Saturday Evening Post

The Saturday Evening Post "became symbolic of the reading fare of middle-class America" (Peterson, 12). In 1897 Curtis began to revive the Post on the proposition that a man's chief interest in life is the fight for livelihood - business. Fiction and articles about romantic business and successful businessmen filled its pages, and products endorsed by it advertisements directed at the needs and desires of the business world. The general interest weekly reached new audiences. Its conservative viewpoint and strong admiration for material success appealed to the tastes of the millions who settled in an easy chair with it each Thursday evening. As a more commercial, mass-circulation magazine
easy chair with it each Thursday evening. As a more commercial, mass-circulation magazine than The New Yorker, the widely readable Post set out to interpret America to itself.

As a national and international institution, The Saturday Evening Post made its mark in the lives of massive numbers of men and women, and served society as a permeating and stabilizing influence. Its editorial matter addressed the problems, perplexities, and interests of the readers as never before. Neither highbrow nor lowbrow, the Post set out to interpret average middle-class America, for that was its audience. However, this magazine lost touch with the mood of the American people in the 1930s. The Post's
editor Lorimer, opposed Roosevelt and the New Deal and changed his magazine from an organ of entertainment and enlightenment into a weapon of political warfare. He believed that in opposing the New Deal he had spoken for the majority of voters, but the 1936 election proved him wrong. His conservatism extended beyond politics, it pervaded the magazine's content and style causing a decline in prestige and authority. The Post met its greatest success when it went beyond the tastes of the masses, challenging its readers to acknowledge the genius of contributors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner. It was later reformed in an effort to fulfill its responsibility to awaken lethargic America, however The Saturday Evening Post seemed to play to conventions while The New Yorker took off to redefine the character of American Humor.

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