Steffens, Lincoln (1866–1936)

JOSEPH LINCOLN Steffens was an American author and editor, and one of the first and leading muckrakers. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt referred to a group of journalists as muckrakers, liking them to a Pilgrim's Progress character in the novel who was only interested in raking muck or dung. These muckrakers exposed corruption, abuse of power, and the suffering of the nation's very poor, and in doing so “provided American journalism with what many regard as one of its finest hours,” according to an article by Stephen Goode.

Steffens began reporting in 1892 for New York City's Evening Post, then moved to an editorial position at the Commercial Advertiser, but continued to write freelance stories for magazines such as McClure's. Steffens was hired in 1901 to ...

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