Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters: 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain News | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/heroes-villains-dames-disasters-150-years-front-page-stories-rocky-mountain-news[12/8/2015 1:07:23 PM] Home Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters: 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain NewsHeroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters: 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain NewsSubmitted by jainlayconley on 11-16-2009 02:30 PMAuthor: Michael Madigan Publishing: Denver: Madideas, 2009. 192 pages. Photos, index. 8-1/2 x 11. $29.95 paperback. Reviewer: Dick Kreck It began as an ongoing celebration and finished as a funeral dirge. Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters is what remains of the proud and storied Rocky Mountain News. Founded in 1859 almost simultaneously with the city of Denver, the Rocky chronicled Colorados development until the paper folded in February 2009. Longtime RMN staffer Michael Madigan diligently researched 150 years of newspapers to capture the frontpage stories that made news in the News He made it through 103 front pages before the papers demise. For those who lived through the events, this book will bring back memories and emotions of the first we knew of momentous events. Without cable news networks, the Internet and blogs, the morning newspaper was often the first we knew in detail of what had happened. For those too young to have been there, the 173-page book is a good starting point for examining historical events. The parade unfolds on page one. There are the stories that altered historyMemphis Assassin Slays Dr. Martin Luther King (1968) or Our Nation Saw Evil (2001). Other headlines in retrospect do not seem so worthyMoffat Tunnel Is Opened in Brief Ceremony (1928) and Super Bowl Bound (1978). Madigan does a good job of recapturing some of the major people and events in the history of the News ranging from legendary editor Jack Foster to the switch from a broadsheet to a tabloid format. He covers the newspaper war between the Rocky and its hated rival The Denver Post and the last sad day when reporter Kevin Vaughan was assigned to write the papers obituary.Vaughan quoted Rich Boehn, a Scripps Howard executive: Tomorrow will be the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News . Its certainly not good news for any of you, and its certainly not good news for Denver. Madigan also effectively ties the News into the national trends in newspapers, such as the advent of new sections to tempt readers and the arrival of electronic editions. Madigan does a less effective job of covering the newspapers role in fanning the anti-Indian hysteria of the 1860s culminating in the Sand Creek Massacre. Nor does Madigan fully recall the raucous period in the late 1920s when both Denver newspapers put out morning and evening editions in a real, all-out war to crush each other. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanThe Ute people have lived in Colorado longer than anyone else.
Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters: 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain News | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/heroes-villains-dames-disasters-150-years-front-page-stories-rocky-mountain-news[12/8/2015 1:07:23 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us The RMN s front evolved through the years, from a staid, standard look to a splashy, colorful face that more closely resembled a magazine. There is even a bizarre period in the 1950s and 1960s when exclamation points followed every leading headline, as if the events themselves werent enough to make the point: Yanks Walk on the Moon!, Driver Quizzed in Bus Tragedy!, and Adolph Coors III Feared Kidnapped!. The downside of the book is the poor reproduction of the front pages, no doubt copied from microfilm. Some pages are fuzzy, out of focus and flatly unreadable. Others are only partially reproduced. The later editions of the Rocky when graphics and color reproduction became a more important element, look far better. From the first edition on April 23, 1859, a tossed-together collection of stories gleaned from other newspapers and produced in rooms above a saloon, to the last edition (February 27, 2009) with the plaintive headline, Goodbye, Colorado, Heroes is a window on the stories that grabbed our attention. Madigan rightly refers to Colorados first newspaper as historys billboard. Reviewer Info: Dick Kreck was an editor and columnist at The Denver Post for thirty-eight years before his retirement in 2007. He is the author of five books on Colorado history, including the best-selling Murder at the Brown Palace (2003) and Smaldone (2009). Add new comment