- By James McGrath Morris

The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism

  • Title: The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism
  • Author: James McGrath Morris
  • ISBN: 9780823222681
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Rose Man of Sing Sing A True Tale of Life Murder and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism Today seventy three years after his death journalists still tell tales of Charles E Chapin As city editor of Pulitzer s New York Evening World Chapin was the model of the take no prisoners newsroom

    Today, seventy three years after his death, journalists still tell tales of Charles E Chapin As city editor of Pulitzer s New York Evening World, Chapin was the model of the take no prisoners newsroom tyrant he drove reporters relentlessly and kept his paper in the center ring of the circus of big city journalism From the Harry K Thaw trial to the sinking of the TitaToday, seventy three years after his death, journalists still tell tales of Charles E Chapin As city editor of Pulitzer s New York Evening World, Chapin was the model of the take no prisoners newsroom tyrant he drove reporters relentlessly and kept his paper in the center ring of the circus of big city journalism From the Harry K Thaw trial to the sinking of the Titanic, Chapin set the pace for the evening press, the CNN of the pre electronic world of journalism.In 1918, at the pinnacle of fame, Chapin s world collapsed Facing financial ruin, sunk in depression, he decided to kill himself and his beloved wife Nellie On a quiet September morning, he took not his own life, but Nellie s, shooting her as she slept After his trial and one hell of a story for the World s competitors he was sentenced to life in the infamous Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.In this story of an extraordinary life set in the most thrilling epoch of American journalism, James McGrath Morris tracks Chapin s rise from legendary Chicago street reporter to celebrity powerbroker in media mad New York His was a human tragedy played out in the sensational stories of tabloids and broadsheets But it s also an epic of redemption in prison, Chapin started a newspaper to fight for prisoner rights, wrote a best selling autobiography, had two long distance love affairs, and tapped his prodigious talents to transform barren prison plots into world famous rose gardens before dying peacefully in his cell in 1930.The first portrait of one of the founding figures of modern American journalism, and a vibrant chronicle of the cutthroat culture of scoops and scandals, The Rose Man of Sing Sing is also a hidden history of New York at its most colorful and passionate.James McGrath Morris is a former journalist, author of Jailhouse Journalism The Fourth Estate Behind Bars, and a historian He lives in Falls Church, Virginia, and teaches at West Springfield High School.

    1 thought on “The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism

    1. Great book. Provides a great snapshot of life in America during the latter portion of the 1800's and the early 1900's. The story follows the story of Charles Chapin who rises from poverty to become one of America's most powerful editors--working for Joseph Pulitzer's New York Evening World. At his zenith, Chapin murders his wife in what he characterized as mercy killing to hide from her their ruinous debt. He claimed that he planned to kill himself also, but for reasons that he never adequately [...]

    2. I enjoyed it. I learned about the media and the history of journalism. The book explained to me what "yellow journalism" really means, who Yellow Kid Weil was, the Pulitzer editors, Hearst, how the newspapers reported on the sinking of the Titanic, and then - after a successful lifetime career as a top newspaper editor in New York City - how this elderly editor coped with his new status as a "lifer" in Sing Sing prison. He murdered his wife at about age 60, and the reasons remain a mystery. Why [...]

    3. I think people who have an affinity for journalism, or learning about yellow journalism may be interested. One of the reviewers of this book said "Reminds me in a way of "Devil and the White City" in its ability to covey history in a way that reads like a novel." I heartily disagree. White City moved like a novel, this does not! Way too many words used to describe everything and nothing. There was so little mentioned about his wife that he killed, it was difficult for me to think anything, but H [...]

    4. I thought I would love this book- turn of the century, yellow journalism, roses at Sing Sing, what's not to love? Well, the whole book actually. It plodded though Chapin's life chapter by chapter with very little narrative arc and a lot of repetition. I didn't feel like I got a good feeling of the time or really of the person being described. Some fun bits about journalism, but I really had to push myself through at the end.

    5. Well researched book and interesting subject. But, I was most interested in the gardening at Sing Sings and 2/3 of the book were details of his life before prison. Difficult to please all audiences!

    6. An interesting account of the incarceration of editor Charles Chapin, who killed his wife and made a name for himself as a gardener at Sing Sing.

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