Joseph Lincoln Steffens

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Steffens, Joseph Lincoln


Born Apr. 6, 1866, in San Francisco; died Aug. 9, 1936, in Carmel, Calif. American journalist.

After Steffens graduated from the University of California in 1889, he continued his education in European universities. In the first decade of the 20th century he became the leader of the “muckraker” movement. In his books The Shame of the Cities (1904), The Struggle for Self-government (1906), and The Upbuilders (1909) he revealed the venality of state and local government; however, he shared bourgeois democratic illusions and believed in the power of reforms. In February 1919 he visited Russia and met V. I. Lenin. At the start of the 1930’s, Steffens drew close to the workers’ movement and the Communist Party and spoke out against the threat of fascism. The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens (1931) is a classic example of memoir literature.


The World of Lincoln Steffens. New York, 1962.
In Russian translation:
Razgrebatel’ griazi. Moscow, 1949.
Mal’chik na loshadi. Leningrad, 1955.


Gilenson, B. A. Amerikanskaia literatury 30-x gg. XX v. Moscow, 1974.
Kaplan, J. L. Steffens. New York, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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