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This chapter distills the ocean of news stories and commentary produced by the press between 1914 and 1919 into a manageable narrative about press practice during and immediately after the war. Journalists’ work during the war was suffused with themes of order, progress, and rational efficiency. This sense of nearly boundless optimism—striking in light of the catastrophic nature of the war--has been largely lost in the historiography of the period. The chapter describes and analyzes this spirit of publicity, an ethos about pragmatic democracy that involved both politics and the professionalization of journalism, public accountability, and civic reform. After a broad account of press coverage of the first years of the war, the chapter surveys most of the major magazines and about a half-dozen newspapers from 1918-1919 to analyze the way the press was involved in the resolution of the war.
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