The Brass Check
A Study of American Journalism
Upton Sinclair wrote 92 books---but is called a two-book author. The first was The Jungle----The Brass Check is the second.
In this systematic critique of the structural basis of U.S. media -- arguably the first one ever published -- Upton Sinclair writes that American journalism is a class institution serving the rich and spurning the poor. Likening journalists to prostitutes, the title of the book refers to a chit that was issued to patrons of urban brothels of the era.
Fueled by mounting disdain for newspapers run by business tycoons and conservative editors, Sinclair self-published The Brass Check in the years after The Jungle had made him a household name. Despite Sinclairs claim that this was his most important book, it was dismissed by critics and shunned by reviewers. Yet it sold over 150,000 copies and enjoyed numerous printings.
A substantial introduction to this paperback edition by Robert W. McChesney and Ben Scott asserts the books importance as a cornerstone critique of commercial journalism and a priceless resource for understanding the political turbulence of the Progressive Era.
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon
The FBI and the New York Intellectuals
How Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism
Media and the Fight for Women's Suffrage
Edited by Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, and Brooke Kroeger
Popular Black History in Postwar America
E. James West
The Life of Randy Shilts
Andrew E. Stoner
African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press
Modern News from Realism to the Digital
Kevin G. Barnhurst
How Little-Known Trade Reporters Exposed the Keating Five and Advanced Business Journalism
How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio
Derek W. Vaillant