Cover image for VOICE of THE DEMOCRACY: A Critical Biography of David Graham Phillips: Journalist, Novelist, Progressive By Louis Filler

VOICE of THE DEMOCRACY

A Critical Biography of David Graham Phillips: Journalist, Novelist, Progressive

Louis Filler

BUY

208 pages
6" × 9"
1978

VOICE of THE DEMOCRACY

A Critical Biography of David Graham Phillips: Journalist, Novelist, Progressive

Louis Filler

Every aspect of the life and work of David Graham Phillips (1867–1911) seems contradictory: from his peaceful college days at Asbury (now DePauw) to his brutal murder in New York's Gramercy Park; from his genteel middle-class lifestyle to his savagery as a muckraker; from the sensational impact of his novels to their present relative neglect. Since Louis Filler views Phillips as a quintessential Progressive, he presents his subject's story against the backdrop of American Progressivism's rise. Phillips's achievements as both journalist and novelist reveal him as "the voice of the democracy," in Vachel Lindsay's phrase—a believer in the American Dream if only its betrayers were exposed and curbed.

 

  • Description
  • Bio
  • Subjects
Every aspect of the life and work of David Graham Phillips (1867–1911) seems contradictory: from his peaceful college days at Asbury (now DePauw) to his brutal murder in New York's Gramercy Park; from his genteel middle-class lifestyle to his savagery as a muckraker; from the sensational impact of his novels to their present relative neglect. Since Louis Filler views Phillips as a quintessential Progressive, he presents his subject's story against the backdrop of American Progressivism's rise. Phillips's achievements as both journalist and novelist reveal him as "the voice of the democracy," in Vachel Lindsay's phrase—a believer in the American Dream if only its betrayers were exposed and curbed.

A reluctant muckraker, Phillips focused popular resentment against governmental corruption in his "Treason of the Senate" series, which helped bring about the 17th Amendment, providing direct election of U.S. Senators. Called "the leading American novelist" by H L. Mecken, Phillips celebrated self-reliant and upwardly mobile characters so long as they renounced "autocracy and plutocracy."

Louis Filler is the author of seven previous books, most recently The Muckrakers and Appointment at Armageddon: Muckraking and Progressivism in the American Tradition, and the editor of fifteen other volumes. He is Distinguished Professor of American Culture and Society at Antioch College.

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and be notified about new titles, journals and catalogs.