What Is the History of Redbook Magazine?


Quick Answer

Redbook was first published as a literary magazine in 1903. Produced by the Hearst Corporation, it is one of the leading women's magazines in the United States.

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Full Answer

Redbook magazine, originally called The Red Book Illustrated, was founded by a group of Chicago retailers. It is one of seven major women's service magazines, and the red color in the title is meant to convey a sense of cheerfulness. The name of the periodical was later changed to Red Book Magazine, and it became famous for publishing the short fiction and novels of writers such as Jack London and Sinclair Lewis.

At one point the magazine described itself as the "largest illustrated fiction magazine in the world." Women were attracted to Redbook because female authors were often featured, and the magazine contained numerous advertisements for cosmetics and skin care products.

In the 1970s, Redbook began to shift its focus toward the rising feminist movement and was considered an important pioneer in helping to establish women's rights. Later, articles about subjects such as dating, sex and fashion became more common. Celebrity interviews gained popularity, and fiction was published less and less frequently. Today, Redbook is one of just a few surviving publications from the 1920s.

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