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Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism

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The story of the man who transformed The Wall Street Journal and modern media In 1929, Barney Kilgore, fresh from college in small-town Indiana, took a sleepy, near bankrupt New York financial paper—The Wall Street Journal—and turned it into a thriving national newspaper that eventually was worth $5 billion to Rupert Murdoch. Kilgore then invented a national weekly newspape The story of the man who transformed The Wall Street Journal and modern media In 1929, Barney Kilgore, fresh from college in small-town Indiana, took a sleepy, near bankrupt New York financial paper—The Wall Street Journal—and turned it into a thriving national newspaper that eventually was worth $5 billion to Rupert Murdoch. Kilgore then invented a national weekly newspaper that was a precursor of many trends we see playing out in journalism now. Tofel brings this story of a little-known pioneer to life using many previously uncollected newspaper writings by Kilgore and a treasure trove of letters between Kilgore and his father, all of which detail the invention of much of what we like best about modern newspapers. By focusing on the man, his journalism, his foresight, and his business acumen, Restless Genius also sheds new light on the Depression and the New Deal. At a time when traditional newspapers are under increasing threat, Barney Kilgore’s story offers lessons that need constant retelling.


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The story of the man who transformed The Wall Street Journal and modern media In 1929, Barney Kilgore, fresh from college in small-town Indiana, took a sleepy, near bankrupt New York financial paper—The Wall Street Journal—and turned it into a thriving national newspaper that eventually was worth $5 billion to Rupert Murdoch. Kilgore then invented a national weekly newspape The story of the man who transformed The Wall Street Journal and modern media In 1929, Barney Kilgore, fresh from college in small-town Indiana, took a sleepy, near bankrupt New York financial paper—The Wall Street Journal—and turned it into a thriving national newspaper that eventually was worth $5 billion to Rupert Murdoch. Kilgore then invented a national weekly newspaper that was a precursor of many trends we see playing out in journalism now. Tofel brings this story of a little-known pioneer to life using many previously uncollected newspaper writings by Kilgore and a treasure trove of letters between Kilgore and his father, all of which detail the invention of much of what we like best about modern newspapers. By focusing on the man, his journalism, his foresight, and his business acumen, Restless Genius also sheds new light on the Depression and the New Deal. At a time when traditional newspapers are under increasing threat, Barney Kilgore’s story offers lessons that need constant retelling.

32 review for Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism

  1. 4 out of 5

    Faith Weldon

    I found this biography very interesting. Barney Kilgore's understanding of the customer's (reader's) needs is what helped him develop the nationwide scope of the Wall Street Journal. I was also impressed with the DePauw University/journalism connection. Good read. I found this biography very interesting. Barney Kilgore's understanding of the customer's (reader's) needs is what helped him develop the nationwide scope of the Wall Street Journal. I was also impressed with the DePauw University/journalism connection. Good read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Barney Kilgore just so happens to be my great-uncle.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    This is the story of an innovative man who shaped the Wall Street Journal into the publication that we now know.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Masi

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Beauchamp

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nick Wachira

  7. 5 out of 5

    MichelleQ

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Harry Febrian

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Lombardo

  11. 4 out of 5

    Francis Baraan IV

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scott McCleskey

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vinnee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  17. 5 out of 5

    Butunyi

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda Keya

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abdul Manan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rick

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diyipax

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily McCormick

  23. 4 out of 5

    Umair Ahmad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Engineer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica Salmon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Howard Franklin

  27. 4 out of 5

    J

  28. 5 out of 5

    Krystina

  29. 5 out of 5

    B T

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yunita

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tarecq

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rahul

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