chapter  6
Noble Muckraking: David Graham Phillips
Pages 8

On Monday, January 23, 1911, David Graham Phillips received a letter which read "This is your last day," signed with his own name, though in another's handwriting. Phillips was forty-three. Ever since publishing The Treason of the Senate throughout 1906 in Cosmopolitan, he had regularly received such threats. Phillips was a friend of democracy in a famously anti-democratic era: "Through the ages this Common Man has been building like the coral insect—silently, secretly, steadily, strongly. History has little to say about him or his work, and that little misleading. Rhetoric of this kind pervades Phillips' nonfiction, but equal importance must be attached to his novels, through their agile combination of factual exactness and emotional punch. Phillips documented all of this for his large audience a century ago: "By profession he was a lawyer, and had been most successful as adviser to wholesale thieves on depredations bent or in search of immunity for depredations done.