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The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left, With a New Preface First Edition, With a New Preface Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520239326
ISBN-10: 0520239326
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Editorial Reviews

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"An enormously useful book.... Gitlin writes about the way news organizations, as the category implies, 'organize' the news world, both for practitioners-- reporters, editors, and managers--and for the consumers--readers, viewers, and perhaps even more important, decision-makers."

"Gitlin tells us...how the New York Times and CBS reported on Students for a Democratic Society, and how their choices mattered for the development of the 60s movement and the containment of serious political change." --

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Praise for the original edition:

"No phenomenon in American life cries out for examination more than the impact of the news media on persons, movements, and events. One need not accept all of Gitlin's provocative conclusions to praise the exacting scholarship that has gone into this study of what happens to an anti-establishment movement performing on an establishment stage."—Daniel Schorr, commentator, National Public Radio

"An enormously useful book. . . . Gitlin writes about the way news organizations, as the category implies, 'organize' the news world, both for practitioners—reporters, editors, and managers—and for the consumers—readers, viewers, and perhaps even more important, decision-makers."—Frank Mankiewicz, Washington Journalism Review

"Gitlin tells us . . . how the New York Times and CBS reported on Students for a Democratic Society, and how their choices mattered for the development of the 60s movement and the containment of serious political change."—Gaye Tuchman, In These Times
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, With a New Preface edition (March 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520239326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520239326
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Patrick J. Hair on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yes. Establishment supporters would like you to push this book aside. The media in those days was neither conservative or liberal. It was both and neither. I remember when local TV news (I lived in the Phili area) had editorials from their staff. One night would be a conservative view, another night would be a leftist or a radical view. The media outlets, in general were a lot more independent. Sure they were owned by rich guys and rich stockholders, but not all of those people were controlled, bought and paid for by the establishment. The media reported much more fairly then. The reason why hippies were seen and heard more and more on TV is because they WERE a cultural phenonmenae and people wanted to know and see and hear what they were about in order to form an opinion. The music people were listening to reflected that cultural change and difference and was therefore "news" as well. People spent a lot of money making a choice to purchase that counterculture music thru concerts and records and others wanted to know why and get a grip on what was happening in their world. That IS news. But the establishment at that time didn't fully understand the importance of TV to influence the masses UNTIL the hippies and their ideas spread like wildfire and gained general acceptance which eventually changed law. When Nixon debated Kennedy in 1960, they both failed to understand how even their physical appearance influenced how people viewed them. They both made mistakes. But by 1972, Nixon had learned and often came off looking and sounding pretty good. I even liked him although I lean liberal. Most establishment types, and even my parents, held that TV was primarily for entertainment and not to be taken too seriously.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
a classic
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Format: Paperback
This book is widely used in college courses because it provides an important example of how the media works as a part of social organization.
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Format: Paperback
This isn't the only book Todd Gitlin has published about the late 1960s anti - war / counterculture movement.

He is dead wrong here about CBS, the New York Times and other "establishment" media deciding from the get - go to portray the flower children as an "oddity." On the contrary, the major media gave the scruffy baby boomers their own voice. Abbie Hoffman regularly gave press conferences at which he railed about the non - existent "children for breakfast program" while he was surrounded by microphones clearly labeled "CBS," "ABC," etc.

At your local public library you can find oversized index books for the New York Times from 1968, 1969 and 1970 that list numerous citations for Abbie Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman ended up like the character of Alex in "The Big Chill." Jerry Rubin eventually forgot what his mother told him about looking both ways before you cross a busy highway. Musician David Crosby, who warned his fans that President Nixon was coming to get them (reaching more people than any journalist), eventually served six months in solitary confinement for narcotics. Then almost 20 years later (with Bush in the White House) he got busted for narcotics again.

Mr. Gitlin treats those guys as heroes in this book. He needs to accept the inevitable. The only person in the 1960s who was free, white and over 21 to whom we owe thanks is Lyndon Johnson. He almost singlehandedly criminalized racial segregation in all stores, restrooms (1964) and real estate offices (1968). He pressured the U.S. Supreme Court to desegregate public schools "at once." It did. Yes, Johnson allowed 56,000 Americans to die in Vietnam, but then he retired from politics, suffered from depression, died prematurely and left us to pick up the pieces.

Time to move on.
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Format: Paperback
The last reviewer is right. This book is indeed used in college courses. The courses are taught by professors who defend that minority of young people who blamed U.S. involvement in Vietnam on their local police department.

It's hard for some baby boomers to believe, but many colleges employ professors who beg to differ with the Oliver Stone take on the counterculture. I know one professor at a small Midwestern school who often cites the May 1968 issue of Vogue magazine. It contains astute comments on the Vietnam issue by Marietta Tree, who had lost her boyfriend Adlai Stevenson three years earlier. Others in her family comment, too. Even the anorexic fashion model Penelope Tree is more eloquent than Mario Savio or Abbie Hoffman. The Trees specify that the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign always fails, but maybe a few civilian advisers will work? It's at any library with old Vogues.

Author Todd Gitlin ignores the Vogue article in this book, complaining instead that the mainstream media (desperate to foster "social organization" ?!?) censored most public outcries against the war. Maybe he considers Vogue editor Diana Vreeland and the Tree family to be phony capitalist pigs? Their testimony is there for all to see 37 years later, but you don't hear them in college classrooms. You never hear about Eartha Kitt on campus, either. Did her immortalization as Catwoman ruin her credibility in Berkeley?

Should I pay more attention to the unkempt people in the deliberately ugly clothes? They aren't phony, and they always know what they're talking about. Right?
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