Media And Revolution

Media And Revolution

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Description

As television screens across America showed Chinese students blocking government tanks in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and missiles searching their targets in Baghdad, the connection between media and revolution seemed more significant than ever. In this book, thirteen prominent scholars examine the role of the communication media in revolutionary crises - from the Puritan Revolution of the 1640s to the upheaval in the former Czechoslovakia.
Their central question: Do the media in fact have a real influence on the unfolding of revolutionary crises? On this question, the contributors diverge, some arguing that the press does not bring about revolution but is part of the revolutionary process, others downplaying the role of the media.
Essays focus on areas as diverse as pamphlet literature, newspapers, political cartoons, and the modern electronic media. The authors' wide-ranging views form a balanced and perceptive examination of the impact of the media on the making of history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 24.13mm | 598.74g
  • Lexington, United States
  • English
  • illus
  • 0813118999
  • 9780813118994
  • 1,733,574

Back cover copy

As television screens across America showed Chinese students blocking their government's tanks in Tiananmen Square, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or those first missiles of the Gulf War searching their targets in Bagdad, the connection between media and revolution seemed more significant than ever. In this book, thirteen prominent scholars examine the role of the communication media in revolutionary crises - from the Puritan Revolution of the 1640s to the upheaval in former Czechoslovakia that remains unresolved today. Their central question: Do the media in fact have a real influence on the unfolding of revolutionary crises? On this question, the contributors diverge. In his examination of the power of the newspaper in the French Revolution, Pierre Retat argues that the press does not bring about the revolution but is a part of the revolutionary process. Popkin shares Retat's conviction that changes in media praxis are essential symbols of the nature of revolutionary upheaval. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, taking the opposite view, argues that the extensive attention paid to the effects of worldwide television coverage of the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square masks the fact that the Chinese students were essentially reworking protest rituals rooted in their country's history and culture long before the modern media era. Owen Johnson, in his essay on the Czechoslovak press during the "Velvet Revolution", likewise downplays the role of the media. The remaining contributors - Jeffrey Brooks, Jack R. Censer, Tim Harris, Thomas C. Leonard, Stephen R. Mackinnon, Michael Mendle, Jeffery A. Smith, Jonathan Sperber, Mark W. Summers - focus on pamphlet literature, newspapers, political cartoons, andthe modern electronic media. Together, their wide-ranging views form a balanced and perceptive examination of the impact of the media on the making of history.
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Review quote

"Brings together substantive research on the role of the press in major revolutionary moments and periods in early modern and modern European and American history. The topic and the approach are highly significant." -- Timothy Cheek "A timely collection on a topic of considerable importance. This volume will be an important point of reference on the topic for some time to come." -- Paul R. Hanson "The authors all advocate the intriguing theory that revolutionary crises coincide with sudden changes in the media system of the society in which they occur." -- Library Journal "New insights on vital events and demonstrates how history can contribute to the development of media theory." -- Choice
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About Jeremy D. Popkin

Jeremy D. Popkin is professor of history at the University of Kentucky.
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