How a Highly Influential Magazine Helped Define Mid-Twentieth-Century America

Andrew L Yarrow

The story of Look magazine, one of the greatest mass-circulation publications in American history.
Publication date:
November 2021
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612349442

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• Although the story and influence of Look's better-remembered competitor, Life magazine, has been extensively examined, the history, editorial and photographic content, and influence of Look have received scant attention
• Little information about Look magazine is available online and its issues are not digitally available on any database
• Look draws on the 888 biweekly issues Look published between the late 1930s and the magazine's demise in 1971, the collection of 3.5 million
• Look photos in the Library of Congress, and the archives of Look founder Gardner Cowles, as well as interviews with surviving members of editorial staff, photojournalists, and subjects of Look articles and their heirs

Andrew L. Yarrow tells the story of Look magazine, one of the greatest mass-circulation publications in American history, and the very different United States in which it existed. The all-but-forgotten magazine had an extraordinary influence on mid-twentieth-century America, not only by telling powerful, thoughtful stories and printing outstanding photographs, but also by helping to create a national conversation around a common set of ideas and ideals. Yarrow describes how the magazine covered the United States and the world, telling stories of people and trends, injustices and triumphs, and included essays by prominent Americans such as Martin Luther King and Margaret Mead. It did not shy away from exposing the country's problems, but it always believed that those problems could be solved.

Look, which was published from 1937 to 1971 and had about 35 million readers at its peak, was an astute observer with a distinctive take on one of the greatest eras in U.S. history - from winning World War II and building immense, increasingly inclusive prosperity to celebrating grand achievements and advancing the rights of Blacks and women. Because the magazine shaped Americans' beliefs while guiding the country through a period of profound social and cultural change, this is also a story about how a long-gone form of journalism helped make America better and assured readers it could be better still.