For this article's accompanying online component, see Cameron Blevins, “Mining and Mapping the Production of Space,”http://spatialhistory.stanford.edu/viewoftheworld.

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On a rainy spring evening in 1898 the Texas newspaper editor Rienzi Johnston found himself in Chicago's Grand Pacific Hotel for the annual banquet of the Associated Press (ap). Johnston and eighty-seven fellow editors from across the country dined alongside two full-size printing presses built out of flowers and candy while seated at tables arranged to form the initials ap. Over little-neck clams and roast snipe they listened to a series of speeches on the defining issues of the day. A prominent lawyer defended the Associated Press and its powerful national news syndicate from charges of monopoly, while a string of boisterous toasts celebrated the recent outbreak of war between the United States and Spain. In a fit of patriotism, one southern editor rose from his chair to declare...

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