A Ringing Declaration of Purpose: [MORE] Magazine and the A.J. Liebling Counter-Conventions, 1971-1978

My dissertation keeps getting smaller, or rather, the topic keeps narrowing. But I think this is the final shrinkage, and it’s the good kind.

I worked my way from The Intellectual History of Journalism (the life work of several scholars), to Anti-Intellectualism in the American Press (tough to grasp, tough to research), to Opponents of Anti-Intellectualism in the American Press (I actually wrote that proposal), to a history of press criticism in the second half of the 20th Century (what was to be one of the chapters of that first proposal), to, finally, a history of [MORE] magazine, a journalism review that published between 1971 and 1978 and ran a series of very fun-looking and fascinating-sounding conventions named for A.J. Liebling.

I’ll obviously be putting bits and pieces of the things I discover into this blog as I write. I’m thrilled to have secured access to the magazine’s archive just last week, which pretty much seals the deal. But I should be concentrating my keystrokes on typing up this revised proposal. Still, I thought it would be would be fun at least to throw up a partial list of people who either edited or wrote for [MORE] or who attended, participated, or coordinated the Liebling conferences:

  • J. Anthony Lukas
  • Richard Pollak
  • Bill Woodward
  • Ron Rosenbaum
  • Alexander Cockburn
  • Nora Ephron
  • Daniel Ellsberg
  • Tom Wolfe
  • Katherine Graham
  • Abbie Hoffman
  • Victor Navasky
  • David Halberstam
  • Nat Hentoff
  • Dan Rather
  • Gore Vidal
  • Bella Abzug
  • Otto Preminger
  • And of course:
    • Actor Tony Randall
    • Major League Baseball Players’ Association head Marvin Miller
    • and Tom Forçade, the founder of the marijuana advocacy magazine High Times.

Oh, and “Crazy” Joe Gallo was apparently supposed to attend one of the conventions too, but he kinda ate some bad clams and wound up dead.

As if that’s not enough, here’s a picture of Nat Hentoff in an ascot.

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6 thoughts on “A Ringing Declaration of Purpose: [MORE] Magazine and the A.J. Liebling Counter-Conventions, 1971-1978”

  1. Interesting! I was a layout artist for More in mid seventies. I photographed the Liebling convention and 2 pages of photos were published in the magazine. I have photos of Hentoff, Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Brendan Behan, Al Goldstein, Liz Smith, Carl Bernstein, Clau Felker and Gail, more. Let me know if you are interested in seeing. I’m in the Village. All film so what I have right now is contact sheets. Working on scanning my collection. The rest of the photos from that shoot never published.

  2. I worked at More in advertising sales. I hope you see a copy of the magazine with a contest called Anchorman of the year. It was Claudia Cohen’s idea and we spent hours laughing our heads off at the hairstyles!

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