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What to expect

One of the biggest under-told stories of the past twenty years is the swallowing up of small independent newspapers by large corporations. This is the dramatic account of two battles waged by Richard McCord with his independent newspapers against the Gannett Company, one of the country’s largest newspaper chains.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, McCord owned one of two small local papers. When Gannett purchased his competing paper, McCord set out to investigate the tactics Gannett had used in the past to obliterate independent competition. His research yielded such ominous reports that McCord decided to publish them in a preemptive strike against the competition. Now it was war—and McCord would soon learn first-hand what he was up against in keeping his paper alive.

Critics Review

  • “The raw emotion he brings to his battle against Gannett makes The Chain Gang affecting as well as informative.”

    New York Times Book Review
  • “McCord has done something marvelous…He’s taken a deeply disturbing nationwide trend and put it on a small Midwestern stage with real characters. [This] message needs to be heard by as many Americans as read newspapers.”

    Vanity Fair
  • “A devastating pattern of corporate sleaze…There is no question that McCord has the goods on Gannett, and he is one of the few journalists in America bold enough to reveal them.”

    Newsday
  • “Nearly impossible to put down.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “A mind-boggling exposé.”

    Booklist (starred review)
  • “Reads like a well-written suspense story with an uncertain conclusion.”

    Library Journal

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