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Life magazine debuted onto the American publishing scene in November, 1936. The third major publication to come out of Henry Luce’s publishing empire, Time, Inc., Life was a picture magazine. It helped to transform visual culture in America, elevating images over text as a means of communication and developing an influential new style of photographic journalism first introduced in the magazine’s inaugural issue with Margaret Bourke-White’s photographs of the Fort Peck Dam . Ranging in subjects from international politics to society news, Life provided a visual survey of modern experience for its readers, a weekly synopsis of the state of the world presented through pictures elucidated with bold headlines and short captions.

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American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography


DOI: 10.1353/amp.2010.0003


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