Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 377

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


Page 377

the magazine would open the doors of those exclusive galleries and let the public in—public curiosity was at once piqued, and over one hundred and fifty thousand persons who had never before bought the magazine were added to the list.

In not one of these instances, nor in the case of other successful series, did the appeal to the public depend upon the names of contributors; there were none: it was the idea which the public liked and to which it responded.

The editorial Edward Bok enjoyed this hugely; the real Edward Bok did not. The one was bottled up in the other. It was a case of absolute self-effacement. The man behind the editor knew that if he followed his own personal tastes and expressed them in his magazine, a limited audience would be his instead of the enormous clientele that he was now reaching. It was the man behind the editor who had sought expression in the idea of Country Life, the magazine which his company sold to Doubleday, Page &Company, and which he would personally have enjoyed editing.

It was in 1913 that the real Edward Bok, bottled up for twenty-five years, again came to the surface. The majority stockholders of The Century Magazine wanted to dispose of their interest in the periodical. Overtures were made to The Curtis Publishing Company, but its hands were full, and the matter was presented for Bok’s personal consideration. The idea interested him, as he saw in The Century a chance for his self-expression. He entered into negotiations, looked carefully into the property itself and over the field which

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