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Just Released: The Magazine Century: American Magazines Since 1900 by David E. Sumner and Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni… 

December 20, 2022

As most of you know, I have retired from the world of academia after 37 years of teaching.  Earlier in 2021 I started the Magazine Media Center with the goal to preserve the past, present and future of the magazine media.  I am delighted to announce the release of The Magazine Century, a book published by Peter Lang Publishing Inc., New York, NY.  The book is the second edition of Professor David Sumner’s The Magazine Century that was published in 2010.  Professor Sumner asked me to team up with him to update the book and to write the last few chapter bringing the history of the American magazines through 2020.

Here is an excerpt from the book’s introduction:

At the time of this writing, American magazines are 280 years old. Andrew

Bradford’s The American Magazine or a Monthly View of the Political State of the

British Colonies was first published in Philadelphia on February 13, 1741. Four days

later, Benjamin Franklin published The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle.

Subsequently, the number of American magazines steadily increased for the next

160 years but really began to mushroom at the beginning of the 20th century.

From 5,500 magazines at the beginning of the century, the number reached more

than 18,000 by the end. It was, indeed, a magazine century…



No current books about American magazine history cover the entire 20th

century or 21st century. We acknowledge our debt to Frank Luther Mott of the

University of Missouri, who wrote the five- volume series, A History of American

Magazines, which covered magazine history until the 1930s. Mott’s Pulitzer- Prize

winning series remains the “gold standard” for research on American magazines.

Theodore Peterson’s Magazines in the Twentieth Century covered through the early

1960s and has also been useful in our research. William H. Taft of the University

of Missouri published American Magazines for the 1980s in 1982. Tebbel and

Zuckerman’s work, The Magazine in America 1741 to 1990 was an overview of

250 years of magazine history but limited in detail…



The editors at Peter Lang Publishing in New York invited me to write a

second edition of The Magazine Century, and I invited Professor Samir Husni at

the Magazine Media Center to be a co- author. For 44 years, he has tracked and

published annual books about new magazine launches.

He is the best- known magazine expert in America in the industry.

Besides new information he has written

about the years 2000 to 2020, the book contains a considerable amount of fresh

material about earlier magazines not included in the first edition…

People are generally more interesting to read about than “things.” Therefore,

we have tried to tell this story focusing on the stories of the writers, editors, and

publishers of the best- known magazines and the circumstances behind their

origins. These men and women were a colorful and controversial bunch. Some

became millionaires while many went bankrupt. Some became celebrities, others

were hated, and most were relatively obscure. They fought each other, sued each

other, and occasionally married each other. We hope you enjoy reading their stories.

You can order a copy of the book by clicking here.

Stay tuned for more news about the work of the Magazine Media Center and feel free to email me with questions and comments at samir.husni@gmail.com

Here’s to a great 2023 and beyond.

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Ph.D.

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