Free Press, Free Market?

Kevin Williams revisits H.J. Perkin’s article from 1957 on the rise of the popular press.

Front page of the first issue of the News of the WorldHistory changed in the 1960s. The study of the past was subjected to the challenge of ‘new history’ and Harold Perkin played a prominent role in what is now described as the ‘social history revolution’. His essay on the origins of the popular press was a contribution to ‘history from below’, but it also prefaced a debate between two traditions, which has dominated the analysis of press history over the last 40 years.

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