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BIG NEWS

Cover from PM, January 19, 1941. “One Photographer’s Explanation of Why France Fell.” Photos: Lisette Model.

Artist as Reporter: Weegee, Ad Reinhardt, and the “PM” News Picture, by Jason E. Hill. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. 375 pages.

“WHO WANTS YESTERDAY’S PAPERS? Who wants yesterday’s girl? Who wants yesterday’s papers? Nobody in the world!” So sneered Mick Jagger back in 1967.

While it’s true that old newsprint may serve to wrap fish (or, as one of my former colleagues at the Village Voice colorfully put it, “wipe a bum’s ass”), anyone who has ever been hypnotized by an unspooling roll of microfilm, sneezed in a musty newspaper morgue, or suffered the pain of brittle paper crumbling to the touch can attest that Mick was wrong.

Yesterday’s paper is the very stuff of history. As the art historian Jason E. Hill notes at the conclusion of Artist as Reporter—his dense and chewy analysis of the 1940s progressive New York City tabloid PM—during the course of his

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