A Short History of the Modern Media presents a concise history of the major media of the last 150 years, including print, stage, film, radio, television, sound recording, and the Internet. Offers a compact, teaching-friendly presentation of the history of mass media Features a discussion of works in popular culture that are well-known and easily available Presents a history of modern media that is strongly interdisciplinary in nature
List of Figures ix Acknowledgments xv Introduction: Medium Message 1 Overview 2 Further Reading 11 1 Print’s Run: Publishing as Popular Culture 13 Overview 14 Genre Study / Terrifying pleasures: Horror 31 Document Study / The ravenous imagination of Edgar Allan Poe 38 Document Study / Carrie: Princess of blood, King of horror 44 Further Reading 49 2 Dramatic Developments: The World of the Stage 51 Overview 52 Genre Study / Notes from the stage: The Broadway musical 69 Document Study / Show Boat: High tide of the American musical 77 Further Reading 83 3 Reel Life: The Art ofMotion Pictures 85 Overview 86 Genre Study / Horse sense: The logic of the western 102 Document Study / The Searchers: Monumental western 111 Further Reading 116 4 MakingWaves: Radio in American Life 119 Overview 120 Genre Study / Worlds away: Science fiction 134 Document Study / The Mercury Theater on the Air: Worlds war 142 Document Study / Buck Rogers: Finding time (in space) 149 Further Reading 153 5 Channels of Opportunity: The Arc of Television Broadcasting 155 Overview 156 Genre Study / Screened realities: Situation comedy 173 Document Study / Seriously funny: I Love Lucy 181 Further Reading 187 6 Sound Investments: The Evolution of Sound Recording 190 Overview 191 Genre Study / Joyful blues: The rise and fall of rock and roll 213 Document Study / ‘‘Beat It’’: The integration of Michael Jackson 224 Document Study / Speak Now: The gently assertive voice of Taylor Swift 232 Further Reading 237 7 Weaving the Web: The Emergence of the Internet 240 Overview 241 Genre Study / Shared exchanges: Social media 260 Document Study / Wikipedia: The wisdom of crowds 268 Further Reading 274 Index 277
Jim Cullen is Chair of the History Department at the Fieldston School in New York and a book review editor at the History News Network. He is the author of a dozen books, including Imperfect Presidents: Tales of Misadventure and Triumph (2007), Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write and Think about History, 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), and Sensing the Past: Hollywood Stars and Historical Visions (2013).
While forms of communication designed to reach large audiences have been around for centuries, technological advances in the modern era continue to redefine the boundaries of mass media. A Short History of the Modern Media presents a concise history of the major media of the last 150 years—from print, stage, film, and radio, to television, sound recording, and the Internet. While tracing the origin, trajectory, and current state of various forms of media, each brief chapter includes a sidebar featuring a particular genre in popular culture--such as horror, Westerns, or sitcoms-- and its impact on the media it represents. Another sidebar focuses on an individual work of popular culture and its creators, from War of the Worlds to Wikipedia. Recommendations for further reading are presented for those interested in more in-depth pursuits of individual topics. Informative and highly accessible, A Short History of the Modern Media offers an invaluable synopsis of the milestones and events that have shaped the media landscape over the past century and a half.
“Until now, there has not been a teachable history of mass media. Cullen’s deftly distilled historiographies will please teachers and the well-chosen genre essays and case studies will inspire great classroom discussions.” --Andrew Haley, The University of Southern Mississippi “With its informative overviews and rich document studies, A Short History of the Modern Media should prove an essential work for any course on the history and meaning of modern media.” --Louis P. Masur, Rutgers University "An excellent introduction to the technologies, industries, cultural forms, and genres that constitute our media landscape. Cullen shows that the history of our media is in many ways the history of our sociality and our intimacies." --Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
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