Mr. Associated Press

Kent Cooper and the Twentieth-Century World of News
Author: Gene Allen
Profiling the news exec who led the AP into the forefront of journalism
Cloth – $125
Paper – $29.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 06/20/2023
Cloth: 06/20/2023
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About the Book

Between 1925 and 1951, Kent Cooper transformed the Associated Press, making it the world’s dominant news agency while changing the kind of journalism that millions of readers in the United States and other countries relied on. Gene Allen’s biography is a globe-spanning account of how Cooper led and reshaped the most important institution in American--and eventually international--journalism in the mid-twentieth century.

Allen critically assesses the many new approaches and causes that Cooper championed: introducing celebrity news and colorful features to a service previously known for stodgy reliability, pushing through disruptive technological innovations like the instantaneous transmission of news photos, and leading a crusade to bring American-style press freedom--inseparable from private ownership, in Cooper’s view--to every country. His insistence on truthfulness and impartiality presents a sharp contrast to much of today’s fractured journalistic landscape.

Deeply researched and engagingly written, Mr. Associated Press traces Cooper’s career as he built a new foundation for the modern AP and shaped the twentieth-century world of news.

About the Author

Gene Allen is a professor emeritus of journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University. He is the author of Making National News: A History of Canadian Press.


"Mr. Associated Press is well researched, based on extensive primary sources, including an adroit use of the trade press. It will be of interest to media historians, historians of business, and journalism studies researchers. Scholars from other parts of the world may also find it helpful when looking at the emergence of the US as a media power in the twentieth century." --American Journalism

"Highlighting historical facts and perspectives, showcasing a who's who in the news industry, Mr. Associated Press easily serves as required reading for journalism students. Bridging gaps of knowledge from one decade to the next, it offers insights into how an upstart news route expanded to cover the world, and why journalism -- rightly or wrongly -- has become nearly synonymous with 'the media'." --Project Censored


“Combining astute insights and considered judgment, Allen provides a detailed assessment of the towering personality of Cooper--warts and all--as well as a nuanced study of one of the most significant international communication organizations of the twentieth century.”--Chandrika Kaul, Professor of Imperial and Media History, University of St Andrews, Scotland

“Allen uses the figure of Kent Cooper to narrate a compelling and important story of American news from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. An incredibly valuable book for scholars of communications, media, journalism, history, and American foreign relations.”--Heidi Tworek, author of News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900–1945