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Book Title: The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens|
The author of the book: Lincoln Steffens
ISBN 13: 9781597140164
Edition: Heyday Books
Date of issue: December 1st 2005
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 897 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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Rediscover a man Americans turned to not only for news but for humor & wisdom. Growing up in Sacramento, Steffens (1866-1936) was an editor at the NY Evening Post, later at McClure’s Magazine. As popular as he was cantankerous, he brushed shoulders with presidents & corporate barons, tsars & dictators. His efforts to expose corruption took him all over the nation & on to Mexico, Europe & the new USSR, where he made his famous proclamation, ‘I have seen the future, & it works!’ He would later become disenchanted with Soviet communism, & eventually he returned to California, to feel again its ‘warm, colorful force of beauty’ & to write what would become this best-selling memoir. Inspiring, entertaining & lyrical, The Autobiography is the story of a brilliant reporter with a passion for examining the complex & contradictory conditions that breed corruption, poverty & misery.
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Read information about the authorSteffens was born April 6, 1866, in San Francisco. He grew up in a wealthy family and attended a military academy. He studied in France and Germany following graduation from the University of California.
Steffens began his career as a journalist at the New York Evening Post . He later became an editor of McClure's magazine, where he became part of a celebrated muckraking trio with Ida Tarbell and Ray Stannard Baker. He specialized in investigating government and political corruption, and two collections of his articles were published as The Shame of the Cities (1904) and The Struggle for Self-Government (1906). In 1906, he left McClure's , along with Tarbell and Baker, to form The American Magazine .
From 1914–1915 he covered the Mexican Revolution and began to see revolution as preferable to reform. In March 1919, he accompanied William C. Bullitt, a low-level State Department official, on a three-week visit to the Soviet Union and witnessed the "confusing and difficult" process of a society in the process of revolutionary change. He wrote that "Soviet Russia was a revolutionary government with an evolutionary plan", enduring "a temporary condition of evil, which is made tolerable by hope and a plan."
After his return, he promoted his view of the Soviet Revolution and in the course of campaigning for U.S. food aid for Russia made his famous remark about the new Soviet society: "I have seen the future, and it works", a phrase he often repeated with many variations.
His enthusiasm for communism soured by the time his memoirs appeared in 1931. The autobiography became a bestseller leading to a short return to prominence for the writer, but Steffens would not be able to capitalize on it as illness cut his lecture tour of America short by 1933. He was a member of the California Writers Project, a New Deal program.
He died of heart failure on August 9, 1936, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
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