Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Minnesota Rag

Corruption, Yellow Journalism, and the Case That Saved Freedom of the Press

2003
Author:

Fred W. Friendly

Minnesota Rag

The fascinating behind-the-scenes story of this landmark First Amendment case

Minnesota Rag takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of a dark period in Minnesota’s past, one rife with crooked public officials, vengeful gangsters, and yellow journalists. Fred W. Friendly weaves the tale of Near v. Minnesota, a court case that molded our understanding of freedom of the press and set a precedent for the publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Friendly moves us from the ore-dusted brothels of Duluth, Minnesota, to the gothic top of the Chicago Tribune Tower, to the cloistered conference room of the Supreme Court. Rich and bizarre.

New York Times Book Review

Minnesota Rag takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of the seamy underside of a dark period in Minnesota’s past, one rife with crooked public officials, vengeful gangsters, and yellow journalists. Featuring notorious characters such as Jay M. Near, racist and antilabor publisher of Minneapolis’s Saturday Press, pioneering newsman Fred W. Friendly weaves the tale of a court case that molded our understanding of freedom of the press and set a precedent for the publication of the Pentagon Papers.


Minnesota Rag

Fred W. Friendly (1915-1998) spent virtually his entire life in journalism. With his partner Edward R. Murrow, he was responsible for many of television’s most distinguished moments, including See It Now and CBS Reports. After serving as president of CBS News, he was named professor of journalism at Columbia University.

Minnesota Rag

Friendly moves us from the ore-dusted brothels of Duluth, Minnesota, to the gothic top of the Chicago Tribune Tower, to the cloistered conference room of the Supreme Court. Rich and bizarre.

New York Times Book Review

Brings back to life the people and events of the turbulent period in American history that shaped Near v. Minnesota. This book is a useful reminder that many great legal precedents protecting the liberty of us all were won by fighting battles on behalf of reprobates.

The Nation