Pistols, Politics and the Press

Dueling in 19th Century American Journalism


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About the Book

This book argues that dueling should be looked at as a fundamental part of the history of journalism. By examining the nineteenth century Code Duello, the accepted standards under which a duel is conducted, the author explores the causes of combative responses involving journalists. Each chapter examines an aspect of the practice from the nineteenth century through the present, including the connections between the ritualized aggression of the past and the feuding among blog journalists today. A comprehensive bibliography as well as an overview of accepted practices under the Code of Honor as faced by nineteenth century journalists are provided.

About the Author(s)

Historian Ryan Chamberlain has been researching and writing about the connection between honor rituals and journalism for nearly a decade. He is a longtime member of the American Journalism Historians Association. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Ryan Chamberlain
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3829-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5253-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      7

1. Honor’s Influence on the Emerging Partisan Press      17

2. The Honor Politics of the Jacksonian Press Network      41

3. Ritual Violence and the Frontier Partisan Press      64

4. The Antebellum Editor, Honor and the Community Dynamic      72

5. Influences of Honor Rituals in the Secession-Era Partisan Press      96

6. The Culture of Honor on Trial During the Civil War      112

7. The Decline of Dueling as a Resolution for Defamation      138

8. Conclusions      154

Appendix: Accepted Practices Under the Code of Honor      171

Chapter Notes      175

Bibliography      195

Index      203