Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 378



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

Page 378

such a magazine might fill, decided to buy it, and install an active editor while he, as a close adviser, served as the propelling power.

Bok figured out that there was room for one of the trio of what was, and still is, called the standard-sized magazines, namely Scribner’s, Harper’s, and The Century. He believed, as he does to-day, that any one of these magazines could be so edited as to preserve all its traditions and yet be so ingrafted with the new progressive, modern spirit as to dominate the field and constitute itself the leader in that particular group. He believed that there was a field which would produce a circulation in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million copies a month for one of those magazines, so that it would be considered not, as now, one of three, but the one.

What Bok saw in the possibilities of the standard illustrated magazine has been excellently carried out by Mr. Ellery Sedgwick in The Atlantic Monthly; every tradition has been respected, and yet the new progressive note introduced has given it a position and a circulation never before attained by a non-illustrated magazine of the highest class.

As Bok studied the field, his confidence in the proposition, as he saw it, grew. For his own amusement, he made up some six issues of The Century as he visualized it, and saw that the articles he had included were all obtainable. He selected a business manager and publisher who would relieve him of the manufacturing problems; but before the contract was actually closed Bok, naturally, wanted to consult Mr. Curtis, who was



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