Journalism and the American Experience  book cover
1st Edition

Journalism and the American Experience

ISBN 9781138044845
Published February 27, 2018 by Routledge
414 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Journalism and the American Experience offers a comprehensive examination of the critical role journalism has played in the struggle over America’s democratic institutions and culture. Journalism is central to the story of the nation’s founding and has continued to influence and shape debates over public policy, American exceptionalism, and the meaning and significance of the United States in world history. Placed at the intersection of American Studies and Communications scholarship, this book provides an essential introduction to journalism’s curious and conflicted co-existence with the American democratic experiment.  

Table of Contents

Introduction - Journalism and the Story of American Exceptionalism

Chapter One - The Trans-Atlantic Enlightenment and Colonial America

Chapter Two - "At Every House Women Are Making Cartridges and Children Are Running Bullets and Biscuits": Revolution in America

Chapter Three - Building "an Empire of Liberty"

Chapter Four - The Penny Press and Mass Democracy

Chapter Five - "The New Birth" and the War Between the States

Chapter Six - New Journalism for a New Nation

Chapter Seven - The Progressive Period

Chapter Eight - "The Sewage of the War Spirit" and Jazz Journalism

Chapter Nine - "Misery and Human Fortitude": The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression

Chapter Ten - "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself": Franklin Roosevelt and the Radio Republic"

Chapter Eleven - A ‘Cold War’ and a ‘New Frontier’

Chapter Twelve - 'An American Nightmare’: JFK, LBJ and the War in Vietnam

Chapter Thirteen - The Struggle for Civil Rights and the Battle of Chicago

Chapter Fourteen - "What a Moment, Man on the Way to the Moon"

Chapter Fifteen - ’Our Long National Nightmare Is Over’: Watergate as Third-Rate Burglary and Cancer on the Presidency

Chapter Sixteen - Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill’ and Cable’s Clinton Impeachment Scandal

Chapter Seventeen - 9/11 and Covering Wars on Terror

Chapter Eighteen - Reporting Obama and Trump in the Age of the Internet

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Bruce Evensen is a journalism historian who directs DePaul University’s Graduate Program in Journalism. He spent a decade as a broadcast journalist and bureau chief in Washington D.C. and Jerusalem. His books include Truman, Palestine and the Press: Shaping Conventional Wisdom at the Beginning of the Cold War; The Responsible Reporter; and God’s Man for the Gilded Age: D.L. Moody and the Rise of Modern Mass Evangelism.


Everyone concerned about the roles that news media have played in the history of the United States should read Journalism and the American Experience.  The research is comprehensive and authoritative, and the storytelling is absorbing.

John P. Ferré, Professor of Communication, University of Louisville

Bruce Evensen admirably traces the news media’s pivotal role in defining liberty in the American context. His highly-readable survey of journalism’s highlights and lowlights, packed with fascinating characters, provides badly-needed historical context to help readers understand the media’s contribution to the struggle for democracy in America.

Les Sillars, Patrick Henry College