War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder

War of Words A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder When the news business was literally a matter of life and death A real life Barbary Coast WAR OF WORDS details the bloody birth of the San Francisco Chronicle when verbal blows traded between two of

  • Title: War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder
  • Author: Simon Read
  • ISBN: 9781402756122
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When the news business was literally a matter of life and death A real life Barbary Coast, WAR OF WORDS details the bloody birth of the San Francisco Chronicle, when verbal blows traded between two of the town s most powerful men escalated into violence on the streets of 1880s San Francisco Gun toting newspaper publisher Charles de Young won circulation wars by spillingWhen the news business was literally a matter of life and death A real life Barbary Coast, WAR OF WORDS details the bloody birth of the San Francisco Chronicle, when verbal blows traded between two of the town s most powerful men escalated into violence on the streets of 1880s San Francisco Gun toting newspaper publisher Charles de Young won circulation wars by spilling ink that destroyed political candidates he didn t like and Isaac Kalloch, a hellfire preacher whose lust for the ladies equaled his craving to be mayor, was an obvious target First angry words flew, then bullets, when de Young ambushed Kalloch and shot him Miraculously, Kalloch survived and won the election, only to see his son enact revenge on his behalf five months later by walking into the newsroom and fatally shooting de Young The trial lasted 28 days, featured over 200 witnesses and made headlines coast to coast The verdict Not guilty, by reason of justifiable homicide This sensational tale of sex, murder, and muckraking enthralled San Franciscans and is sure to captivate modern readers as well.

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      301 Simon Read
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      Posted by:Simon Read
      Published :2018-04-23T00:47:21+00:00

    One thought on “War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder

    1. Patrick Book

      I liked the premise of this book very, very much. Even after reading it I appreciated the idea more than the final product, perhaps, but not by much.There are a lot of interesting and illuminative elements to this story. Particularly I had no idea that Old West-era California was so litigious. As a modern journalist it's hard to imagine a world in which newspaper publishers would be so baldly libellous. It's also pretty wild to consider that homicide was so easily justified by the courts then as [...]

    2. Michelle

      Playing Jokers Blog: all suits of genres and bookish newsAt a time when Wild West shootouts were perhaps a common thing, San Francisco was no different as people sought to end conflicts with a poorly aimed gunfight. War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder is an aptly named title, as the book detailed exactly that: the battle over libel in the printed world and the means people sought to exact revenge.The meat of the story centers on Isaac Kalloch, a reverend who had (perhaps) an appeti [...]

    3. GT

      Fantastically interesting story that was well-researched and told by Simon Read, the author. Granted I live in the SF Bay Area and this story of the early days of the newspapers and publishers in San Francisco may hold more interest for me than others across the globe. But as historical true-crime, I loved it. I was unaware of this chapter in SF history and incredibly my Dad was too. He is not often in the dark completely about a series of events of this significance - the attempted murder of a [...]

    4. Terri

      This book was a surprise to me was a surprise because I won it from Good Reads. It was a bonus that it was good. If you like history at all, and if you like newspaper bashing, you'll like this book. The author doesn't do the bashing, the characters do. Back in the mid to late 1800's in San Francisco it seemed to be kind of a no holds barred in the industry. It didn't help that there was not much law around at that time. If you're not into history, don't let me scare you away, this doesn't read l [...]

    5. Rebecca

      This was quite an interesting read. The author did a really good job of presenting the development of journalism in California. I was surprised to find out that the written word was taken so seriously back then. Papers sometimes printed several issues a day for certain events and people actually paid each time to be updated. Also, the anger that was expressed for stories printed in papers that questioned the integrity or sullied the reputation of a person was so intense. It isn't like today beca [...]

    6. Tom

      Wow! What a great story. The truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like nursery school. Should have been called "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight", but I guess that was taken. Never read of so many misses at point blank range. Also gives you a hint of why Californians are the way they are :-). In the end, they were all scoundrels, and San Francisco was a corrupt, lawless place pretending to be civilized. 5 stars, much more deserving than the low "average" [...]

    7. Stephanie

      War of Words is a great example of an exciting history book! Simon Read did an excellent job teaching me about this fascinating time period in American journalism. I found it particularly engaging as someone who studied journalism in college, but I believe the interest level would be high for any reader, especially those who enjoy learning about American history. One take-away: the folly of unresolved conflict (and the violence that can erupt as a result of it). I am very pleased that I had the [...]

    8. Paul Brandel

      I liked this book,it helps that i live near the City,San Francisco.The author does a fine job chronicling the era (1870-1880).Alsohow corrupted the newspaper men were in those days!News reporting iswithout question superior now than it was over a century ago. I was intrigued how people back than would kill another over an insult was the wild,wild west indeed.

    9. Joella

      Actually, this is another book I didn't finish. I hate not finishing books, but this one was just so boring. It had so much promise: newspapers and murder. But it turned out to be way too factual and not enough story. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

    10. Laura

      Foreshadowing is a hack writing trick, and this author used it at every turn. I found this distracting and annoying. Aside from this unfortunate writing style I enjoyed the book, especially when things heat up and the guns come out.

    11. FrumpBurger

      An interesting story that would have been better presented had the author not felt the need to write it in novel-like fashion, which makes it seem a little sensational.

    12. rachel

      it petered out towards the end, so i suppose all i missed was the author's analysis of the events and why they were important

    13. Donna

      This is an interesting story, and I especially liked the details about the time period. The writing style was a bit too melodramatic for my taste at times, though.

    14. Kevin

      It had a slow start, with an almost overwhelming number of characters; however, by the end of the book everyone managed to come together for a page-turner ending that I just couldn't put down.

    15. Lauren

      Fascinating true tale of the violent competition between San Fran newspapers in the late 1800's. Incredible story of life, journalism, and morals of America post civil war.

    16. David R.

      A fast moving narrative. Note: the antagonists are equally villainous creatures. The press has little to be proud of in this one.

    17. Leah

      Was interesting at first, but just couldn't get through it. It seemed to just keep being more of the same.

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