Ruthless Criticism

Ruthless Criticism: New Perspectives in U.S. Communication History.” (William Solomon & Robert W. McChesney, editors,) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Solomon and McChesney begin by using critical theory and deconstruction to examine the meanings of print in the colonial era. Subsequent chapters study the media ecology of the antebellum press; the intense focus on profits of the post-Civil War mainstream press; gender images in the labor press; the diversity of political views within the working-class press; and the development of a commercial press in the black community.

The essays concerning the twentieth century focus on the rise of a culture industry and include studies on the origins of the broadcast ratings system and the commercial broadcast system and the commercial broadcast system, early television’s portrayals of childhood, the televisions networks’ close ties with the federal government, the government’s key role in creating and developing the field of mass communication research, and teenage girls’ popular culture from 1960–1968 as a formative influence on the feminist movement.

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Selected Reviews:
  • Academic Library Book Review, December 1993, p. 18.
  • American Journalism, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Winter 1994): pp. 91-92. By James Boylan.
  • Communication Abstracts, Vol. 16, No. 6 (December 1993).
  • Communication Booknotes, Vol. 24, No. 6 (1993): p. 148.
  • Journal of American History, Vol. 81, No. 2 (September 1994): pp. 627-628. By Richard B. Kielbowicz.
  • Journalism Educator, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Summer 1994): p. 89. By David Abrahamson.
  • Journalism History, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Autumn 1993): p. 102. By John D. Stevens.
  • Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 2 (Summer 1995): p. 482. By William McKeen.
  • Public Relations Review, Vol. 20 (Autumn 1994): pp. 299-300. By Jerry L. Sloan.

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