On subjects from Superman to rock 'n' roll, from Donald Duck to the TV news, from soap operas and romance novels to the use of double speak in advertising, these lively essays offer students of contemporary media a comprehensive counterstatement to the conservatism that has been ascendant since the seventies in American politics and cultural criticism. Donald Lazere brings together selections from nearly forty of the most prominent Marxist, feminist, and other leftist critics of American mass culture-from a dozen academic disciplines and fields of media activism. The collection will appeal to a wide range of students, scholars, and general readers.
Donald Lazere is Professor of English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and author of The Unique Creation of Albert Camus.
"The best essays in this collection describe how in various media--news, fairy tales, comics, soap operas, Hollywood films, and Masterpiece Theatre--elites manage to perpetuate sexism, racism, imperial privilege, and economic inequity. This is the yeoman work of left intellectuals, judiciously done."--Scott L. Malcomson, Voice Literary Supplement "The volume's essays are remarkable for their concreteness and clarity--and blessedly free of the tortured corkscrew prose that renders so much left criticism unreadable, unthinkable, and inaccessible to students and scholars. . . . American Media and Mass Culture introduces a much needed, long absent alternative to the 'reflex conservatism' of capitalist political ideology. Without imposing a political persuasion on students, the anthology challenges its readers to think the unthinkable."--Arthur J. Kaul, Journalism Quarterly "Lazere displays an encyclopedic knowledge of the literature on culture and the media and an impressive talent for evaluating its diverse and conflicting themes." --Murray Edelman, American Political Science Review "American Media and Mass Culture has many astute and perceptive things to say, thereby confirming the rich and intellectually sophisticated tradition of predominantly Western European and American philosophical Marxism that inspired many New Left activists in the sixties and early seventies. In this sense, this publication could be seen as a courageous (if somewhat desperado like) assertion of the continuing vigor of a politically committed and passionate theoretical discourse." --Ien Ang, Journal of Communication