Book Review on Who is Joseph Pulitzer? by Terrence Crimmins
Who is Joseph Pulitzer by Terrence Crimmins is a 278-page historical fiction novel that is based on the personal life and professional conflicts of Joseph. This book was published by Knollwood Press in Boston Massachusetts on the first day of September in 2016. In his life, the author Terrence Crimmins has led an exciting life with his writing online columns, having his work published in scholarly journals, by writing biographical picture screenplays and as a teacher of history in Baltimore Maryland. He is now writing comedy and drama on the American experience through his short stories and novels.
In today’s world, we the public are in awe of men who influence major changes in regards how the news is broadcasted. There were men like that in the 1800” s in which Joseph was one of those men. As you read this novel, you will be fascinated on how Joseph goes from having nothing to being in control of the newspaper industry.
The public love their rag to riches stories. What would you do if you went from rich to rags then back to riches, again. This is what happened to Joseph. He was born in Hungary to a wealthy Jewish father and mother. When his father died, seventeen-year-old Joseph’s mother remarried so that the family wouldn’t be in poverty. He walked out on his mother’s wedding and tried to join the army, but no one would take him due to his being to skinny and wearing glasses. What would you do if you found out that the army you joined was only after the bounty? During his voyage over to the United States, he found out that the reason that the army signed him was for the bounty that they would get since they were not planning on giving it to the recruits. So, Joseph jumped ship and swam to shore where he went to get his money. He ended up serving in a bureaucratic role instead of fighting.
. After the war, he ended in St. Louis doing the odd jobs to make a living. Joseph would have a tough time because he had a high opinion of himself, thought he could do things better, didn’t like taking orders and had huge ambitions which made him short of temper with mood swings. When he wasn’t working, you could find him in the library reading all he could. He learned English and even passed the law exam. He loved reading the classics. He met his future bosses Carl Schurz and Thomas Davidson while he was a waiter at a restaurant/barroom.
It's not surprising that with all his ambitions that buys the Post newspaper from his boss and buys out another newspaper.
Pulitzer, at the age of forty-one, lost his eyesight due to a broken blood vessel in one of his eyes. He also developed asthma, stomach problems, depression, nervous affliction and weak lungs. His doctors wanted him to quit the newspaper business, but it did not happen. He ended up hiring teams of men to act as his secretaries as his eyes and ears. For a while, he and his secretaries would move from place to place so Pulitzer could seek the peace he needed from noise. Soon he was running his newspaper by telegrams and letters. Towards the end of his life, he and his secretaries sailed off in his yacht to take a trip around the world, so he could find that peace. His wife and two daughters were there to send him off.
The sad thing was that after his death, the World newspaper went into bankruptcy because he was not there to manage it whereas the Post-Dispatch newspaper remained in business. Before his death, he created the Pulitzer Prize to give awards to people who achieved greatness. What an amazing legacy.
Pulitzer changed the way journalism was regarded by creating sensationalism and stopping the exploitation of the poor from corrupt politicians and the wealthy. He is my favorite character because within twenty years of emigrating from Hungary to America, he fought for the underdogs (i.e. the poor and the immigrants) by using the two newspapers that he owned to undercover the corruptness of the wealthy. That’s not bad for an Hungarian immigrant who spoke little English and was poor himself. He owned two of the biggest newspapers in his time, the Gilded Age.
I loved the book. Even though this is a historical fiction it is based on Pulitzer’s life and the novel is filled fascinating and intriguing facts. I am so glad that I was able to read this. I have to admit that before reading this book, I didn’t know anything about the Pulitzer Prize except what they do now. I didn’t know that it was named after someone.
There was nothing about this book that I didn’t like. I found this book to be full of rich details about the life of Pulitzer. It was enjoyable to read about a man who went from riches to rags to riches. His journey was aspiring in that he didn’t let anything get in the way of his ambition or dream.
I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to read especially novels based on fact. I believe that anyone who is fascinated with the history of our country, history buffs and anyone interested in biographies would love this book.