Mass Communication and American Social Thought
is a tour de force, a collection like no other in our field. Peters and Simonson have not simply compiled our greatest essays. This volume maps nearly all we know about the essential dynamics of mass communication, constructing a fierce dialogue among brilliant writers who never had the chance to argue in person. It is a compelling approach, bringing the famous essays together with forgotten works into one powerful book. This collection will change how we think about our discipline and is required reading for students, scholars, and anyone with an interest in the evolution of American mass media. (Susan Herbst, Temple University)
This collection of classics is a major step toward the grounding of collective memory for our field. (Elihu Katz, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania)
This is an enormously useful collection, not only for students of the history of communications, but for all who are interested in the history of American social thought. It should also help in the important task of putting questions of large scale communication at the center of contemporary debates about the future of democracy. (Craig Calhoun, president, Social Science Research Council; professor of sociology and history, New York University)
Some of the work gathered in this remarkable collection of excerpts―from essays, books, journals, fiction, academic research, and popular writing―has long been out of print, and Peters and Simonson's intention was to make these works available to a broad readership. In their introductory chapter, the editors provide an informative, enthusiastic rationale for the project and their choices and also an overview of the evolution of writing and thought about mass communication. Peters and Simonson also provide lists of supplementary collections and of films that 'raise questions about the meaning of media for modern social life.' They close their valuable collection with a selected bibliography. Recommended. (CHOICE
Includes nearly 70 papers or excepts from important theorists and researchers over a half century period vital to the formation of an academic discipline. A very useful addition to the literature which should open links for new readers to important historical work. (Communication Booknotes Quarterly
About the Author
John Durham Peters is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Peter Simonson is associate professor of communication at the University of Colorado, Boulder.