This examination of nineteenth-century journalism explores the specific actions and practices of the publications that provided a true picture of slavery to the general public. From Boston's strident <i>Liberator</i> to Frederick Douglass' <i>North Star</i>, the decades before the Civil War saw more than forty newspapers founded with the specific aim of promoting emancipation. Not only did these sheets provide a platform for discourse, but they also gave slavery a face for a wider audience. The reach of the abolitionist press only grew as the fiery publications became objects of controversy and targets of violence in both South and North. These works kept the issue of slavery in the public eye even as mainstream publications took up the call for emancipation, as the nation went to war, up to the end of slavery. Their legacy has endured, as dedicated reform writers and editors continue to view the press as a vital tool in the fight for equality.
Carol Sue Humphrey’s The American Revolution and the Pressargues that newspapers played an important role during America’s struggle for independence by keeping Americans engaged in the war even when the fighting occurred in distant locales. From the moment that the colonials received word of Britain’s new taxes in 1764 until reports of the peace treaty arrived in 1783, the press constituted the major source of information about events and developments in the conflict with the mother country. Both Benjamin Franklin, one of the Revolution’s greatest leaders, and Ambrose Serle, a Loyalist, described the press as an “engine” that should be used to advance the cause. The efforts of Patriot printers to keep readers informed about the war helped ensure ultimate success by boosting morale and rallying Americans to the cause until victory was achieved. As Humphrey illustrates, Revolutionary-era newspapers provided the political and ideological unity that helped Americans secure their independence and create a new nation.
For a lot of people, thoughts about the sexual politics of Playboy run along the lines of what Gloria Steinem reportedly once told Hugh Hefner: “A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.” Hefner’s magazine celebrates men as swinging bachelors and women as objects of desire; ergo, it’s sexist.
Not so fast, says Carrie Pitzulo. With Bachelors and Bunnies, she delves into the history of the magazine to reveal its surprisingly strong record of support for women’s rights and the modernization of sexual and gender roles. Taking readers behind the scenes of Playboy’s heyday, Pitzulo shows how Hefner’s own complicated but thoughtful perspective on modern manhood, sexual liberation, and feminism played into debates—both in the editorial offices and on the magazine’s pages—about how Playboy’s trademark “girl next door” appeal could accommodate, acknowledge, and even honor the changing roles and new aspirations of women in postwar America. Revealing interviews with Hugh Hefner and his daughter (and later Playboy CEO) Christie Hefner, as well as with a number of editors and even Playmates, show that even as the magazine continued to present a romanticized notion of gender difference, it again and again demonstrated a commitment to equality and expanded opportunities for women.
Offering a surprising new take on a twentieth-century icon, Bachelors and Bunnies goes beyond the smoking jacket and the centerfold to uncover an unlikely ally for the feminist cause.
In the formative years of the Methodist Church in the United States, women played significant roles as proselytizers, organizers, lay ministers, and majority members. Although women’s participation helped the church to become the nation’s largest denomination by the mid-nineteenth century, their official roles diminished during that time. In Beyond the Pulpit, Lisa Shaver examines Methodist periodicals as a rhetorical space to which women turned to find, and make, self-meaning.
In 1818, Methodist Magazine first published “memoirs” that eulogized women as powerful witnesses for their faith on their deathbeds. As Shaver observes, it was only in death that a woman could achieve the status of minister. Another Methodist publication, the Christian Advocate, was America’s largest circulated weekly by the mid-1830s. It featured the “Ladies’ Department,” a column that reinforced the canon of women as dutiful wives, mothers, and household managers. Here, the church also affirmed women in the important rhetorical and evangelical role of domestic preacher. Outside the “Ladies Department,” women increasingly appeared in “little narratives” in which they were portrayed as models of piety and charity, benefactors, organizers, Sunday school administrators and teachers, missionaries, and ministers’ assistants. These texts cast women into nondomestic roles that were institutionally sanctioned and widely disseminated.
By 1841, the Ladies’ Repository and Gatherings of the West was engaging women in discussions of religion, politics, education, science, and a variety of intellectual debates. As Shaver posits, by providing a forum for women writers and readers, the church gave them an official rhetorical space and the license to define their own roles and spheres of influence. As such, the periodicals of the Methodist church became an important public venue in which women’s voices were heard and their identities explored.
During the Vietnam War, young African Americans fought to protect the freedoms of Southeast Asians and died in disproportionate numbers compared to their white counterparts. Despite their sacrifices, black Americans were unable to secure equal rights at home, and because the importance of the war overshadowed the civil rights movement in the minds of politicians and the public, it seemed that further progress might never come. For many African Americans, the bloodshed, loss, and disappointment of war became just another chapter in the history of the civil rights movement. Lawrence Allen Eldridge explores this two-front war, showing how the African American press grappled with the Vietnam War and its impact on the struggle for civil rights.
Written in a clear narrative style, Chronicles of a Two-Front War is the first book to examine coverage of the Vietnam War by black news publications, from the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964 to the final withdrawal of American ground forces in the spring of 1973 and the fall of Saigon in the spring of 1975.
Eldridge reveals how the black press not only reported the war but also weighed its significance in the context of the civil rights movement.
The author researched seventeen African American newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Baltimore Afro-American, and the New Courier, and two magazines, Jet and Ebony. He augmented the study with a rich array of primary sources—including interviews with black journalists and editors, oral history collections, the personal papers of key figures in the black press, and government documents, including those from the presidential libraries of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford—to trace the ups and downs of U.S. domestic and wartime policy especially as it related to the impact of the war on civil rights.
Eldridge examines not only the role of reporters during the war, but also those of editors, commentators, and cartoonists. Especially enlightening is the research drawn from extensive oral histories by prominent journalist Ethel Payne, the first African American woman to receive the title of war correspondent. She described a widespread practice in black papers of reworking material from major white papers without providing proper credit, as the demand for news swamped the small budgets and limited staffs of African American papers. The author analyzes both the strengths of the black print media and the weaknesses in their coverage.
The black press ultimately viewed the Vietnam War through the lens of African American experience, blaming the war for crippling LBJ’s Great Society and the War on Poverty. Despite its waning hopes for an improved life, the black press soldiered on.
How did a college education become so vital to American notions of professional and personal advancement? Reared on the ideal of the self-made man, American men had long rejected the need for college. But in the early twentieth century this ideal began to change as white men born in the U.S. faced a barrage of new challenges, among them a stultifying bureaucracy and growing competition in the workplace from an influx of immigrants and women. At this point a college education appealed to young men as an attractive avenue to success in a dawning corporate age. Accessible at first almost exclusively to middle-class white males, college funneled these aspiring elites toward a more comfortable and certain future in a revamped construction of the American dream.
In Creating the College Man Daniel A. Clark argues that the dominant mass media of the era—popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan and the Saturday Evening Post—played an integral role in shaping the immediate and long-term goals of this select group of men. In editorials, articles, fiction, and advertising, magazines depicted the college man as simultaneously cultured and scientific, genteel and athletic, polished and tough. Such depictions underscored the college experience in powerful and attractive ways that neatly united the incongruous strains of American manhood and linked a college education to corporate success.
In The Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield challenges the idea that photographs of political violence exploit their subjects and pander to the voyeuristic tendencies of their viewers. Instead she argues passionately that looking at such images—and learning to see the people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes the human capacity for cruelty. Grappling with critics from Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht to Susan Sontag and the postmoderns—and analyzing photographs from such events as the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, and recent terrorist acts—Linfield explores the complex connection between photojournalism and the rise of human rights ideals. In the book’s concluding section, she examines the indispensable work of Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, and Gilles Peress and asks how photography should respond to the increasingly nihilistic trajectory of modern warfare.
A bracing and unsettling book, The Cruel Radiance convincingly demonstrates that if we hope to alleviate political violence, we must first truly understand it—and to do that, we must begin to look.
In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign.
Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices.
Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.
In early 1860 most Southern newspapers promoted Unionist sentiments for peace, but by 1861 they advocated secession and disunion, often calling for bloodshed. Using the editorials published in 196 newspapers during that pivotal year before the outbreak of the Civil War, Donald E. Reynolds shows the evolution of the editors’ viewpoints and explains how editors helped influence the traditionally conservative and nationalistic South to revolt and secede.
Editors Make War is the first complete study of how Southern newspapers influenced the secession crisis in 1860, effectively outlining how editors played on their readers’ racial fears and distrust of the North. Showing how newspaper coverage can affect its readers, this classic study illuminates such events as the nominating conventions, fires in Texas that were blamed on slaves and abolitionists, state elections in the North, Lincoln’s presidential victory, failed attempts at compromise, the secession of the lower Southern states, the attack at Fort Sumter, and the Federal call for troops in April 1861.
In The Eternal Paddy, Michael de Nie examines anti-Irish prejudice, Anglo-Irish relations, and the construction of Irish and British identities in nineteenth-century Britain. This book provides a new, more inclusive approach to the study of Irish identity as perceived by Britons and demonstrates that ideas of race were inextricably connected with class concerns and religious prejudice in popular views of both peoples. De Nie suggests that while traditional anti-Irish stereotypes were fundamental to British views of Ireland, equally important were a collection of sympathetic discourses and a self-awareness of British prejudice. In the pages of the British newspaper press, this dialogue created a deep ambivalence about the Irish people, an ambivalence that allowed most Britons to assume that the root of Ireland’s difficulties lay in its Irishness.
Drawing on more than ninety newspapers published in England, Scotland, and Wales, The Eternal Paddy offers the first major detailed analysis of British press coverage of Ireland over the course of the nineteenth century. This book traces the evolution of popular understandings and proposed solutions to the "Irish question," focusing particularly on the interrelationship between the press, the public, and the politicians. The work also engages with ongoing studies of imperialism and British identity, exploring the role of Catholic Ireland in British perceptions of their own identity and their empire.
At her first press conference, Eleanor Roosevelt, uncertain of her role as hostess or leader, passed a box of candied grapefruit peel to the thirty-five women journalists. Nearly sixty years later, Hillary Clinton, an accomplished professional woman and lawyer, tried to mollify her critics by handing out her chocolate-chip cookie recipe. These exchanges tells us as much about the social—and political—roles of women in America as they do about the relation of the first lady to the press and the public. Looking at the personal interaction between each first lady from Martha Washington to Laura Bush and the mass media of her day, Maurine H. Beasley traces the growth of the institution of the first lady as a part of the American political system. Her work shows how media coverage of first ladies, often limited to stereotypical ideas about women, has not adequately reflected the importance of their role.
With their gregarious natures and casual styles, American GIs in wartime England were instantly attractive to British women—especially in the absence of their fighting men. As a result, some seventy thousand British war brides returned to the United States—with many on the home front at first suspecting that the GIs were somehow being exploited.
The war brides’ stories have been told in memoirs, romantic novels, and immigration history. Barbara Friedman sheds new light on their experiences by focusing on media representations of sexuality and marriage in wartime, showing how mass media interpretations turned from public suspicion of war brides to popular acceptance.
Friedman tells how British media first insisted that GIs had come to fight, not to woo the locals, and shrugged off the first brides as an “American problem.” Yet, as Friedman shows, the British media were complicit in encouraging the relationships in the first place: the British press promoted a hospitality program that deemed the entertainment of American troops “patriotic duty,” while women’s magazines hailed American men as ideal husbands and the United States as a promised land.
From the American perspective, Friedman reveals, despite rules against foreign marriages, the U.S. Army encouraged GI-civilian fraternization through armed service publications, attitudes toward GI sexuality, and participation in the hospitality program. Armed service publications went from depicting British women as “frowsy dames” to honoring them as models of domesticity, while newspapers back home eventually legitimized the marriages by casting the brides as welcome additions to American society. Meanwhile, American women’s magazines viewed them as more similar to than different from their American counterparts and called on readers to help British brides master American homemaking.
By combining letters and diaries of brides with published accounts, Friedman identifies accuracies and inaccuracies in the media record as well as gaps in coverage. She considers how the brides saw themselves compared to their media images and shows how the media co-opted brides as symbols of the Anglo-American “special friendship,” postwar power imbalance, and gendered ideals of marriage and domestication.
From the Battlefront to the Bridal Suite is the untold story of overlooked participants in the most celebrated drama of the twentieth century—women whose lives were shaped profoundly by a war that was more than just a male enterprise. It shows the power of the press in the most unlikely matters and suggests a broader definition of the wartime experience.
Front Page Economics
Gerald D. Suttles, with Mark D. Jacobs University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress HB3722.S888 2010 | Dewey Decimal 330.973
In an age when pundits constantly decry overt political bias in the media, we have naturally become skeptical of the news. But the bluntness of such critiques masks the highly sophisticated ways in which the media frame important stories. In Front Page Economics, Gerald Suttles delves deep into the archives to examine coverage of two major economic crashes—in 1929 and 1987—in order to systematically break down the way newspapers normalize crises.
Poring over the articles generated by the crashes—as well as the people in them, the writers who wrote them, and the cartoons that ran alongside them—Suttles uncovers dramatic changes between the ways the first and second crashes were reported. In the intervening half-century, an entire new economic language had arisen and the practice of business journalism had been completely altered. Both of these transformations, Suttles demonstrates, allowed journalists to describe the 1987 crash in a vocabulary that was normal and familiar to readers, rendering it routine.
A subtle and probing look at how ideologies are packaged and transmitted to the casual newspaper reader, Front Page Economics brims with important insights that shed light on our own economically tumultuous times.
On the night of Saturday, July 13, 1991, a mob of male students at the St. Kizito Mixed Secondary School in Meru, Kenya, attacked their female classmates in a dormitory. Nineteen schoolgirls were killed in the melee and more than 70 were raped or gang raped.
The explanations in the press for the attack included a rebellion by male students over administrative mismanagement, academic stress, cultural norms for the Meru ethnic group, and victim characteristics (as assumed in rape myths). Rape had been tolerated at the school, according to press accounts.
Dr. Steeves studied all stories published in three Nairobi daily newspapers and a weekly Kenyan newsmagazine for the year following the crime. She also examined a sampling of international reports. Her qualitative analysis sought to identify “framing patterns” supportive of patriarchal or of feminist ideologies of rape, and the ways in which those patterns have been affected by news values and traditions. Gender Violence and the Press shows how media discourse may allow space for feminist interests within the dominant patriarchal ideology. In this instance, the appearance of resistant views was significant in making alternative meanings available and in supporting women’s growing anti-violence activism.
Michael Frome University of Utah Press, 1998 Library of Congress PN4888.E65F76 1998 | Dewey Decimal 070.4493637
Michael Frome, who began his distinguished career in environmental journalism in the 1960s, has been called the dean of American conservation. As former Senator Gaylord Nelson once told the members of Congress, "No writer in America has more persistently and effectively argued for the need of a national ethics of environmental stewardship."
In Green Ink: An Introduction to Environmental Journalism, Frome has forged decades of experience in the field he helped pioneer into a valuable primer for environmental advocates and writers. This appealing blend of anecdote, advice, personal testimony, and a nuts and bolts instruction offers a thorough survey of rewards and challenges that environmental studies students might expect to encounter on along their chosen career paths. In addition to the extraordinary contributions made by "marquis" names such as Rachel Carson and Bernard DeVoto, Frome recounts the remarkable stories of a host of other writer-advocates and their largely unsung roles in investigating and publicizing environmental problems and abuses.
In 1937 and 1938, Ernest Hemingway made four trips to Spain to cover its civil war for the North American News Alliance wire service and to help create the pro-Republican documentary film The Spanish Earth. Hemingway’s Second War is the first book-length scholarly work devoted to this subject.
Drawing on primary sources, Alex Vernon provides a thorough account of Hemingway’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, a messy, complicated, brutal precursor to World War II that inspired Hemingway’s great novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Vernon also offers the most sustained history and consideration to date of The Spanish Earth. Directed by Joris Ivens, this film was a landmark work in the development of war documentaries, for which Hemingway served as screenwriter and narrator.
Contributing factual, textual, and contextual information to Hemingway studies in general and his participation in the war specifically, Vernon has written a critical biography for Hemingway’s experiences during the Spanish Civil War that includes discussion of the left-wing politics of the era and the execution of José Robles Pazos. Finally, the book provides readings ofFor Whom the Bell Tollsboth in historical context and on its own terms.
Marked by both impressive breadth and accessibility, Hemingway’s Second War will be an indispensible resource for students of literature, film, journalism, and European history and a landmark work for readers of Ernest Hemingway.
Human Rights In Camera
Sharon Sliwinski University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress JC571.S634 2011 | Dewey Decimal 323.490222
From the fundamental rights proclaimed in the American and French declarations of independence to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Hannah Arendt’s furious critiques, the definition of what it means to be human has been hotly debated. But the history of human rights—and their abuses—is also a richly illustrated one. Following this picture trail, Human Rights In Camera takes an innovative approach by examining the visual images that have accompanied human rights struggles and the passionate responses people have had to them.
Sharon Sliwinski considers a series of historical events, including the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the Holocaust, to illustrate that universal human rights have come to be imagined through aesthetic experience. The circulation of images of distant events, she argues, forms a virtual community between spectators and generates a sense of shared humanity. Joining a growing body of scholarship about the cultural forces at work in the construction of human rights, Human Rights In Camera is a novel take on this potent political ideal.
The Vietnam War has been depicted by every available medium, each presenting a message, an agenda, of what the filmmakers and producers choose to project about America's involvement in Southeast Asia. This collection of essays, most of which are previously unpublished, analyzes the themes, modes, and stylistic strategies seen in a broad range of films and television programs.
From diverse perspectives, the contributors comprehensively examine early documentary and fiction films, postwar films of the 1970s such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now, and the reformulated postwar films of the 1980s--Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Born on the Fourth of July. They also address made-for-television movies and serial dramas like China Beach and Tour of Duty. The authors show how the earliest film responses to America's involvement in Vietnam employ myth and metaphor and are at times unable to escape glamorized Hollywood. Later films strive to portray a more realistic Vietnam experience, often creating images that are an attempt to memorialize or to manufacture different kinds of myths. As they consider direct and indirect representations of the war, the contributors also examine the power or powerlessness of individual soldiers, the racial views presented, and inscriptions of gender roles. Also included in this volume is a chapter that discusses teaching Vietnam films and helping students discern and understand film rhetoric, what the movies say, and who they chose to communicate those messages.
Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).
Introduction - Michael Anderegg
1. Hollywood and Vietnam: John Wayne and Jane Fonda as Discourse - Michael Anderegg
2. "All the Animals Come Out at Night": Vietnam Meets Noir in Taxi Driver - Cynthia J. Fuchs
3. Vietnam and the Hollywood Genre Film: Inversions of American Mythology in The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now - John Hellmann
4. "Charlie Don't Surf": Race and Culture in the Vietnam War Films - David Desser
5. Finding a Language for Vietnam in the Action-Adventure Genre - Ellen Draper
6. Narrative Patterns and Mythic Trajectories in Mid-1980s Vietnam Movies - Tony Williams
7. Rambo's Vietnam and Kennedy's New Frontier - John Hellmann
8. Gardens of Stone, Platoon, and Hamburger Hill: Ritual and Remembrance - Judy Lee Kinney
9. Primetime Television's Tour of Duty - Daniel Miller
10. Women Next Door to War: China Beach - Carolyn Reed Vartanian
11. Male Bonding, Hollywood Orientalism, and the Repression of the Feminine in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket - Susan White
12. Vietnam, Chaos, and the Dark Art of Improvisation - Owen W. Gilman, Jr.
13. Witness to War: Oliver Stone, Ron Kovic, and Born on the Fourth of July - Thomas Doherty
14. Teaching Vietnam: The Politics of Documentary - Thomas J. Slater
Selected Filmography and Videography
About the Author(s)
Michael Anderegg is Professor of English at the University of North Dakota, and author of two other books: William Wyler and David Lean.
Contributors: Cynthia J. Fuchs, John Hellman, David Desser, Ellen Draper, Tony Williams, Judy Lee Kinney, Daniel Miller, Carolyn Reed Vartanian, Susan White, Owen W. Gilman, Jr., Thomas Doherty, Thomas J. Slater, and the editor.
In November 1919, newspapers around the world alerted readers to a sensational new theory of the universe: Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Coming at a time of social, political, and economic upheaval, Einstein’s theory quickly became a rich cultural resource with many uses beyond physical theory. Media coverage of relativity in Britain took on qualities of pastiche and parody, as serious attempts to evaluate Einstein’s theory jostled with jokes and satires linking relativity to everything from railway budgets to religion. The image of a befuddled newspaper reader attempting to explain Einstein’s theory to his companions became a set piece in the popular press.
Loving Faster than Light focuses on the popular reception of relativity in Britain, demonstrating how abstract science came to be entangled with class politics, new media technology, changing sex relations, crime, cricket, and cinematography in the British imagination during the 1920s. Blending literary analysis with insights from the history of science, Katy Price reveals how cultural meanings for Einstein’s relativity were negotiated in newspapers with differing political agendas, popular science magazines, pulp fiction adventure and romance stories, detective plots, and esoteric love poetry. Loving Faster than Light is an essential read for anyone interested in popular science, the intersection of science and literature, and the social and cultural history of physics.
On the night of December 1,1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband's death unsolved.
The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today, Margaret's composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack--known to be a cruel and dangerous man--was hailed as a respectable husband and father. Midnight Assassin also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily, who used these events as the basis for her classic short story, " A Jury of Her Peers", and the famous play Trifles.
Based on almost a decade of research, Midnight Assassin is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest.
Because news is a weapon of war--affecting public opinion, troop morale, even strategy--for more than a century America's wartime officials have sought to control or influence the press, most recently by "embedding" reporters within military units in Iraq. This second front, where press freedom and military imperatives often do battle, is the territory explored in The Military and the Press, a history of how press-military relations have evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first century in response to the demands of politics, economics, technology, and legal and social forces.
Author Michael S. Sweeney takes a chronological approach, considering freedoms and restraints such as the First Amendment, court decisions, and government and military directives that have affected the press during World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the more recent conflicts. He explores the ongoing themes of wartime censorship and propaganda, as well as operational security in the battle zone. In chapters addressing the recent shift in military strategy in dealing with the press, Sweeney discusses new forms of control--from embedding journalists and discouraging unaccredited "unilaterals" to developing the news agenda through a barrage of briefings, sound bites, and visuals and appeals to patriotism that border on domestic propaganda. With profiles of a few specific journalists--from Richard Harding Davis covering the Spanish-American War to Christiane Amanpour reporting from the conflicts in Bosnia and Iraq--this deft blend of journalistic history and analysis should serve as a call-to-arms to a public not always well served by a military-press standoff.
During the Cold War, the Soviets were quick to publicize any incident of racial hostility in the United States. Since violence by white Americans against minorities was the perfect foil to America’s claim to be defenders of freedom, news of these occurrences was exploited to full advantage by the Russians. But how did the Soviets gain primary knowledge of race riots in small American towns? Certainly, the Soviets had reporters stationed stateside, in big cities like New York, but research reveals that the majority of their information came directly from U.S. media sources.
Throughout this period, the American press provided the foreign media with information about racially charged events in the United States. Such news coverage sometimes put Washington at a disadvantage, making it difficult for government officials to assuage foreign reactions to the injustices occurring on U.S. soil. Yet in other instances, the domestic press helped to promote favorable opinions abroad by articulating themes of racial progress. While still acknowledging racial abuses, these press spokesmen asserted that the situation in America was improving. Such paradoxical messages, both aiding and thwarting the efforts of the U.S. government, are the subject of The Opinions of Mankind: Racial Issues, Press, and Propaganda in the Cold War.
The study, by scholars Richard Lentz and Karla K. Gower, describes and analyzes the news discourse regarding U.S. racial issues from 1946 to 1965. The Opinions of Mankindnot only delves into the dissemination of race-related news to foreign outlets but also explores the impact foreign perceptions of domestic racism had on the U.S. government and its handling of foreign relations during the period. What emerges is an original, insightful contribution to Cold War studies. While other books examine race and foreign affairs during this period of American history, The Opinions of Mankind is the first to approach the subject from the standpoint of press coverage and its impact on world public opinion.
This exhaustively researched and compellingly written volume will appeal to media scholars, political historians, and general readers alike. By taking a unique approach to the study of this period, The Opinions of Mankind presents the workings behind the battles for public opinion that took place between 1946 and 1965.
Praised and condemned for its aggressive coverage of the Vietnam War, the American press has been both commended for breaking public support and bringing the war to an end and accused of misrepresenting the nature and progress of the war. While in-depth combat coverage and the instantaneous power of television were used to challenge the war, Clarence R. Wyatt demonstrates that, more often than not, the press reported official information, statements, and views. Examining the relationship between the press and the government, Wyatt looks at how difficult it was to obtain information outside official briefings, what sort of professional constraints the press worked under, and what happened when reporters chose not to "get on the team."
"Wyatt makes the Diem period in Saigon come to life—the primitive communications, the police crackdowns, the quarrels within the news organizations between the pessimists in Saigon and the optimists in Washington and New York."—Peter Braestrup, Washington Times
"An important, readable study of the Vietnam press corps—the most maligned group of journalists in modern American history. Clarence Wyatt's insights and assessments are particularly valuable now that the media is rapidly growing in its influence on domestic and international affairs."—Peter Arnett, CNN foreign correspondent
In 1872 Susan Eberhart was convicted of murder for helping her lover to kill his wife. The Atlanta Constitution ran a story about her hanging in Georgia that covered slightly more than four full columns of text. In an editorial sermon about her, the Constitution said that Miss Eberhart not only committed murder, but also committed adultery and “violated the sanctity of marriage.” An 1890 article in the Elko Independent said of Elizabeth Potts, who was hanged for murder, “To her we look for everything that is gentle and kind and tender; and we can scarcely conceive her capable of committing the highest crime known to the law.” Indeed, at the time, this attitude was also applied to women in general.
By 1998 the press’s and society’s attitudes had changed dramatically. A columnist from Texas wrote that convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker should not be spared just because she was a woman. The author went on to say that women could be just as violent and aggressive as men; the idea that women are defenseless and need men’s protection “is probably the last vestige of institutionalized sexism that needs to be rubbed out.”
In “The Penalty Is Death,” Marlin Shipman examines the shifts in press coverage of women’s executions over the past one hundred and fifty years. Since the colonies’ first execution of a woman in 1632, about 560 more women have had to face the death penalty. Newspaper responses to these executions have ranged from massive national coverage to limited regional and even local coverage. Throughout the years the press has been guilty of sensationalism, stereotyping, and marginalizing of female convicts, making prejudicial remarks, trying these women in the media, and virtually ignoring or simply demeaning African American women convicts. This thoroughly researched book studies countless episodes that serve to illustrate these points.
Shipman’s use of reconstructed stories, gleaned from hundreds of newspaper articles, gives readers a deeper understanding of the ways these dailies reported on the trials and imprisonment of women and how these reports reflected the cultural norms of the times. His detailed narratives of the executions give evidence to the development of journalistic styles and techniques, such as the jazz journalism of the 1920s. By examining anecdotes about how the press reports on the death penalty, Shipman seeks to stimulate discussions about this subject that are more human and less abstract.
“The Penalty Is Death” fills a void in the literature on capital punishment that has long been neglected. Anyone interested in media and press performance, capital punishment, or women’s roles in society will find this book of great value.
Barbie Zelizer reveals the unique significance of the photographs taken at the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany after World War II. She shows how the photographs have become the basis of our memory of the Holocaust and how they have affected our presentations and perceptions of contemporary history's subsequent atrocities. Impressive in its range and depth and illustrated with more than 60 photographs, Remembering to Forget is a history of contemporary photojournalism, a compelling chronicle of these unforgettable photographs, and a fascinating study of how collective memory is forged and changed.
"[A] fascinating study. . . . Here we have a completely fresh look at the emergence of photography as a major component of journalistic reporting in the course of the liberation of the camps by the Western Allies. . . . Well written and argued, superbly produced with more photographs of atrocity than most people would want to see in a lifetime, this is clearly an important book."—Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement
In 1989, the rape and beating of a white female jogger in Central Park made international headlines. Many accounts reported the incident as an example of “wilding”—episodes of poor, minority youths roaming the streets looking for trouble. Police intent on immediate justice for the victim coerced five African-American and Latino boys to plead guilty. The teenage boys were quickly convicted and imprisoned. Natalie Byfield, who covered the case for the New York Daily News, now revisits the story of the Central Park Five from her perspective as a black female reporter in Savage Portrayals.
Byfield illuminates the race, class, and gender bias in the massive media coverage of the crime and the prosecution of the now-exonerated defendants. Her sociological analysis and first-person account persuasively argue that the racialized reportage of the case buttressed efforts to try juveniles as adults across the nation.
Savage Portrayals casts new light on this famous crime and its far-reaching consequences for the wrongly accused and the justice system.
The U.S. victims’ rights movement has transformed the way that violent crime is understood and represented in the United States. It has expanded the concept of victimhood to include family members and others close to direct victims, and it has argued that these secondary victims may be further traumatized through their encounters with insensitive journalists and the cold, impersonal nature of the criminal justice system. This concept of extended victimization has come to dominate representations of crime and the American criminal justice system. In Second Wounds, Carrie A. Rentschler examines how the victims’ rights movement brought about such a marked shift in how Americans define and portray crime. Analyzing the movement’s effective mobilization of activist networks and its implementation of media strategies, she interprets texts such as press kits, online victim memorials, and training materials for victims’ advocates and journalists. Rentschler also provides a genealogy of the victims’ rights movement from its emergence in the 1960s into the twenty-first century. She explains that while a “get tough on crime” outlook dominates the movement, the concept of secondary victimization has been invoked by activists across the political spectrum, including anti–death penalty advocates, who contend that the families of death-row inmates are also secondary victims of violent crime and the criminal justice system.
In Sex Trafficking, Scandal, and the Transformation of Journalism, Gretchen Soderlund offers a new way to understand sensationalism in both newspapers and reform movements. By tracing the history of high-profile print exposés on sex trafficking by journalists like William T. Stead and George Kibbe Turner, Soderlund demonstrates how controversies over gender, race, and sexuality were central to the shift from sensationalism to objectivity—and crucial to the development of journalism in the early twentieth century.
Chechnya, a 6,000-square-mile corner of the northern Caucasus, has struggled under Russian domination for centuries. The region declared its independence in 1991, leading to a brutal war, Russian withdrawal, and subsequent "governance" by bandits and warlords. A series of apartment building attacks in Moscow in 1999, allegedly orchestrated by a rebel faction, reignited the war, which continues to rage today. Russia has gone to great lengths to keep journalists from reporting on the conflict; consequently, few people outside the region understand its scale and the atrocities—described by eyewitnesses as comparable to those discovered in Bosnia—committed there.
Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent for the liberal Moscow newspaper Novaya gazeta, was the only journalist to have constant access to the region. Her international stature and reputation for honesty among the Chechens allowed her to continue to report to the world the brutal tactics of Russia's leaders used to quell the uprisings. A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya is her second book on this bloody and prolonged war. More than a collection of articles and columns, A Small Corner of Hell offers a rare insider's view of life in Chechnya over the past years. Centered on stories of those caught-literally-in the crossfire of the conflict, her book recounts the horrors of living in the midst of the war, examines how the war has affected Russian society, and takes a hard look at how people on both sides are profiting from it, from the guards who accept bribes from Chechens out after curfew to the United Nations. Politkovskaya's unflinching honesty and her courage in speaking truth to power combine here to produce a powerful account of what is acknowledged as one of the most dangerous and least understood conflicts on the planet.
Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated in Moscow on October 7, 2006.
"The murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya leaves a terrible silence in Russia and an information void about a dark realm that we need to know more about. No one else reported as she did on the Russian north Caucasus and the abuse of human rights there. Her reports made for difficult reading—and Politkovskaya only got where she did by being one of life's difficult people."—Thomas de Waal, Guardian
In 2009, Rolling Stone named Joe Romm to its list of "100 People Who Are Changing America." Romm is a climate expert, physicist, energy consultant, and former official in the Department of Energy. But it’s his influential blog, one of the "Top Fifteen Green Websites" according to Time magazine, that’s caught national attention. Climate change is far more urgent than people understand, Romm says, and traditional media, scientists, and politicians are missing the story.
Straight Up draws on Romm’s most important posts to explain the dangers of and solutions to climate change that you won’t find in newspapers, in journals, or on T.V. Compared to coverage of Jay-Z or the latest philandering politician, climate change makes up a pathetically small share of news reports. And when journalists do try to tackle this complex issue, they often lack the background to tell the full story. Despite the dearth of reporting, polls show that two in five Americans think the press is actually exaggerating the threat of climate change. That gives Big Oil, and others with a vested interest in the status quo, a huge opportunity to mislead the public.
Romm cuts through the misinformation and presents the truth about humanity’s most dire threat. His analysis is based on sophisticated knowledge of renewable technologies, climate impacts, and government policy, written in a style everyone can understand. Romm shows how a 20 percent reduction in global emissions over the next quarter century could improve the economy; how we can replace most coal and with what technologies; why Sarah Palin wears a polar bear pin; and why controversial, emerging technologies like biochar have to be part of the solution.
The ultimate solution, Romm argues, is bigger than any individual technology: it’s citizen action. Without public pressure, Washington and industry don’t budge. With it, our grandkids might just have a habitable place to live.
“The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger” and “Hero of the Environment 2009”
“I trust Joe Romm on climate.”
—Paul Krugman, New York Times
“America’s fiercest climate-change activist-blogger” and one of “The 100 People Who Are Changing America”
— Rolling Stone
“One of the most influential energy and environmental policy makers in the Obama era”
— U.S. News & World Report
“The indispensable blog”
—Thomas Friedman, New York Times
“One of the most influential energy and environmental policy makers in the Obama era”
— U.S. News & World Report
“The indispensable blog”
—Thomas Friedman, New York Times
The subject of murder has always held a particular fascination for us. But, since at least the nineteenth century, we have seen the murderer as different from the ordinary citizen—a special individual, like an artist or a genius, who exists apart from the moral majority, a sovereign self who obeys only the destructive urge, sometimes even commanding cult followings. In contemporary culture, we continue to believe that there is something different and exceptional about killers, but is the murderer such a distinctive type? Are they degenerate beasts or supermen as they have been depicted on the page and the screen? Or are murderers something else entirely?
In The Subject of Murder, Lisa Downing explores the ways in which the figure of the murderer has been made to signify a specific kind of social subject in Western modernity. Drawing on the work of Foucault in her studies of the lives and crimes of killers in Europe and the United States, Downing interrogates the meanings of media and texts produced about and by murderers. Upending the usual treatment of murderers as isolated figures or exceptional individuals, Downing argues that they are ordinary people, reflections of our society at the intersections of gender, agency, desire, and violence.
Although theirs has been a contentious relationship, Joe Mathewson shows that, since the framing of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has needed the press to educate the public about its actions, just as the press has depended on the Supreme Court to ensure the freedoms that give it life. The Court ignored the First Amendment for more than a century and then trampled it, but since the 1960s it has tended to uphold the rights of the press in the face of opposition, that coming from the Executive Branch. Still, the Court has repeatedly failed to fully inform the public of its decisions. Even today the Court permits only limited access to its audio tapes of oral arguments, and it famously refuses to allow television cameras into the courtroom. Mathewson argues that if the Supreme Court wants to maintain its legitimacy and authority in the internet age it must allow broader access for the press.
In the most comprehensive study of the media and foreign policy, twenty distinguished scholars and analysts explain the role played by the mass media and public opinion in the development of United States foreign policy in the Gulf War.
Tracing the flow of news, public opinion, and policy decisions from Sadam Hussein's rise to power in 1979, to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, through the outbreak and conclusion of the war, the contributors look at how the media have become key players in the foreign policy process. They examine the pre-war media debate, news coverage during and after the war, how the news-gathering process shaped the content of the coverage, and the media's effect on public opinion and decision makers. We see what goes on behind the scenes in the high tech world of political communication, and are confronted by troubling questions about the ways the government managed coverage of the war and captured journalists at their own news game.
Taken by Storm also examines more general patterns in post-Cold war journalism and foreign policy, particularly how contemporary journalistic practices determine whose voices and what views are heard in foreign policy coverage. At stake are the reactions of a vast media audience and the decision of government officials who see both the press and the public and key elements of the policy game.
The first book to fully integrate our understanding of the news business, public opinion, and government action, Taken by Storm transcends the limits of the Gulf War to illuminate the complex relationship between the media, the public, and U.S. foreign policy in the late twentieth century.
Did two reporters really change the course of history? And what impact did they actually have on American journalism and government? Jon Marshall explores different answers to those questions by charting the past and the possible future of the critical public service provided by investigative reporters.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein symbolize an era when investigative reporters were seen as courageous fighters of corruption and injustice. Although many mainstream news outlets no longer have the resources to support expensive investigative reporters on staff, journalists have found other ways to support themselves Marshall’s discussion of the opportunities they have found in blogs, crowd-sourcing, and nonprofit institutions offers hope for the future of investigative journalism.
In The Weekly War, James Landers provides the first in-depth investigation of how the three major newsmagazines—Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report—covered the Vietnam War and the impact their coverage had on the American public, presidents, and policymakers. From March 1965 through January 1973 these magazines reached nearly one-third of adult Americans—second only to news programs on network television. Despite the popular impression that this was primarily a “television war,” the newsmagazines played a prominent role in informing the public about warfare and war policy.
While television reporting provided a here-and-now version of events, these magazines published articles that combined on-the-scene coverage with analysis and commentary. Because these publications worked on a more leisurely weekly deadline as opposed to the daily deadlines of television or newspapers, they were able to provide distinct perspectives on the week’s events, along with factual material. The writing was typically more vivid and detailed than that of newspapers, and the occasional use of color photographs contributed to the impact of the stories.
Each magazine had its own niche and distinct editorial style: Newsweek provided a mainstream liberal perspective, while Time took a more conservative viewpoint and U.S. News & World Report had an ultraconservative outlook. The editors of each magazine aimed to reach like-minded readers, knowing full well that a reader who disliked one magazine could simply switch to another. Landers demonstrates how public-opinion shifts during the war forced the newsmagazines, especially Time, to change too.
This book reflects a thorough examination of roughly nine hundred articles on the Vietnam War published by the three major newsmagazines. Landers also gathered documents from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Richard M. Nixon Presidential Materials Project to reveal the attention paid to the newsmagazines by presidents and policymakers and their attempts to influence or manipulate coverage.
In addition to making a major contribution to the history of print journalism, The Weekly War complements scholarship on television news coverage of the Vietnam War. This volume will appeal to students and teachers of history and journalism, as well as the general reader interested in a unique view of the Vietnam War.