography serves as a necessary call to arms for the newspaper industry. Hartshorn’s extensive research captures each detail of Steffens’ life—from his private letters to friends to his long and colorful career—and delves into the ongoing internal struggle between his personal life and his overpowering devotion to the “cause.”