Joseph T. Shaw: The Man Behind Black Mask

by Milton T. Shaw

Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw enjoyed several distinguished careers—military man and champion fencer, among them—before he assumed the editorial chair of the most significant fiction magazine since The Strand gave the world the immortal Sherlock Holmes. Between 1926 and 1936, Shaw edited Black Mask magazine. The pioneering first stories of Carroll John Daly and Dashiell Hammett had just begun to appear in its pages. Shaw recognized in their hard-boiled treatment of the American crime story the potential for a new literary school. Working closely with his hand-picked writers, he pulled the magazine back from the brink of cancellation, and transformed the staid detective story into a vigorous and modern genre, discovering and championing important inheritors of this new tradition, among them, Raymond Chandler.

But there is more to Joe Shaw than his editorial career. Here, in the first biography ever written of this editorial giant, his son relates the full fascinating story of the man behind the revolutionary editorial persona….

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