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The Madhouse on Madison Street Hardcover – 1965


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Follett Publishing Company; 1st edition (1965)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DZ6X6
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,039,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Borowy26 VINE VOICE on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this retrospective on the glory days of newspapering in Chicago (and to a lesser degree the entire USA).

"The Chicago American" and "The Chicago Herald Examiner" were owned by William Randolph Hearst. Need I say more about the type of reporting that typified the two papers. Scandal, sensation, gossip, sex and murder were what sold copies. The gangland violence that besmirched Chicago's reputation during Prohibition had its origins in the circulation wars that broke out between Hearst and his main competitors at "The Chicago Tribune," Joseph Patterson and Robert McCormick, a decade earlier.

In its death agony, the various papers were merged and after circulation continued to falter the last remanants were sold to "The Chicago Tribune" in 1956. The newspaper was renamed "The Chicago Today." The paper was issued in the afternoons. The advent of nightly news telecasts hurt circulation as fewer and fewer commuters felt the need to read when the news broadcast would air soon after they returned home from work. As time went on, economy measures weakened the newspaper further. "The Chicago Today" was lackluster in comparison to the morning papers.

The late George Murray was an old time newspaper rewrite man employed by Hearst. As such, he never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. Nostalgia is the rule of the day in this love letter. There are occasional gaps in the story, but on balance it will serve. The title refers to the ugly edifice that once served as the headquarters of the Hearst newspapers in Chicago. One can almost smell the stale cigarette smoke and the spilled whiskey.

After another eighteen odd years marked by declining readership, "The Chicago Today" was merged into "The Tribune.
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