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War with Mexico!: America's Reporters Cover the Battlefront (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – November 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Presenting a fresh approach that will appeal to more than just military historians, this is arguably one of the most important works ever to have been published on the Mexican War and one that will remain unsurpassed for years to come."--Richard Bruce Winders, author of Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War

"A welcome, engaging, and important study of American wartime journalism in its infancy. Reilly and Witten chronicle the resourcefulness, tenacity, and ingenuity of the professional and amateur journalists whose tireless efforts kept the American public informed of events from the nation's first foreign war."--Timothy D. Johnson, author of A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign

About the Author

Tom Reilly was a professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge, and was the founding editor of Journalism History. He died in 2002. His former student Manley Witten teaches in the School of Communication at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (November 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 070061740X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700617401
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,768,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Journalists embedded with U.S. troops attacking on foreign soil; uncensored news from the front reaches citizens before official Washington; news reports with a political or social slant, glorifying events to a red, white and blue hue. Sound familiar? Is it Vietnam, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan? Nope. It is Mexico in 1846.
This book chronicles the story of the Mexican War through the eyes of America's war correspondents. There were at least thirteen full time reporters covering the campaign from the first battles in northern Mexico under General Zachary Taylor to the surrender of Mexico City under General Winfield Scott. Of these, one was a woman, Jane McManus Storms of the New York Sun, who covered the siege of Veracruz in 1847 from the Mexican perspective. Eleven of the men reported for one of the New Orleans newspapers and six of these worked for the New Orleans Picayune alone, New Orleans being closest to the theater of operations. What is particularly amazing is how quickly news reports made their way from the field to press and then to the rest of the country. How it got out at all, much less faster than through official channels sometimes boggles the mind.
The book not only details the story of war reporting but also discusses the rise of commercial journalism, the penny press, and that relationship with the battlefield reporters. One of the results of this relationship is the fact that the press begins to have a definite impact on national politics and opinions. The story told here really hits home as the authors give ample space to the reporters themselves and the reader thence has his own boots on the ground.
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War with Mexico!: America's Reporters Cover the Battlefront (Modern War Studies)
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