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Fashionable Adventures Of Joshua Craig, The; A Novel
by David Graham Phillips
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1909. American writer, Phillips worked as a newspaper reporter in Cincinnati and New York City, rising to editorial rank on the New York World, for which he wrote until 1902. He became noted as a muckraker and was famous as the author of a series of sensational articles exposing corruption in the U.S. Senate that appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine. Phillips's novels, powerful although often crude, deal with corruptive influences in society and general social problems, such as the status of women. He came to untimely death when he was murdered by a young musician who accused him of having cast literary slurs on his family. The story begins: It was one of the top-floor-rear flats in the Wyandotte, not merely biggest of Washington's apartment hotels, but also most exclusive-which is the elegant way of saying most expensive. The Wyandotte had gone up before landlords grasped the obvious truth that in a fireproof structure locations farthest from noise and dust should and could command highest prices; so Joshua Craig's flat was the cheapest in the house. The ninety dollars a month loomed large in this eyes, focused to little-town ideas of values; it was, in fact, small for shelter in the deluxe district of the deluxe quarter, to quote Mrs. Senator Mulvey, that simple, far-Western soul, who, finding snobbishness to be the chief distinguishing mark of the Eastern upper classes, assumed it was a virtue, acquired it laboriously, and practiced it as openly and proudly as a preacher does piety.
His eyes were surveying the splendid mansions round about--the beautiful window-gardens--the curtains at the windows, which he had learned were real lace, whatever that might be, and most expensive. Very fine, that way of living! Very comfortable, to have servants at beck and call, and most satisfactory to the craving for power--trifles, it is true, but still the substantial and tangible evidence of power. "And it impresses the people, too. We're all snobs at bottom. We're not yet developed enough to appreciate such a lofty abstraction as democracy."
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