Newspaper City: Toronto's Street Surfaces and the Liberal Press, 1860-1935

By Phillip Gordon Mackintosh

© 2017

In Newspaper City, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh scrutinizes the reluctance of early Torontonians to pave their streets. He demonstrates how Toronto’s two liberal newspapers, the Toronto Globe and Toronto Daily Star, nevertheless campaigned for surface infrastructure as the leading expression of modern urbanity, despite the broad resistance of property owners to pay for infrastructure improvements under local improvements by-laws. To boost paving, newspapers used their broadsheets to fashion two imagined cities for their readers: one overrun with animals, dirt, and marginal people, the other civilized, modern, and crowned with clean streets. However, the employment of capitalism to generate traditional public goods, such as concrete sidewalks, asphalt roads, regulated pedestrianism, and efficient automobilism, is complicated. Thus, the liberal newspapers’ promotion of a city of orderly infrastructure and contented people in actual Toronto proved strikingly illiberal. Consequently, Mackintosh’s study reveals the contradictory nature of newspapers and the historiographical complexities of newspaper research.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003629

  • PUBLISHED APR 2017

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

    ISBN 9781442646797
  • PUBLISHED APR 2017

    From: $52.50

    Regular Price: $70.00

Quick Overview

In Newspaper City, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh scrutinizes the reluctance of early Torontonians to pave their streets. Consequently, Mackintosh’s study reveals the contradictory nature of newspapers and the historiographical complexities of newspaper research.

Newspaper City: Toronto's Street Surfaces and the Liberal Press, 1860-1935

By Phillip Gordon Mackintosh

© 2017

In Newspaper City, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh scrutinizes the reluctance of early Torontonians to pave their streets. He demonstrates how Toronto’s two liberal newspapers, the Toronto Globe and Toronto Daily Star, nevertheless campaigned for surface infrastructure as the leading expression of modern urbanity, despite the broad resistance of property owners to pay for infrastructure improvements under local improvements by-laws. To boost paving, newspapers used their broadsheets to fashion two imagined cities for their readers: one overrun with animals, dirt, and marginal people, the other civilized, modern, and crowned with clean streets. However, the employment of capitalism to generate traditional public goods, such as concrete sidewalks, asphalt roads, regulated pedestrianism, and efficient automobilism, is complicated. Thus, the liberal newspapers’ promotion of a city of orderly infrastructure and contented people in actual Toronto proved strikingly illiberal. Consequently, Mackintosh’s study reveals the contradictory nature of newspapers and the historiographical complexities of newspaper research.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘This book is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the role of the press in urban reform, or the way in which new infrastructure technologies change the look, feel, and function of the modern city.’


    Daniel Ross
    Historical Geography vol 45:2017

    "Mackintosh brings to life a time when newspapers were essential building blocks in the development of cities. Newspapers provided a common information base for citizens to form opinions about how their city should develop; they were a critical element of democracy even though, as the author suggests, the actual decision makers were an elite group of city burghers closely linked to the newspaper owners."


    Beth Haddon
    Literary Review of Canada, July/August 2017

    "This is a provocative and original take on the modernity of the North American city in general, and Toronto in particular. Mackintosh’s sound scholarship and command of a wide-ranging literature underpin his trenchant exposure of the contradictions of liberal modernity, alerting us, too, to the continuing clash between civic humanism and neoliberalism in the conduct of city life."


    Richard Dennis, Professor Emeritus, University College London

    "Using the daily press as a prism, Phillip Mackintosh offers us a sophisticated interpretation of the paradoxical impulses that have shaped the modern North American city. His fresh view of Toronto brings cities into conversation about what has been called Canada's 'liberal order', in the process challenging Canadian and urban historians alike."


    Richard Harris, Professor of Geography, McMaster University

    "Newspapers are our richest sources for nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban history, but because they had agendas of their own, newspapers make risky source material. Phillip Gordon Mackintosh responds by recognizing papers not merely as records but as agents of change. In a "newspaper city" such as Toronto, papers stood in for the lost social control agents of the village, striving to reconcile modern commerce with traditional norms for readers and advertisers who depended upon both Mackintosh offers us a high-resolution urban history that will help us better appreciate newspapers' part in shaping the history they document."


    Peter Norton, Associate Professor, University of Virginia
  • Author Information

    Phillip Gordon Mackintosh is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Brock University.

  • Table of contents

    Figures and Tables

    Acknowledgements

    Introduction Contradictory City

    Chapter 1 Newspaper City

    Chapter 2 Farmlike City

    Chapter 3 Asphalt City

    Chapter 4 Discordant City

    Chapter 5 Sidewalk City

    Chapter 6 Fatal City

    Afterword

    Appendix – City-page Headlines in the Globe: Motor Vehicle Accidents in Toronto, January to December, 1920 and 1927

    Bibliography

    End notes