Started in 1988 by University of Wisconsin undergraduates Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson, The Onion began as an alternative weekly newspaper in Madison, originally meant to parody both USA Today and the nearby Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper. It was purchased the following year for less than $20,000 by staff members Scott Dikkers and Peter Haise. In1995 Dikkers shifted the focus of the paper to a straight news parody and found the voice for which The Onion is known today. Dikkers was the publication's longest-serving editor-in-chief, holding the position from 19881999 and 20052008. Will Tracy is the paper's current editor-in-chief.
In 1996 The Onion made an unprecedented launch into cyberspace, and www.theonion.com soon became one of the nation's most heavily visited web sites. Comedy Central bought the company in 2000, and its offices moved to New York City in 2001. The Onion News Network, a daily video parody of 24-hour news networks, was launched in 2007.
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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