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Liberty (1924-1950): Wikis

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Interior spread of Liberty (December 7, 1946) shows the continuing comic strip The Thropp Family by Lawrence Lariar, Don Komisarow and Lou Fine.

Liberty was a general-interest weekly magazine, originally priced at five cents and subtitled, "A Weekly for Everybody." It was launched in 1924 by McCormick-Patterson, the publisher until 1931, when it was taken over by Bernarr Macfadden until 1942. At one time it was said to be "the second greatest magazine in America," ranking behind The Saturday Evening Post in circulation. It ceased publication in 1950. The editors included Fulton Oursler and Darrell Huff.

Contents

Writers

Liberty carried work by many of the most important and influential writers of the period. Unusually for a magazine of the era, they bought the rights to many of the printed works outright, and these remain in the hands of the Liberty Library Corporation.

The magazine serialized many early novels by P. G. Wodehouse, and other contributors included Achmed Abdullah, H. Bedford-Jones, Robert Benchley, Walter R. Brooks, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert W. Chambers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James F. Dwyer, Paul Ernst, Floyd Gibbons, Murray Leinster, Rob Wagner and Sax Rohmer.

Reading time

A memorable feature was the "reading time," provided on the first page of each article so readers could know how long it should take to read an article.

Revival as "The Nostalgia Magazine"

Liberty was revived in 1971 as a quarterly nostalgia-oriented magazine published by the Liberty Library Corporation, a company formed by Robert Whiteman and Irving Green. Originally dedicated solely to reprinting material from the original magazine, the 1970s Liberty eventually settled into a "then and now" format, featuring thematically related newly-written articles alongside the vintage material. The new version ended with the autumn 1976 issue.

The complete run of the 1970s version is available online via Google Book Search. Liberty Library Corporation, which still owns the rights to the Liberty archives, has stated that Google will also eventually digitize the 1,387 issues that comprised the original magazine's run.[1][2]

Cultural references

In the Marx Brothers comedy The Cocoanuts, Groucho Marx exhorts his hotel employees, "Remember, there's nothing like liberty—except Collier's and Saturday Evening Post!"

External links

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