War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder, by Simon Read, hardcover (very good condition)
When the news business was literally a matter of life and death…
A real-life Barbary Coast, War of Words details the bloody birth of the San Francisco Chronicle, when verbal blows traded between two of the town’s most powerful men escalated into violence on the streets of 1880s San Francisco.
Gun-toting newspaper publisher Charles de Young won circulation wars by spilling ink that destroyed political candidates he didn’t like—and Isaac Kalloch, a hellfire preacher whose lust for the ladies equaled his craving to be mayor, was an obvious target. First angry words flew, then bullets, when de Young ambushed Kalloch and shot him. Miraculously, Kalloch survived and won the election, only to see his son enact revenge on his behalf five months later by walking into the newsroom and fatally shooting de Young. The trial lasted 28 days, featured over 200 witnesses and made headlines coast to coast. The verdict? Not guilty, by reason of “justifiable homicide.”
This sensational tale of sex, murder, and muckraking enthralled San Franciscans and is sure to captivate modern readers as well.