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The Creation of the Media

The Creation of the Media Author Paul Starr
ISBN-10 0465081940
Release 2005-04-06
Pages 496
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America's leading role in today's information revolution may seem simply to reflect its position as the world's dominant economy and most powerful state. But by the early nineteenth century, when the United States was neither a world power nor a primary center of scientific discovery, it was already a leader in communications-in postal service and newspaper publishing, then in development of the telegraph and telephone networks, later in the whole repertoire of mass communications.In this wide-ranging social history of American media, from the first printing press to the early days of radio, Paul Starr shows that the creation of modern communications was as much the result of political choices as of technological invention. With his original historical analysis, Starr examines how the decisions that led to a state-run post office and private monopolies on the telegraph and telephone systems affected a developing society. He illuminates contemporary controversies over freedom of information by exploring such crucial formative issues as freedom of the press, intellectual property, privacy, public access to information, and the shaping of specific technologies and institutions. America's critical choices in these areas, Starr argues, affect the long-run path of development in a society and have had wide social, economic, and even military ramifications. The Creation of the Media not only tells the history of the media in a new way; it puts America and its global influence into a new perspective.



Communities of Journalism

Communities of Journalism Author David Paul Nord
ISBN-10 0252026713
Release 2001
Pages 293
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Newspapers do more than provide information. They enter into the process of forming communities, from voluntary associations to cities to nation-states. Widely acknowledged as one of our most insightful commentators on the history of American journalism, David Paul Nord offers a lively and wide-ranging discussion of journalism as a vital component of community. In settings ranging from the religion-infused towns of colonial America to the rapidly expanding urban metropolises of the late nineteenth century, Nord explores the cultural work of the press. Nord perceives the daily press as an arena in which a broad cross-section of the populace -- ethnically diverse, geographically diffuse, and economically stratified -- could participate in a common culture. During times of crisis, such as the yellow fever epidemic that gripped Philadelphia in 1793, newspapers sustained the bonds of community life. Amassing concrete historical evidence, Nord also examines how ordinary readers make sense of what they read and how they use journalism to form community attachments and engage in civic life. Illuminating how newspapers have intersected with religion, politics, reform, and urban life over nearly three centuries, Communities of Journalism is a deeply satisfying contribution to the cultural history of American journalism and to the history of reading.



Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall Author Tom Standage
ISBN-10 9781408842072
Release 2013-10-10
Pages 288
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Today we are endlessly connected: constantly tweeting, texting or e-mailing. This may seem unprecedented, yet it is not. Throughout history, information has been spread through social networks, with far-reaching social and political effects. Writing on the Wall reveals how an elaborate network of letter exchanges forewarned of power shifts in Cicero's Rome, while the torrent of tracts circulating in sixteenth-century Germany triggered the Reformation. Standage traces the story of the rise, fall and rebirth of social media over the past 2,000 years offering an illuminating perspective on the history of media, and revealing that social networks do not merely connect us today ? they also link us to the past.



Empire and Communications

Empire and Communications Author Harold A. Innis
ISBN-10 9781550029086
Release 2007-01-01
Pages 288
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It’s been said that without Harold A. Innis there could have been no Marshall McLuhan. Empire and Communications is one of Innis’s most important contributions to the debate about how media influence the development of consciousness and societies. In this seminal text, he traces humanity’s movement from the oral tradition of preliterate cultures to the electronic media of recent times. Along the way, he presents his own influential concepts of oral communication, time and space bias, and monopolies of knowledge.



Spreading the News

Spreading the News Author Richard R. JOHN
ISBN-10 0674833422
Release 1998
Pages 369
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In the seven decades from its establishment in 1775 to the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844, the American postal system spurred a communications revolution no less far-reaching than the subsequent revolutions associated with the telegraph, telephone, and computer. This book tells the story of that revolution and the challenge it posed for American business, politics, and cultural life. During the early republic, the postal system was widely hailed as one of the most important institutions of the day. No other institution had the capacity to transmit such a large volume of information on a regular basis over such an enormous geographical expanse. The stagecoaches and postriders who conveyed the mail were virtually synonymous with speed. In the United States, the unimpeded transmission of information has long been hailed as a positive good. In few other countries has informational mobility been such a cherished ideal. Richard John shows how postal policy can help explain this state of affairs. He discusses its influence on the development of such information-intensive institutions as the national market, the voluntary association, and the mass party. He traces its consequences for ordinary Americans, including women, blacks, and the poor. In a broader sense, he shows how the postal system worked to create a national society out of a loose union of confederated states. This exploration of the role of the postal system in American public life provides a fresh perspective not only on an important but neglected chapter in American history, but also on the origins of some of the most distinctive features of American life today. Table of Contents: Preface Acknowledgments The Postal System as an Agent of Change The Communications Revolution Completing the Network The Imagined Community The Invasion of the Sacred The Wellspring of Democracy The Interdiction of Dissent Conclusion Abbreviations Notes Sources Index Reviews of this book: "[A] splendid new book...that gives the lie to any notion that 'government' and 'administration' were 'absent' in early America." DD--Theda Skocpol, Social Science History "This well-researched and elegantly written book will become a model for historians attempting to link public policy to cultural and political change...[It] will engage not only historians of the early republic, but all scholars interested in the relationship between state and society." DD--John Majewski, Journal of Economic History "The strength of the book is...the author's ability to untangle the thousands of social, political, economic, and cultural threads of the postal fabric and to rearrange them into a clear and compelling social history." DD--Roy Alden Atwood, Journal of American History "Richard R. John provides an insightful cultural history of the often-overlooked American postal system, concentrating on its preeminent status for long-distance communication between its birth in 1775 and the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844...John effectively draws upon government documents, newspapers, travelogues, and contemporary social and political histories to argue that the postal system causes and mirrors dramatic changes in American public life during this period...John focuses his study on the communication revolution of the past, yet his meticulous analysis of the complex motives forming the postal institution and its policies relate to such current controversies as those that surround the transmission of information in cyberspace. These contemporary disputes highlight the power of the government in shaping the communication of the people. John privileges the postal institution as the reigning communication system, yet he links it with the developing ideology of the nation, and the scope of his study ensures its value--in the disciplines of communication studies, literature, history, and political science, among others--as a history of the past and present." DD--Sarah R. Marino, Canadian Review of American Studies "Spreading the News exemplifies the kind of sophisticated and nuanced research that US postal history has long needed. Richard R. John breaks from the internalist, antiquarian tradition characteristic of so many post office histories to place the postal system at the centre of American national development." DD--Richard B. Kielbowicz, Business History "[John] presents a thoroughly researched and well-written book...[which will give] insight into the history of the post office and its impact on American life." DD--Library Journal "It is surely true that in Richard John the post has had the good fortune to have found its proper historian, one capable of appreciating the complex design and social importance of the means a people use to distribute information. He has also accomplished the impressive feat of gathering together the pieces of a postal history present elsewhere as so many tiny fragments. John has drawn into a coherent design the stories of postal patronage, the decisions about postal privacy, the incidents along post roads used by others as illustrative anecdotes. John's work has inspired in him a deep appreciation for the accomplishments of the post." DD--Ann Fabian, The Yale Review "John's book explains how the letters and newspapers sent through the post were really the glue that held the early 13 states together and that embraced additional states as the nation expanded westward...It is a splendid attempt to show the importance of mail service in the years before the telegraph or the telephone made at least brief news transmission possible. The postal system of the 19th century really was a factor, perhaps the major factor, in making the United States one nation." DD--Richard B. Graham, Linn's Stamp News "This book traces the central role of the postal system in [its] communications revolution and its contribution to American public life. The author shows how the postal system influenced the establishment of a national society out of a loose union of confederated states. Richard John throws light onto a chapter in American history that is often neglected but sets up the origins of some of the most distinctive features of American life today...The book is a comprehensive study on an important American institution during a critical epoch in its history." DD--Monika Plum, Prometheus [UK] "John has produced an original, well-documented, and thoughtful study that offers alternative and enticing interpretations of Jacksonian policies and public institutions." DD--Choice



Explorations in Communication and History

Explorations in Communication and History Author Barbie Zelizer
ISBN-10 9781135969585
Release 2008-10-27
Pages 240
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When and how do communication and history impact each other? How do disciplinary perspectives affect what we know? Explorations in Communication and History addresses the link between what we know and how we know it by tracking the intersection of communication and history. Asking how each discipline has enhanced and hindered our understanding of the other, the book considers what happens to what we know when disciplines engage. Through a critical collection of essays written by top scholars in the field, the book addresses the engagement of communication and history as it applies to the study of technology, audiences and journalism. A comprehensive introduction by Barbie Zelizer contextualises these debates and makes a case for the importance of disciplinary engagement for teaching as well as research in media and cultural studies and each section has a brief introduction to contextualise the essays and highlight the issues they raise, making this an invaluable collection for students and scholars alike.



The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America Author Brian P. Levack
ISBN-10 9780199578160
Release 2013-03-28
Pages 630
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A collection of essays from leading scholars in the field that collectively study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas.



Hillbilly

Hillbilly Author Anthony Harkins
ISBN-10 9780195189506
Release 2005
Pages 324
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In this pioneering work of cultural history, historian Anthony Harkins argues that the hillbilly-in his various guises of "briar hopper," "brush ape," "ridge runner," and "white trash"-has been viewed by mainstream Americans simultaneously as a violent degenerate who threatens the modern order and as a keeper of traditional values of family, home, and physical production, and thus symbolic of a nostalgic past free of the problems of contemporary life. "Hillbilly" signifies both rugged individualism and stubborn backwardness, strong family and kin networks but also inbreeding and bloody feuds. Spanning film, literature, and the entire expanse of American popular culture, from D. W. Griffith to hillbilly music to the Internet, Harkins illustrates how the image of the hillbilly has consistently served as both a marker of social derision and regional pride. He traces the corresponding changes in representations of the hillbilly from late-nineteenth century America, through the great Depression, the mass migrations of Southern Appalachians in the 1940s and 1950s, the War on Poverty in the mid 1960s, and to the present day. Harkins also argues that images of hillbillies have played a critical role in the construction of whiteness and modernity in twentieth century America. Richly illustrated with dozens of photographs, drawings, and film and television stills, this unique book stands as a testament to the enduring place of the hillbilly in the American imagination. Hillbilly received an Honorable Mention, John G. Cawelti Book Award of the American Culture Association.



Viewers Like You

Viewers Like You Author Laurie Ouellette
ISBN-10 0231119429
Release 2002-01
Pages 288
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In the 1930s a band of smart and able young men, some still in their twenties, helped Franklin D. Roosevelt transform an American nation in crisis. They were the junior officers of the New Deal. Thomas G. Corcoran, Benjamin V. Cohen, William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, and James Rowe helped FDR build the modern Democratic Party into a progressive coalition whose command over power and ideas during the next three decades seemed politically invincible. This is the first book about this group of Rooseveltians and their linkage to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and the Vietnam War debacle. Michael Janeway grew up inside this world. His father, Eliot Janeway, business editor of Time and a star writer for Fortune and Life magazines, was part of this circle, strategizing and practicing politics as well as reporting on these men. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of events and previously unavailable private letters and other documents, Janeway crafts a riveting account of the exercise of power during the New Deal and its aftermath. He shows how these men were at the nexus of reform impulses at the electoral level with reform thinking in the social sciences and the law and explains how this potent fusion helped build the contemporary American state. Since that time efforts to reinvent government by "brains trust" have largely failed in the U.S. In the last quarter of the twentieth century American politics ceased to function as a blend of broad coalition building and reform agenda setting, rooted in a consensus of belief in the efficacy of modern government. Can a progressive coalition of ideas and power come together again? The Fall of the House of Roosevelt makes such a prospect both alluring and daunting.



The Republic of Mass Culture

The Republic of Mass Culture Author James L. Baughman
ISBN-10 0801883164
Release 2006
Pages 298
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"Successfully integrates media content, commerce, technology, and external influences and... traces the interconnected web of the established media and the emergent medium of television." -- American Historical Review



Tube of Plenty

Tube of Plenty Author Erik Barnouw
ISBN-10 9780199879175
Release 1990-05-31
Pages 624
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Based on the classic History of Broadcasting in the United States, Tube of Plenty represents the fruit of several decades' labor. When Erik Barnouw--premier chronicler of American broadcasting and a participant in the industry for fifty years--first undertook the project of recording its history, many viewed it as a light-weight literary task concerned mainly with "entertainment" trivia. Indeed, trivia such as that found in quiz programs do appear in the book, but Barnouw views them as part of a complex social tapestry that increasingly defines our era. To understand our century, we must fully comprehend the evolution of television and its newest extraordinary offshoots. With this fact in mind, Barnouw's new edition of Tube of Plenty explores the development and impact of the latest dramatic phases of the communications revolution. Since the first publication of this invaluable history of television and how it has shaped, and been shaped by, American culture and society, many significant changes have occurred. Assessing the importance of these developments in a new chapter, Barnouw specifically covers the decline of the three major networks, the expansion of cable and satellite television and film channels such as HBO (Home Box Office), the success of channels catering to special audiences such as ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) and MTV (Music Television), and the arrival of VCRs in America's living rooms. He also includes an appendix entitled "questions for a new millennium," which will challenge readers not only to examine the shape of television today, but also to envision its future.



Origins Reconsidered

Origins Reconsidered Author Richard E. Leakey
ISBN-10 9780385467926
Release 1993
Pages 375
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Reassesses human prehistory, incorporating ideas from philosophy, anthropology, molecular biology, and linguistics to explore how humans acquired the qualities of consciousness and humanity.



Smoking Typewriters

Smoking Typewriters Author John McMillian
ISBN-10 9780199376469
Release 2014-08-13
Pages 304
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Originally published in hardcover in 2011.



All the News That s Fit to Sell

All the News That s Fit to Sell Author James T. Hamilton
ISBN-10 9781400841417
Release 2011-10-23
Pages 352
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That market forces drive the news is not news. Whether a story appears in print, on television, or on the Internet depends on who is interested, its value to advertisers, the costs of assembling the details, and competitors' products. But in All the News That's Fit to Sell, economist James Hamilton shows just how this happens. Furthermore, many complaints about journalism--media bias, soft news, and pundits as celebrities--arise from the impact of this economic logic on news judgments. This is the first book to develop an economic theory of news, analyze evidence across a wide range of media markets on how incentives affect news content, and offer policy conclusions. Media bias, for instance, was long a staple of the news. Hamilton's analysis of newspapers from 1870 to 1900 reveals how nonpartisan reporting became the norm. A hundred years later, some partisan elements reemerged as, for example, evening news broadcasts tried to retain young female viewers with stories aimed at their (Democratic) political interests. Examination of story selection on the network evening news programs from 1969 to 1998 shows how cable competition, deregulation, and ownership changes encouraged a shift from hard news about politics toward more soft news about entertainers. Hamilton concludes by calling for lower costs of access to government information, a greater role for nonprofits in funding journalism, the development of norms that stress hard news reporting, and the defining of digital and Internet property rights to encourage the flow of news. Ultimately, this book shows that by more fully understanding the economics behind the news, we will be better positioned to ensure that the news serves the public good.



Writing and Authority in Early China

Writing and Authority in Early China Author Mark Edward Lewis
ISBN-10 0791441148
Release 1999-03-18
Pages 544
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This book traces the evolving uses of writing to command assent and obedience in early China, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the foundation of imperial authority. Its central theme is the emergence of this body of writings as the textual double of the state, and of the text-based sage as the double of the ruler. The book examines the full range of writings employed in early China, such as divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, government documents, the collective writings of philosophical and textual traditions, speeches attributed to historical figures, chronicles, verse anthologies, commentaries, and encyclopedic compendia. Lewis shows how these writings served to administer populations, control officials, form new social groups, invent new models of authority, and create an artificial language whose master generated power and whose graphs became potent objects.



What Is Happening to News

What Is Happening to News Author Jack Fuller
ISBN-10 9780226268996
Release 2010-05-15
Pages 224
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Across America, newspapers that have defined their cities for over a century are rapidly failing, their circulations plummeting even as opinion-soaked web outlets like the Huffington Post thrive. Meanwhile, nightly news programs shock viewers with stories of horrific crime and celebrity scandal, while the smug sarcasm and shouting of pundits like Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann dominate cable television. Is it any wonder that young people are turning away from the news entirely, trusting comedians like Jon Stewart as their primary source of information on current events? In the face of all the problems plaguing serious news, What Is Happening to News explores the crucial question of how journalism lost its way—and who is responsible for the ragged retreat from its great traditions. Veteran editor and newspaperman Jack Fuller locates the surprising sources of change where no one has thought to look before: in the collision between a revolutionary new information age and a human brain that is still wired for the threats faced by our prehistoric ancestors. Drawing on the dramatic recent discoveries of neuroscience, Fuller explains why the information overload of contemporary life makes us dramatically more receptive to sensational news, while rendering the staid, objective voice of standard journalism ineffective. Throw in a growing distrust of experts and authority, ably capitalized on by blogs and other interactive media, and the result is a toxic mix that threatens to prove fatal to journalism as we know it. For every reader troubled by what has become of news—and worried about what the future may hold—What Is Happening to News not only offers unprecedented insight into the causes of change but also clear guidance, strongly rooted in the precepts of ethical journalism, on how journalists can adapt to this new environment while still providing the information necessary to a functioning democracy.



The Last Great Senate

The Last Great Senate Author Ira Shapiro
ISBN-10 9781538109793
Release 2017-12-28
Pages 515
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The Last Great Senate tells the story of the final four years of the progressive Senate of the 1960s and 1970s which compiled a record of accomplishment unmatched in our country’s history. It is a narrative history of the statesman who, working with an outsider president, Jimmy Carter, helped steer America through the crisis years of the late 1970s, transcending partisanship and overcoming procedural roadblocks that have all but crippled the Senate over the past quarter- century. The Last Great Senate recalls a critical juncture in American politics, offering a new view of the kind of leadership that will be required to restore the nation’s upper house to greatness. The book brings to life the renowned senators of the time---Ted Kennedy, Howard Baker, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Ed Muskie, Jacob Javits, Robert Byrd and others---while capturing the Senate as an ensemble cast in a way that no previous book has. Mr. Shapiro recounts a series of legislative battles, including the historic fight over the Panama Canal treaty and the rescues of New York City and Chrysler, that are remarkable case studies of the legislative process in action. His preface to this second edition provides a compelling summary of the Senate’s struggles since 1980, including the first six months of the Trump presidency. The author’s love of the Senate and his deep belief in its special role in our political system make the book an antidote to cynicism, leaving readers with some hope that the Senate can reverse its long decline to become again what Walter F. Mondale called “the nation’s mediator.”