Media Warfare
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Media Warfare : The Americanization of Language

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Description

Media Warfare is the concluding volume of Melvin Lasky's monumental The Language of Journalism, a series that has been praised as a "brilliant" and "original" study in communications and contemporary language. Firmly rooted in the critical tradition of H. L. Mencken, George Orwell, and Karl Kraus, Lasky's incisive analysis of journalistic usage and misusage gauges both the cultural and political health of contemporary society as well the declining standards of contemporary journalism.As in the first two volumes, Lasky's scope is cross-cultural with special emphasis on the sometimes conflicting, sometimes mutually influential styles of American and British journalistic practice. His approach to changes in media content and style is closely keyed to changes in society at large. Media Warfare pays particular attention to the gradual easing and near disappearance of censorship rules in the 1960s and after and the attendant effects on electronic and print media. In lively and irreverent prose, Lasky anatomizes the dilemmas posed by the entrance of formerly "unmentionable" subjects into daily journalistic discourse, whether for reasons of profit or accurate reporting. He details the pervasive and often indirect influence of the worlds of fashion and advertising on journalism with their imperatives of sensationalism and novelty and, by contrast, how the freeing of language and subject matter in literature--the novels of Joyce and Lawrence, the poetry of Philip Larkin--have affected permissible expression for good or ill. Lasky also relates this interaction of high and low style to the spread of American urban slang, often with Yiddish roots and sometimes the occasion of anti-Semitic reaction, into the common parlance of British no less than American journalists.Media Warfare concludes with prescriptive thoughts on how journalism might still be revitalized in a "post-profane" culture. Witty, timely, and deeply learned, the three volumes of The Language of Journalism are a crowning achievement to a distinguished career.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 365 pages
  • 157.5 x 231.1 x 33mm | 589.68g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 076580302X
  • 9780765803023

Review quote

-With this volume, Lasky completes his singular, extended pursuit of the media's depiction of the unmentionable, frightening, offensive, disruptive, amoral, abnormal, vulgar, obscene, and profane (vols. 1-2, CH, Mar'01, 38-3721; Oct'05, 43-0753)... Lasky is unique among critics of contemporary journalism; his perspective may be most akin to that of H.L. Mencken or Edmund Wilson. This three-volume set is a valuable resource for journalism and literary criticism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.- --R. A. Logan, Choice "With this volume, Lasky completes his singular, extended pursuit of the media's depiction of the unmentionable, frightening, offensive, disruptive, amoral, abnormal, vulgar, obscene, and profane (vols. 1-2, CH, Mar'01, 38-3721; Oct'05, 43-0753)... Lasky is unique among critics of contemporary journalism; his perspective may be most akin to that of H.L. Mencken or Edmund Wilson. This three-volume set is a valuable resource for journalism and literary criticism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." --R. A. Logan, Choice "With this volume, Lasky completes his singular, extended pursuit of the media's depiction of the unmentionable, frightening, offensive, disruptive, amoral, abnormal, vulgar, obscene, and profane (vols. 1-2, CH, Mar'01, 38-3721; Oct'05, 43-0753)... Lasky is unique among critics of contemporary journalism; his perspective may be most akin to that of H.L. Mencken or Edmund Wilson. This three-volume set is a valuable resource for journalism and literary criticism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." --R. A. Logan, Choice
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About Melvin J. Lasky

Melvin J. Lasky was the editor of Encounter from 1958 until its close in 1990; before that he was the editor of Der Monat in Berlin. He is the author of The Hungarian Revolution, Africa for Beginners, Utopia and Revolution, On the Barricades and Off, and Voices in a Revolution, the last three available from Transaction.
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