The {\it Atlantic Monthly}'s ``American idea'': The evolution of editorial policy

Rosemarie Fabien, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The Atlantic Monthly Magazine was founded in 1857 to be "the exponent of the American idea." At the time, that "idea" was best expressed in fiction and poetry, but as the nation became more industrialized, so the Atlantic became more interested in science and industry. During the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and again in the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, literature, and particularly the work of Henry James, took a back seat to the wonders on display, including the Corliss steam engine at the former, and the neoclassical architecture that characterized the latter fair. As the nation and the Atlantic became more interested in technology, it lost interest in writers like Henry James, whose career the magazine is credited with carving. The feats of technology present at the fairs validated America's growing sense that it had rivalled other nations in technological progress and moral authority, leading the country to believe that it had a right and a duty to become involved in the War with Spain. ^

Subject Area

Journalism|American literature

Recommended Citation

Fabien, Rosemarie, "The {\it Atlantic Monthly}'s ``American idea'': The evolution of editorial policy" (1994). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9427533.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9427533

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