Shaking the Foundations
200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America
Publication Date: May 2003
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Great investigative journalism is present-tense literature: part detective story, part hellraising. This is the first anthology of its kind, bringing together outstanding (and often otherwise unavailable) practitioners of the muckraking tradition, from the Revolutionary era to the present day. Ranging from mainstream figures like Woodward and Bernstein to legendary iconoclasts such as I. F. Stone and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the dispatches in this collection combine the thrill of the chase after facts with a burning sense of outrage. As American history, Shaking the Foundations offers a you-are-there chronicle of great scandals and debates as reporters revealed them to their contemporaries: Jim Crow and financial trusts, migrant labor and wars, witch-hunts and government corruption. As journalism, these readingsfrom writers as diverse as Henry Adams and Ralph Nader, Lincoln Steffens and Barbara Ehrenreichare a source of inspiration for today’s muckrakers. For the general reader, Shaking the Foundations reveals investigative journalism as a storytelling force capable of bringing down presidents, freeing the innocent, challenging the logic of wars, and exposing predatory corporations. Other selected contributors include Henry Adams, John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, Edward R. Murrow, Rachel Carson, Jessica Mitford, Susan Brownmiller, Anthony Lukas, Neil Sheehan, Drew Pearson, and Jack Anderson.
Bruce Shapiro is an associate editor of The Nation and teaches investigative journalism at Yale University.