Cookies must be enabled to use this website.

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:American
  • Language:English
  • Pages:222
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667834597
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667834580

The Price of Salmon

The Scandal of the West Coast Salmon Canning Industry

by Max Stern View publisher's profile page

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Overview
In 1922, San Francisco Daily News investigative journalist, Max Stern, posed as a down-on-his-luck cannery workers to uncover corrupt hiring practices and deplorable labor conditions employed by Chinese contractors and Alaska salmon canners. Stern's collective articles spotlighted the discrimination, exploitation, profiteering, and mistreatment of cannery crews and exposed the corrupt, abusive practices of the labor contract system. More real than fiction, Stern's adventure aboard a "Hell Ship" to Alaksa was filled with suspense and drama. It was a deep dive into of the underworld of the salmon canning trade, populated by greedy owners, corrupt contractors, and Chinese Gang of many races, tongues, and nationalities. Desperate men were pressed to surrender to "Man's inhumanity to man.". It is a remarkable piece of journalism and literature of the American West in the early 20th Century.
Description
In 1922, San Francisco Daily News investigative journalist, Max Stern, posed as a down-on-his-luck cannery workers to uncover corrupt hiring practices and deplorable labor conditions employed by Chinese contractors and Alaska salmon canners. Stern's collective articles spotlighted the discrimination, exploitation, profiteering, and mistreatment of cannery crews and exposed the corrupt, abusive practices of the labor contract system. In thirty-seven articles published daily between September 24 and November 8, 1922, Stern described his journey to Alaska, embarking from San Francisco and sailing to the shores of the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay, the easternmost arm of the Bering Sea. Stern shared with readers breathtaking accounts onboard American made bark, Emily F. Whitney, one of the notorious "Hell Ships." He vividly described risk and danger, labor unrest, fish waste, poor food and living quarters, and the industry's impact on the Chinese gang which included a striking diversity of workers from many races and national origins. Stern's trip was the most unusual newspaper assignment of the year. His work is an exposé of the scandal of the coastwide salmon canning trade, which eventually led to the collapse of the Chinese contract system. The writing covers a lot of ground, including early twentieth century recruiting practice in San Francisco, living and working conditions aboard a "Hell Ship" and in Alaska, race and nationality, immigrants, capitalist system during 2nd industrial revolution, salmon canning trade, San Francisco underworld, Chinese contract system, Alaska canneries and natives. More real than fiction, Stern's adventure aboard a "Hell Ship" to Alaksa was filled with suspense and drama. It was a deep dive into of the underworld of the salmon canning trade, populated by greedy owners, corrupt contractors, and Chinese Gang of many races, tongues, and nationalities. Desperate men were pressed to surrender to "Man's inhumanity to man.". It is a remarkable piece of journalism and literature of the American West in the early 20th Century.
About the author
Max Stern was born July 16, 1884, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He spent part of his early years in southern Indiana and the family moved to California while he was still in his youth. He graduated from the University of California in 1909. He spent a short time as a laboratory assistant in bacteriology at the University of California in Berkeley. His long and outstanding newspaper career began as a reporter on the San Francisco Bulletin in June 1910. He later became Oakland editor of that newspaper. He worked as a feature writer for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, a newspaper feature syndicate from January 1919 until July 1920 when he became a star reporter and political writer for the San Francisco Daily News. In 1922, Stern was assigned to sail on a hell ship and to work in an Alaska cannery which was the most unusual newspaper assignment of the year. He won national fame through a series of syndicated articles exposing what the newspaper syndicate termed the coastwide scandal of the Alaskan salmon cannery trade. Joining the Scripps Howard Newspaper Alliance as a reporter in 1922, Stern wrote articles and editorials for the San Francisco News, San Diego Sun, and Sacramento Star as well as special assignments for other newspapers in the chain. He became well known throughout the entire West and assignments took him to Mexico Honolulu Canada and Nicaragua. From April 1930 to May 1938, he served as a correspondent and editorial writer for the Scripps Howard Alliance in Washington. His writings appeared in some 30 newspapers of the chain. He was a member of the National Press Club in the District of Columbia. He entered Federal employment as Director of the Information Service of the Social Security Board in Washington DC in June 1938. He spent the next 6 years in Washington DC. Desiring to return to his home state California, he transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation on July 11, 1944, and became Reclamation's Regional Information Officer in Sacramento. As information officer for Region 2, Stern was in charge of public information for Reclamation's great Central Valley project in California, and of other Reclamation work over most of California and in southern Oregon. Max W Stern, 66, died Saturday August 26, 1950, in Echo Lake, California.
Thanks for submitting a review!

Your review will need to be approved by the author before being posted.

See Inside
Front Cover

Loading book cover...

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Session Expiration WarningYour session is due to expire.

Your online session is due to expire shortly.
Would you like to extend your session and remain logged in?

Session Expired

Your session has expired.We're sorry, but your online session has expired.
Please log back into your account to continue.