Civil War Newsmen in Action
by Louis C. Starr. Alfred A. Knopf. 367 pp. $5.
Here is a useful discussion of the work of newspapers and newspapermen in the Civil War. The author is much less concerned with the editorial influence exerted by the war-time press than with the speedy, though somewhat imperfect, development of the concept of the newspaper as primarily a news medium rather than a political organ. A revolution in journalism was going on during the war, he asserts, and the country’s insatiable hunger for news from its armies compelled editors to expand the purely news-gathering function immeasurably. If at times he gives editors and reporters better marks than they altogether deserve for impartial reporting, he provides an interesting account of a significant development in the newspaper world.