WAR AND TELEVISION

An eloquent critique, from a politically progressive perspective, not only of TV's coverage of war but also of its treatment of topical and historical events and of ``politics in contemporary America—an imperious, camouflaged politics known best to those who transgress implicit limits, tread on unvoiced premises [and] traffic in the heterodox....'' Cumings (East Asian and International History/Univ. of Chicago) uses TV's coverage of Vietnam and the Gulf War as a way of analyzing the assumptions underlying its treatment of all sorts of political issues. Drawing on his own experience as an expert consultant on a TV documentary about recent American wars, Cumings shows strikingly how a type of consensus evolves about America's role in wars, a consensus that prevents alternative views from being expressed. The TV coverage of the Gulf War perfectly illustrates this situation, in which, Cumings contends, TV not only failed to present a sophisticated analysis of Arab culture or of the true issues in the war, but also allowed itself to be stage- managed into producing a false account of the fighting (the author claims that the precision of America's ``smart weapons'' was greatly exaggerated, and that the destruction wrought by the war was not adequately covered). Cumings argues convincingly that the purported ``objectivity'' of the camera is an illusion, and that TV is a medium that makes points and takes sides despite its supposed impartial coverage of news events. A provocative and intelligent analysis. (Illustrations—not seen.)

Pub Date: July 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-86091-374-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Verso

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1992

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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