PRELUDE TO INDEPENDENCE by Arthur M. Schlesinger


The Newspaper War On Britain, 1764-1776
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The title to this new book by one of our ablest historians is misleading, while the sub-title actually tells the story. From the angle of journalistic history this is an extraordinary piece of research, exploring the ramifications of opinion making and reportage during a period when revolution was in the making. One gets the climate of opinion, the step by step process by which the links with the mother country were weakened, the legislation in London, the new taxes, the various aspects of resistance, the outbreaks of violence -- and their aftermath -- all this as the stage against which the major part of the book dealing with the "newspaper war" is set. Then too he gives a flashback to the roots of journalism here- assuming, perhaps, more knowledge of the subject than the average reader possesses; and then goes forward to trace the reflection of revolution in the making in the newspapers, metropolitan, regional, village sheets, and all sorts and kinds of form in which news was distributed and opinion aired. Inevitably, one gets a certain amount of duplication, as one views events- such as the "Boston Massacre" -- the "Boston Tea Party" -- etc. etc. first from one viewpoint, then another. Tory sheets are given their due consideration. And the overall picture, when the various pieces fall into place, presents a new approach, and a penetrating one, to the ultimate goal of independence. . . . Not a major Schlesinger book, from the point of the general public, but a signal contribution to a specific area of interest.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1957
ISBN: 0930350138
Page count: 366pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1957


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