In an age when local daily papers with formerly robust reporting are cutting sections and even closing their doors, the contributors to The Life of Kings celebrate the heyday of one such paper, the Baltimore Sun, when it set the agenda for Baltimore, was a force in Washington, and extended its reach around the globe. Contributors like David Simon, creator of HBO’s The Wire, and renowned political cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher (better known as KAL), tell what it was like to work in what may have been the last golden age of American newspapers -- when journalism still seemed like “the life of kings” that H.L. Mencken so cheerfully remembered. The writers in this volume recall the standards that made the Sun and other fine independent newspapers a bulwark of civic life for so long. Their contributions affirm that the core principles they followed are no less imperative for the new forms of journalism: a strong sense of the public interest in whose name they were acting, a reverence for accuracy, and an obligation to keep faith with the reader.