Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 235



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 235

the practice is undoubtedly followed to excess, some magazines carrying as much as eighty and ninety columns over from the front to the back; from such abuse it will, of course, free itself either by a return to the original method of make-up or by the adoption of some other less-irritating plan.

In his reading about the America of the past, Bok had been impressed by the unusual amount of interesting personal material that constituted what is termed unwritten history—original events of tremendous personal appeal in which great personalities figured but which had not sufficient historical importance to have been included in American history. Bok determined to please his older readers by harking back to the past and at the same time acquainting the younger generation with the picturesque events which had preceded their time.

He also believed that if he could “dress up” the past, he could arrest the attention of a generation which was too likely to boast of its interest only in the present and the future. He took a course of reading and consulted with Mr. Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun, who had become interested in his work and had written him several voluntary letters of commendation. Mr. Dana gave material help in the selection of subjects and writers; and was intensely amused and interested by the manner in which his youthful confrère “dressed up” the titles of what might otherwise have looked like commonplace articles.

“I know,” said Bok to the elder editor, “it smacks



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