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 Sinclair’s 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 book’s 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)
Gender and Authenticity in American Politics
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Black Journalists and the Fight for Racial Justice in the Twentieth Century
The Radio Propaganda War against East Germany
Nicholas J. Schlosser
The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon
American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience
Mobilizing U.S. News Audiences
Anthony M. Nadler
Modern News from Realism to the Digital
Kevin G. Barnhurst
Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935-1965
How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio
Derek W. Vaillant
The FBI and the New York Intellectuals