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Muckrakers of the 20th Century America

Considering the muckraking journalists, Sinclair, Mitford, and Woodward and Bernstein,

1) What is socially/politically compelling about the topic these journalists discuss?

2) What possible solutions do each of these journalists offer?

3) What role do these people play in the construction of our history?

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AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Social & Political Relevance

Each of the work included in Jensen's book had their own social and political relevance, at varying degrees dependent upon the 'muck that was raked' and to what degree. Let me begin with the work of Upton Sinclair. The Jungle's (1906) message was clear - life for the immigrants who work in the meatpacking industry is harsh and oftentimes tragic. bad practices and corruption abound and for many, their dream of coming to America to have that new chance is life has turned to tragedy. the divide of power, the disparity in life chances, the lack of regulation and government support - all these was evident, in a work of fiction which was Sinclair's vehicle of exposing a great social inequality. Economic and social opportunities were for the few in Jurgis Rudkus' world. What was more significant about the work however is that it showed to society the importance of investigative journalism - in this case, even the publishers were shocked by how the pen is truly mightier than the sword as his work turned the industry on its head and facilitated social change.

Mitford's work impacted the funeral industry. Unlike Sinclair, the subject matter was just ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task of putting together a review of Jensen's work by completing the 3 tasks (see above) based on the information and discussion presented in the book. The focus is on the work of Sinclair, Mitford and Woodward & Bernstein whose investigative works are included in the book. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.