NYMASA Salon Talk: Crying the News, by Vincent DiGirolamo

Vincent DiGirolamo's picture
October 22, 2019
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Childhood and Education, Journalism and Media Studies, Labor History / Studies, Urban History / Studies

     The New York Metro American Studies Association is delighted to announce a Salon Talk by Vincent DiGirolamo (Baruch College), author of Crying the News: A History of America's Newsboys (Oxford University Press, 2019), on Tuesday, October 22, at 6:30 pm in the Faculty and Staff Lounge, 8th floor of the West Building, Hunter College (Lexington Avenue and 68th Street). For directions, more information, or to RSVP, contact Sarah Chinn at sarah.chinn@hunter.cuny.edu.  Salon Talks are an opportunity for local American Studies scholars to share their published work with an intimate audience.  They tend to be small, lively, and informative; light refreshments are served.

     Crying the News: A History of America's Newsboys offers an epic retelling of the American experience from the perspective of its most unshushable creation. It is the first book to place newsboys at the center of American history, analyzing their inseparable role as economic actors and cultural symbols in the creation of print capitalism, popular democracy, and national character. DiGirolamo's sweeping narrative traces the shifting fortunes of these "little merchants" over a century of war and peace, prosperity and depression, exploitation and reform, chronicling their exploits in every region of the country, as well as on the railroads that linked them. While the book focuses mainly on boys in the trade, it also examines the experience of girls and grown-ups, the elderly and disabled, blacks and whites, immigrants and natives.

     Based on a wealth of primary sources, Crying the News uncovers the existence of scores of newsboy strikes and protests. The book reveals the central role of newsboys in the development of corporate welfare schemes, scientific management practices, and employee liability laws. It argues that the newspaper industry exerted a formative yet overlooked influence on working-class youth that is essential to our understanding of American childhood, labor, journalism, and capitalism.  "Crying the News is really a social history of the American press from the 19th century to World War II," said the Wall Street Journal... "[it] also draws a compelling picture of the squalid lives of the American poor."

Contact Info: 

For directions, more information, or to rsvp, contact Sarah Chinn at sarah.chinn@hunter.cuny.edu