National Police Gazette and the Making of the Modern American Man, 1879-1906


National Police Gazette and the Making of the Modern American Man, 1879-1906



For generations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, The National Police Gazette was a leading New York City men's tabloid magazine that celebrated scandal, crime, sex, and sports. It used splashy woodcut illustrations to highlight various aspects of masculinities and challenges to masculinities, gaining large numbers of mostly male readers in taverns, barbershops, and gambling halls. During this period, the Gazette portrayals highlighted, decried, and sensationalized the responses of men and women to the vices of Victorian America. In this volume, the Gazette is examined on a variety of levels, including its use of garish illustrations, its focus on tough guys, its obsession with beautiful women, its racy advertising, and its views on class and race. The tabloid, which circulated nationally and, later, internationally, became known as the "Barbershop Bible" because of its ubiquity in these male-dominated domains. Through these outlets and others, The National Police Gazette reflected a generation's views on gender and helped create a culture of manhood that survives even today.

This book analyzes the National Police Gazette, the racy New York City tabloid that gained an audience among men and boys of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Looking at how images of sex, crime, and sports reflected and shaped masculinities during this watershed era, this book amounts to a story of what it meant to be an American man at the beginning of the American Century.


College of Arts and Sciences


Mass Communication



Publication Date



Palgrave Macmillan


New York


journalism, masculinity, sensationalism, crime and press


United States History


Table of Contents

  1. Lives of the felons
  2. An illustrated journal of sporting and sensational events
  3. This wicked world
  4. Masculinities and the manly arts
  5. Fox and Sullivan : the brawl that started it all?
  6. The girl on the Police Gazette
  7. Patron of sport : Richard Kyle Fox (1846-1922)

National Police Gazette and the Making of the Modern American Man, 1879-1906

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