The Creation of the Media

Author: Paul Starr
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465081943
Format: PDF, ePub
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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

Author: David Paul Nord
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252026713
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Empire and Communications

Author: Harold A. Innis
Publisher: Dundurn
ISBN: 1550029088
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Writing on the Wall

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408842076
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Spreading the News

Author: Richard R. JOHN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674833425
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

Author: Barbie Zelizer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135969582
Format: PDF, ePub
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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 Republic of Mass Culture

Author: James L. Baughman
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801883156
Format: PDF, Docs
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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

Playing to the World s Biggest Audience

Author: Michael Curtin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520251342
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Delineates the globalizing pressures and opportunities that have dramatically transformed the terrain of Chinese film and television, including the end of the cold war, the rise of the World Trade Organization, and the escalation of democracy movements. This book examines the prospect of a global Chinese audience.

Smoking Typewriters

Author: John McMillian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199376468
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Originally published in hardcover in 2011.

A Social History of England

Author: Asa Briggs
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780140136067
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Ranging widely over time and place, Asa Briggs highlights continuities and changes in society in England from prehistory to the present day. Literature, art and politics are investigated as aspects and gauges of human experience, research in related disciplines is discussed and changes in historical interpretations explained. The author also offers his own, personal, view of social history.