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A Short History of the Modern Media

Jim Cullen

ISBN: 978-1-444-35141-5 October 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 304 Pages


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