My Own Story

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Call Publishing Company, 1919 - 197 páginas
Journalist Fremont Older (1856-1935), born in Appleton, Wisconsin, went to California in 1873 and became one of the state's most controversial newspapermen in his work at the San Francisco Call and Bulletin. My own story (1919) first tells Older's story as the editor of the struggling Bulletin in 1895. He provides fascinating details of his fight against political corruption in San Francisco in the next fifteen years, a chronicle of graft, labor violence, fraud, and rampant bribery centering on his fight against the Southern Pacific Railroad and its political "ring" and personal battles with Republican boss Abraham Ruef, Mayor Eugene Schmitz, and Patrick Calhoun, head of United Railroads.

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Página 23 - Bulletin" was on the payroll of the Southern Pacific Railroad for $125 a month. This was paid not for any definite service, but merely for "friendliness." Being always close to the line of profit and loss, it was felt the paper could not afford to forfeit this income. These were in the early days, you understand, when Older was playing the dirty game for his owner. He tells us, quite frankly, how he did it. For example, here is a picture of a great newspaper in politics: I hoped to convince Charley...
Página 14 - I lived, breathed, ate, slept and dreamed nothing but the paper. My absorbing thought was the task of making it go. "I was perfectly ruthless in my ambition. My one desire was to stimulate the circulation, to develop stories that would catch the attention of readers, no matter what was the character of the stories. They might make people suffer, might wound or utterly ruin someone; that made no difference to me, it was not even in my mind. I cared only for results, for success to the paper and to...
Página 28 - The fight had barely started when Crothers came to me and said that WH Mills, who handled the newspapers of California for the railroad company, had agreed to raise the "Bulletin's" pay from $125 to $250 a month if we would make only a weak support of the new charter. And again: Crothers felt that the influence of the "Bulletin" was worth more than the Southern Pacific had been paying.
Página 36 - I heard of bootblack stands, houses of prostitution, gambling joints, that were being forced to pay small graft money. Nothing definite, merely hints here and there, a glimpse of something not quite clearly seen, an atmosphere that began to envelop the city. "The big graft did not develop at once, but the times were ripening for it.
Página 29 - Bulletin's" pay from $125 to $250 a month if we would make only a weak support of the new charter. And again: Crothers felt that the influence of the "Bulletin" was worth more than the Southern Pacific had been paying. He insisted that I go to Mills and demand $25,000 from the railroad for supporting Gage. I told him that this was ridiculous, that they wouldn't consider such a sum for a minute. He insisted that he would have $25,000 or he wouldn't support Gage, and demanded that I tell Mills that....
Página 67 - I was in the midst of the cataclysm, working, as all men did in those feverish days and nights, first to save what I might of the Bulletin, and later to help others who needed help. "But my mind was so filled with one idea that even in the midst of fire and smoke and heaps of ruins, I thought of our plans to get Ruef and Schmitz, and mourned the delay I feared the fire had caused. I worked frantically, feeling that this overwhelming disaster must be met and handled, so that we could go on with our...
Página 196 - ... Own Story that he tried to show that the desperate crime of the McNamaras was the culmination of many years of bitter fighting between labor and the steel trust, in which the International Structural Iron Workers Union had been forced to the wall, their unions defeated by employers time and again, wages forced down and their cause defeated to the point that not even shops handling the by-products of steel were allowed to employ union labor. . . . It was only when labor had been defeated in every...
Página 35 - This was the beginning," wrote Older later, "of the struggle that led into every corner of San Francisco life, into the depths of the underworld, to attempted murder and dynamiting and assassination, that involved some of the biggest men in the American business world, and wrecked them; that ended by filling San Francisco with armed thugs and overturning the Southern Pacific rule of California.
Página 15 - Brown had been accused of having improper relations with a young woman, a member of his church, and we made quite a scandal about it," wrote Older of this case. "The preacher, of course, denied the story, but I was able to stir up enough discord in his church to cause some of the members to ask for an investigation. The investigation resulted in a trial of Brown by a jury of preachers from other churches. "I made desperate efforts to get condemning evidence, and succeeded to quite an extent, running...
Página 130 - And then it dawned upon me for the first time that my life, too, had been filled with evil; that I had done many cruel things; that I had at no time been fully fair to him, or to the others who were caught with him; that I had been striving, as he had, for success; that I had been hurting others in order to make money out of a successful newspaper; that I had been printing stories that made others suffer that I might profit; pandering to many low instincts in man in order to sell newspapers; that...

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