McClure's or McClure's Magazine (1893–1929) was an American illustrated monthly periodical popular at the turn of the 20th century.[1] The magazine is credited with having started the tradition of muckraking journalism (investigative, watchdog, or reform journalism), and helped direct the moral compass of the day.[2] [3]

Cover of January 1901 issue
CategoriesMuckraking, Political, Literary (1893–1911)
Women's (1921–1929)
PublisherS. S. McClure (1893–1911)
FounderS. S. McClure and John Sanborn Phillips
First issueJune 1893
Final issueMarch 1929
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York, U.S.


Founded by S. S. McClure (1857–1949) and John Sanborn Phillips (1861–1949),[4] who had been classmates at Knox College, in June 1893.[5] Phillips put up the $7,300 needed to launch the magazine.[6] The magazine featured both political and literary content, publishing serialized novels-in-progress, a chapter at a time. In this way, McClure's published such writers as Willa Cather, Arthur Conan Doyle, Herminie T. Kavanagh, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Lincoln Steffens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mark Twain.

At the beginning of the 20th century, its major competitors included Collier's and the Saturday Evening Post.

Examples of its work include Ida Tarbell's series in 1902 exposing the monopoly abuses of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, and Ray Stannard Baker's earlier look at the United States Steel Corporation, which focused the public eye on the conduct of corporations. From January 1907 to June 1908, McClure's published the first detailed history of Christian Science and the story of its founder, Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) in 14 installments.[7] The articles were later published in book form as The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science (1909).[8]

In 1906, the writing staff defected over disputes with McClure and formed The American Magazine. McClure's began to lose readers and went into debt. S. S. McClure was forced to sell the magazine to creditors in 1911. It was re-styled as a women's magazine and ran inconsistently in this format, with publication from October 1921 to February 1922, September 1924 and April 1925, and February to May 1926. The later issues, from July 1928 until March 1929, were published under the name New McClure's Magazine. The last issue was in March 1929, after which the magazine was taken over by The Smart Set.[9] In 1916 the magazine published an Automobile Year Book (First McClure Automobile Year Book) with the specifications and pictures of over 100 different major producers of passenger and commercial vehicles.[10]


Major writers



  1. ^ Tassin, Algernon (December 1915). "The Magazine In America, Part X: The End Of The Century". The Bookman. XLII (4): 398–404.
  2. ^ Fang, Irving (1997). A history of mass communication (PDF). Focal Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-240-80254-3. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  3. ^ Greg Gross (1997), The Staff Breakup of McClure's Magazine, chapter 2. Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hakim, Joy (1994). A History of US: An Age of Extremes, 1880–1917. Oxford University Press. pp. 126–127.
  5. ^ Larry Sabato; Howard R. Ernst (14 May 2014). Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections. Infobase Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4381-0994-7. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  6. ^ McCully, Emily Arnold (2014). Ida M. Tarbell : the woman who challenged big business-- and won!. Boston: Clarion Books. pp. 87–101. ISBN 9780547290928. OCLC 816499010.
  7. ^ McClure's, December 1906; Milmine, January 1907 – June 1908, 14 articles.
  8. ^ Stouck, David. "Introduction," in Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
    • To read the 1909 edition, see here.
  9. ^ Union List of Serials ... 3rd Edition. New York, H. W. Wilson, 1965. p.3003.
  10. ^ First McClure Automobile Year Book. New York: The McClure Publications, Inc. 1916.
  11. ^ Barbara Godard. "Marjorie Pickthall". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved November 1, 2010.

External links

Alexander's Bridge

Alexander's Bridge is the first novel by American author Willa Cather. First published in 1912, it was re-released with an author's preface in 1922. It also ran as a serial in McClure's, giving Cather some free time from her work for that magazine.

Burton J. Hendrick

Burton Jesse Hendrick (December 8, 1870 – March 23, 1949), born in New Haven, Connecticut, was an American author. While attending Yale University, Hendrick was editor of both The Yale Courant and The Yale Literary Magazine. He received his BA in 1895 and his master's in 1897 from Yale. After completing his degree work, Hendrick became editor of the New Haven Morning News. In 1905, after writing for The New York Evening Post and The New York Sun, Hendrick left newspapers and became a "muckraker" writing for McClure's Magazine. His "The Story of Life-Insurance" exposé appeared in McClure's in 1906. Following his career at McClure's, Hendrick went to work in 1913 at Walter Hines Page's World's Work magazine as an associate editor. In 1919, Hendrick began writing biographies, when he was the ghostwriter of Ambassador Morgenthau's Story for Henry Morgenthau, Sr.

In 1921 he won the Pulitzer Prize for History for The Victory at Sea, which he co-authored with William Sowden Sims, the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, and the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for The Training of An American.In 1919 Hendrick published the Age of Big Business by using a series of individual biographies to create an enthusiastic look at the foundation of the corporation in America and the rapid rise of the United States as a world power. After completing the commissioned biography of Andrew Carnegie, Hendrick turned to writing group biographies. There is an obvious gap in the later works published by Hendrick between 1940 and 1946, which is explained by his work on a biography on Andrew Mellon, which was commissioned by the Mellon family, but never published.

At the time of his death, Hendrick was working on a biography of Louise Whitfield Carnegie, the wife of Andrew Carnegie.

Captains Courageous

Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the spoiled son of a railroad tycoon, after he is saved from drowning by a Portuguese fisherman in the north Atlantic. The novel originally appeared as a serialisation in McClure's, beginning with the November 1896 edition. The following year it was published in its entirety as a novel, first in the United States by Doubleday, and a month later in the United Kingdom by Macmillan. It is Kipling's only novel set entirely in America. In 1900, Teddy Roosevelt extolled the book in his essay "What We Can Expect of the American Boy," praising Kipling for describing "in the liveliest way just what a boy should be and do."The book's title comes from the ballad Mary Ambree, which starts, "When captains courageous, whom death could not daunt". Kipling had previously used the same title for an article on businessmen as the new adventurers, published in The Times of 23 November 1892.

Consequences (Cather story)

Consequences is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in November 1915.

Eleanor's House

Eleanor's House is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in October 1907.

Ida Tarbell

Ida Minerva Tarbell (November 5, 1857 – January 6, 1944) was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism. Born in Pennsylvania at the onset of the oil boom, Tarbell is best known for her 1904 book, The History of the Standard Oil Company. The book was published as a series of articles in McClure's Magazine from 1902 to 1904. It has been called a "masterpiece of investigative journalism", by historian J. North Conway, as well as "the single most influential book on business ever published in the United States" by historian Daniel Yergin. The work would bring about the dissolution of the Standard Oil monopoly and helped usher in the Hepburn Act of 1906, the Mann-Elkins Act, the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Clayton Anti-trust Act.

Tarbell also wrote several biographies over the course of her career which spanned 64 years. She wrote biographies on Madame Roland and Napoleon Bonaparte. Tarbell believed that "the Truth and motivations of powerful human beings could be discovered." That Truth, she became convinced, could be conveyed in such a way as "to precipitate meaningful social change." She wrote numerous books and works on Abraham Lincoln including ones that focused on his early life and career. After her exposé on Standard Oil and character study of John D. Rockefeller, she wrote biographies on businessmen Elbert H. Gary, chairman of U. S. Steel, as well as Owen D. Young, president of General Electric.

A prolific writer and lecturer, Tarbell was known for taking complex subjects—the oil industry, tariffs, labor practices—and breaking them down into informative and easy to understand articles. Her articles drove circulation at McClure’s Magazine and The American Magazine and many of her books were popular with the general American public. After a successful career as both writer and editor for McClure’s Magazine, Tarbell left with several other editors to buy and publish The American Magazine. Tarbell also traveled to all then 48 states on the lecture circuit and spoke on subjects including the evils of war, world peace, American politics, trusts, tariffs, labor practices, and women’s issues.

Tarbell took part in professional organizations and served on two Presidential committees. She helped form the Authors’ League (now the Author’s Guild) and was President of the Pen and Brush Club for 30 years. During World War I, she served on the President Woodrow Wilson’s Women’s Committee on the Council of National Defense. After the war, Tarbell served on President Warren G. Harding’s 1921 Unemployment Conference.

Tarbell, who never married, is often considered a feminist by her actions but maintained views on women’s suffrage which were controversial and may have tarnished her overall legacy.

Kim (novel)

Kim is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling. It was first published serially in McClure's Magazine from December 1900 to October 1901 as well as in Cassell's Magazine from January to November 1901, and first published in book form by Macmillan & Co. Ltd in October 1901. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia. The novel made the term "Great Game" popular and introduced the theme of great power rivalry and intrigue.It is set after the Second Afghan War which ended in 1881, but before the Third, probably in the period 1893 to 1898. The novel is notable for its detailed portrait of the people, culture, and varied religions of India. "The book presents a vivid picture of India, its teeming populations, religions, and superstitions, and the life of the bazaars and the road."In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Kim No. 78 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel."


The term muckraker was used in the Progressive Era to characterize reform-minded American journalists who attacked established institutions and leaders as corrupt. They typically had large audiences in some popular magazines. In the US, the modern term is investigative journalism—it has different and more pejorative connotations in British English—and investigative journalists in the US today are often informally called "muckrakers".

The muckrakers played a highly visible role during the Progressive Era period, 1890s–1920s. Muckraking magazines—notably McClure's of the publisher S. S. McClure—took on corporate monopolies and political machines while trying to raise public awareness and anger at urban poverty, unsafe working conditions, prostitution, and child labor. Most of the muckrakers wrote nonfiction, but fictional exposes often had a major impact as well, such as those by Upton Sinclair.In contemporary American use, the term describes either a journalist who writes in the adversarial or alternative tradition, or a non-journalist whose purpose in publication is to advocate reform and change. Investigative journalists view the muckrakers as early influences and a continuation of watchdog journalism. In British English the term muckraker is more likely to mean a journalist (often on a tabloid newspaper) who specialises in scandal and malicious gossip about celebrities or well-known personalities and is generally used in a derogatory sense.

The term is a reference to a character in John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress, "the Man with the Muck-rake", who rejected salvation to focus on filth. It became popular after President Theodore Roosevelt referred to the character in a 1906 speech; Roosevelt acknowledged that "the men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck..."

On the Gulls' Road

On the Gulls' Road is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in December 1908.

The Bell Buoy

"The Bell Buoy" is a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It was first published with illustrations in Saturday Review, Christmas Supplement 1896 and then published in McClure's Magazine in February 1897 as "The Bell-Buoy", with illustrations by Oliver Herford. It was also included in the 1903 collection The Five Nations.

Some changes to the wording occurred sometime between the edition in McClure's and when it was collected in Rudyard Kipling's verse: inclusive edition, 1885-1918 (1919) as "The Bell Buoy". The other changes are minor and some may be the correction of printing errors.

T. S. Eliot included the poem in his 1941 collection A Choice of Kipling's Verse.

The Bohemian Girl (short story)

The Bohemian Girl is a short story by Willa Cather. It was written when Cather was living in Cherry Valley, New York, with Isabelle McClung whilst Alexander's Bridge was being serialised in McClure's. It was first published in McClure's in August 1912.

The Clicking of Cuthbert

The Clicking of Cuthbert is a collection of ten short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, all with a golfing theme. It was first published in the United Kingdom on 3 February 1922 by Herbert Jenkins Ltd of London. It was later published in the United States by George H. Doran of New York on 28 May 1924 under the title Golf Without Tears.There are some slight differences between the two editions, chiefly as regards the names of places and golfers, which were adapted to suit the country of publication.

The first story in the collection introduces the Oldest Member, a repeat Wodehouse character, who narrates all but the last story.

The last known first edition copy in existence of The Clicking of Cuthbert is believed to have been acquired by Colin Salmon, politician in Alderney, Channel Islands.

The Diamond Mine (short story)

"The Diamond Mine" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in October 1916.

The Law of Life

"The Law of Life" is a short story by the American naturalist writer Jack London. It was first published in McClure's Magazine, Vol.16, March, 1901. In 1902, it was published in a collection of Jack London's stories, The Children of Frost, by Macmillan Publishers.

The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science

The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science was published in November 1909 in New York by Doubleday, Page & Company. Mostly ghostwritten by the novelist Willa Cather, the book is a highly critical account of the life of Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), the founder of Christian Science, and the early history of the Christian Science church in 19th-century New England.The first major examination of Eddy's life and work, published when she was 85 years old, the material first appeared in McClure's magazine, in 14 installments, between January 1907 and June 1908. The articles were preceded in December 1906 by a six-page editorial announcing the series as "probably as near absolute accuracy as history ever gets". The eyewitness accounts and affidavits became key primary sources for practically all independent accounts of the church's early history.The magazine's publisher and editor-in-chief, S. S. McClure, assigned five writers to work on the articles: Willa Cather, winner of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, who had joined McClure's as an editor in 1906; Georgine Milmine, a freelance reporter who originally brought some of the research to McClure's; Will Irwin, McClure's managing editor; Burton J. Hendrick and Mark Sullivan, both staff writers; and, briefly, the journalist Ida Tarbell. The original byline on the book and articles was Milmine's, but it later emerged that Cather was the principal author.The New York Times wrote at the time that the book's evidence against "Eddyism" was "unanswerable and conclusive". Christian Scientists reacted strongly to it; there were reports of Scientists buying all available copies and stealing it from libraries. The Christian Science church purchased the manuscript, and soon the book was out of print. It was republished by Baker Book House in 1971 after its copyright had expired, and again in 1993 by the University of Nebraska Press, this time naming both Cather and Milmine as authors. David Stouck, in his introduction to the University of Nebraska Press edition, wrote that Cather's portrayal of Eddy "contains some of the finest portrait sketches and reflections on human nature that Willa Cather would ever write".

The Namesake (short story)

The Namesake is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in March 1907.

The Profile (short story)

The Profile is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in June 1907.

The Sculptor's Funeral

"The Sculptor's Funeral" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's in January 1905.

Troy McClure

Troy McClure is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He was originally voiced by Phil Hartman and first appeared in the second season episode "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment". McClure is an actor who is usually shown doing low-level work, such as hosting infomercials and educational films. He appears as the main character in "A Fish Called Selma", in which he marries Selma Bouvier to aid his failing career and quash rumors about his personal life. McClure also 'hosts' "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" and "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".

McClure was partially based on B movie actors Troy Donahue and Doug McClure, as well as Hartman himself. Following Hartman's murder in 1998, two of his Simpsons characters were retired, with Hartman's final appearance as McClure in the tenth season episode "Bart the Mother" four months later. Since his retirement, McClure has often been cited as one of the series' most popular characters. In 2006, IGN ranked McClure No. 1 on their list of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters".

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