Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles
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Democratic Communiqué (DC), a publication of Union for Democratic Communications, is a North American-based peer-reviewed journal: http://journals.fcla.edu/demcom ;

 

DC is continuing its reviews section and requests volunteers to critique the texts below. If you're interested in reviewing for DC, please e-mail our book reviews editor, T.C. Corrigan, at corrigan@csusb.edu. Volunteers should provide their name, e-mail and mailing addresses, and a brief description of their qualifications to execute the review. More guidelines for reviews are available here: http://journals.fcla.edu/demcom/about/editorialPolicies#sectionPolicies ;

 

The texts on this page are organized based on the publication date indicated on the publisher's website. Our preference is to publish reviews of texts that are: (1) timely -- they have been published, ideally, within the past year; (2) relevant -- they align with the subject matter of the DC and the interests and needs of the critical media studies community; and (3) important -- they are likely to be key texts for critical media studies scholars.

 

If you'd like to review a text not listed here, or if you'd like to recommend a text be listed here, please email T.C. Corrigan at corrigan@csusb.edu.

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"Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left" by Todd Wolfson

"Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left" by Todd Wolfson | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Wolfson, T. (December 2014). Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left. University of Illinois Press.


"Digital Rebellion examines the impact of new media and communication technologies on the spatial, strategic, and organizational fabric of social movements." -University of Illinois Press

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"Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship" by Shohini Chaudhuri

"Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship" by Shohini Chaudhuri | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Chaudhuri, S. (November 2014). Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship. Edinburgh University Press.


"In Cinema of the Dark Side, Shohini Chaudhuri explores how contemporary cinema treats state-sponsored atrocity, evoking multiple landscapes of state terror. She investigates the ethical potential of cinematic atrocity images, arguing that while films help to create and confirm normative perceptions about atrocities, they can also disrupt those perceptions and build different ones." -Edinburgh University Press

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"Thinking Critically About Media and Politics" by Donald Lazere

Lazere, D. (September 2013). Thinking Critically About Media and Politics. Pluto Press.


"Thinking Critically About Media is a textbook for self-defence against manipulation by politicians, the media and assorted propagandists. Its interdisciplinary application of principles of critical thinking and argumentative rhetoric can be incorporated in a variety of university courses including the social sciences, communication, journalism and media studies." -Pluto Press

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"Cultural Policy" by David Bell & Kate Oakley

"Cultural Policy" by David Bell & Kate Oakley | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Bell, D. & Kate Oakley, K. (September 2014). Cultural Policy. Routledge.

 

"David Bell and Kate Oakley survey the major debates emerging in cultural policy research, adopting an approach based on spatial scale to explore cultural policy in cities, nations and internationally. They contextualise these discussions with an exploration of what both ‘culture’ and ‘policy’ mean when they are joined together as cultural policy." -Routledge

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"Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization" by Jessica L. Beyer

"Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization" by Jessica L. Beyer | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Beyer, J. L. (August 2014). Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization. Oxford.


"In Expect Us, Jessica L. Beyer looks at political consciousness and action in four communities, each born out of chaotic online social spaces that millions of individuals enter, spend time in, and exit moment by moment: Anonymous (4chan), IGN, World of Warcraft, and The Pirate Bay." -Oxford

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"Bad News for Refugees" by Greg Philo, Emma Briant, Pauline Donald

"Bad News for Refugees" by Greg Philo, Emma Briant, Pauline Donald | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Philo, G., Briant, E., & Donald, P (August 2013). Bad News for Refugees. Pluto Press.


"Bad News for Refugees analyses the political, economic and environmental contexts of migration and looks specifically at how refugees and asylum seekers have been stigmatised in political rhetoric and in media coverage." - Pluto Press

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"Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World" by Anya Schiffrin

"Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World" by Anya Schiffrin | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Schiffrin, A. (July 2014). Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World. The New Press.

 

"Crusading journalists from Sinclair Lewis to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have played a central role in American politics: checking abuses of power, revealing corporate misdeeds, and exposing government corruption. Muckraking journalism is part and parcel of American democracy. But how many people know about the role that muckraking has played around the world?" - The New Press

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"Transparency and Surveillance as Sociotechnical Accountability: A House of Mirrors" edited by Deborah G. Johnson & Priscilla M. Regan

"Transparency and Surveillance as Sociotechnical Accountability: A House of Mirrors" edited by Deborah G. Johnson & Priscilla M. Regan | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Johnson, D. G. & Regan, P. M. (eds.) (July 2014). Transparency and Surveillance as Sociotechnical Accountability: A House of Mirrors. Routledge.


"This book adopts a novel approach in examining surveillance practices and transparency practices together as parallel systems of accountability. It presents the house of mirrors as a new framework for understanding surveillance and transparency practices instrumented with information technology" -Routledge

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"Communication Rights and Social Justice: Historical Accounts of Transnational Mobilizations" edited by Claudia Padovani & Andrew Calabrese

"Communication Rights and Social Justice: Historical Accounts of Transnational Mobilizations" edited by Claudia Padovani & Andrew Calabrese | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Padovani, C. & Calabrese, A. (Eds.) (June 2014). Communication Rights and Social Justice: Historical Accounts of Transnational Mobilizations. Palgrave.

 

Communication Rights and Social Justice offers historical perspectives on struggles to use the instruments of state and political participation - power, inter-governmental treaties and declarations, and various forms of political advocacy and protest politics - to articulate the concept of communication as a fundamental right" -Palgrave

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"Churnalism, Complacency and Collusion: A Critical Introduction to Business and Financial Journalism" by Keith J. Butterick

Butterick, K. J. (June 2014). Churnalism, Complacency and Collusion: A Critical Introduction to Business and Financial Journalism. Pluto Press. Palgrave.

 

"Shedding light on an area of journalism which is little understood, this is a definitive analysis of financial and business journalism - its origins, how and why it developed and how it shapes and influences political

debates." -Palgrave

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"Articulating Dissent: Protest and the Public Sphere" by Pollyanna Ruiz

"Articulating Dissent: Protest and the Public Sphere" by Pollyanna Ruiz | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Ruiz, P. (June 2014). Articulating Dissent: Protest and the Public Sphere. Pluto


"Articulating Dissent analyses the new communicative strategies of coalition protest movements and how these impact on a mainstream media unaccustomed to fractured articulations of dissent." -Pluto Press

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"935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity" by Charles Lewis

"935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity" by Charles Lewis | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Lewis, C. (June 2014). 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity. Public Affairs.


"935 Lies looks at the various ways in which truth can be manipulated and distorted by governments, corporations, even lone individuals. He shows how truth is often distorted or diminished by delay: truth in time can save terrible erroneous choices. In part a history of communication in America, a cri de coeur for the principles and practice of objective reporting, and a journey into several notably labyrinths of deception, 935 Lies is a valorous search for honesty in an age of casual, sometimes malevolent distortion of the facts." -Public Affairs

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"The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information" by Frank Pasquale

"The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information" by Frank Pasquale | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Pasquale, F. (January 2015). The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information

 

"Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behavior -- silently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. But who connects the dots about what firms are doing with all this information? Frank Pasquale exposes how powerful interests abuse secrecy for profit and explains ways to rein them in."

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"Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry" Caroline W. Lee

"Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry" Caroline W. Lee | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Lee, C. W. (December 2014). Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry. Oxford.


"In Do-It-Yourself Democracy, sociologist Caroline W. Lee examines how participatory innovations have reshaped American civic life over the past two decades. Lee looks at the public engagement industry that emerged to serve government, corporate, and nonprofit clients seeking to gain a handle on the increasingly noisy demands of their constituents and stakeholders." -Oxford

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"Media and the Ecological Crisis" edited by Richard Maxwell, Jon Raundalen, & Nina Lager Vestberg

"Media and the Ecological Crisis" edited by Richard Maxwell, Jon Raundalen, & Nina Lager Vestberg | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Maxwell, R., Raundalen, J., & Vestberg, N. L. (eds.) (October 2014). Media and the Ecological Crisis. Routledge.

 

"Media and the Ecological Crisis is a collaborative work of interdisciplinary writers engaged in mapping, understanding and addressing the complex contribution of media to the current ecological crisis." -Routledge

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"America's Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform" by Victor Pickard [Note: Already assigned for review]

"America's Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform" by Victor Pickard [Note: Already assigned for review] | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Pickard, V. (October 2014). America's Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform. Cambridge.

 

"How did the American media system become what it is today? Why do American media have so few public-interest regulations compared with other democratic nations? How did the system become dominated by a few corporations, and why are structural problems like market failures routinely avoided in media-policy discourse? By tracing the answers to many of these questions back to media-policy battles in the 1940s, this book explains how this happened and why it matters today" -Cambridge

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"The Video Game Business" by Randy Nichols

"The Video Game Business" by Randy Nichols | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Nichols, R. (2014, August). The Video Game Business. British Film Institute.

 

"A dominant international cultural force, the video game industry is diverse and increasingly influential. In this illuminating study, Randy Nichols examines the origins, history, and current characteristics of the industry - including case studies of it's major players and analysis of it's culture, production processes and ties to other industries." -Palgrave.

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"The Audience Commodity in a Digital Age: Revisiting a Critical Theory of Commercial Media" edited by Lee McGuigan & Vincent Manzerolle

"The Audience Commodity in a Digital Age: Revisiting a Critical Theory of Commercial Media" edited by Lee McGuigan & Vincent Manzerolle | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

McGuigan, L. & Manzerolle, V. (Eds.) (2014). The Audience Commodity in a Digital Age: Revisiting a Critical Theory of Commercial Media. Peter Lang.

 

"This edited collection comprises foundational texts and new contributions that revisit the theory of the "audience commodity" as first articulated by Dallas Smythe. Contributors focus on the historical and theoretical importance of this theory to critical studies of media/communication, culture, society, economics, and technology – a theory that has underpinned critical media studies for more than three decades, but has yet to be compiled in a single edited collection" -Peter Lang

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"Theories of Ideology: The Powers of Alienation and Subjection" by Jan Rehmann [Note: Already assigned for review]

"Theories of Ideology: The Powers of Alienation and Subjection" by Jan Rehmann [Note: Already assigned for review] | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Rehmann, J. (August 2014). Theories of Ideology: The Powers of Alienation and Subjection. Haymarket Books

"In this magisterial work Jan Rehmann reconstructs the different strands of ideology theories ranging from Marx to Adorno/Horkheimer, from Lenin to Gramsci, from Althusser to Stuart Hall, from Bourdieu to W.F. Haug, from Foucault to Butler. He compares them in a way that a genuine dialogue becomes possible and applies the different methods to the ‘market totalitarianism’ of today’s high-tech-capitalism" -Haymarket Books.

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"Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities" by Geraldine Pratt & Rose Marie San Juan

"Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities" by Geraldine Pratt & Rose Marie San Juan | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Pratt, G. & San Juan, R. M. (July 2014). Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities. Edinburgh University Press.


"Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities traces recurring debates about what constitutes film's political potential and argues that the relation between film and urban space has been crucial to these debates and their historical transformations." -Edinburgh University Press

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"Critical Political Economy of the Media: An Introduction" by Jonathan Hardy

"Critical Political Economy of the Media: An Introduction" by Jonathan Hardy | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Hardy, J. (June 2014). Critical Political Economy of the Media: An Introduction. Routledge.


"Jonathan Hardy undertakes a critical survey of political economy scholarship encompassing worldwide literature, issues and debates, and relationships with other academic approaches. He assesses different ways of making sense of media convergence and digitalisation, media power and influence, and transformations across communication markets. Many of the problems of the media that prompted critical political economy research remain salient, he argues, but the approach must continue to adapt to new conditions and challenges. Hardy advances the case for a revitalised critical media studies for the 21st century." - Routledge

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"Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism" by Robert T. Tally

"Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism" by Robert T. Tally | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Tally, R. T. (June 2014). Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism. Pluto Press.

 

"In Fredric Jameson: The Project of Dialectical Criticism, Robert Tally surveys Jameson’s entire oeuvre, from his early studies of Sartre and formal criticism through his engagements with postmodernism and globalisation to his recent readings of Hegel, Marx and the valences of the dialectic. The book is both a comprehensive critical guide to Jameson’s theoretical project and itself a convincing argument for the power of dialectical criticism to understand the world today." - Pluto Press.

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"War Reporters Under Threat: The United States and Media Freedom" by Chris Paterson

"War Reporters Under Threat: The United States and Media Freedom" by Chris Paterson | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Paterson, C. (June 2014). War Reporters Under Threat: The United States and Media Freedom. Pluto Books.

 

"War Reporters Under Threat describes the threat of violence facing war reporters from the United States government and some of its closest allies. Chris Paterson argues that what should have been the lesson for the press following the invasion of Iraq – that they will be treated instrumentally by the US government – has been mostly ignored. As a result, even nominally democratic states cannot be counted upon to protect journalists in conflict, and urgent reform of legal protections for journalists is required." -Pluto Books

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"Digitized Lives: Culture, Power and Social Change in the Internet Era" by T.V. Reed

"Digitized Lives: Culture, Power and Social Change in the Internet Era" by T.V. Reed | Democratic Communiqué Book Review Titles | Scoop.it

Reed, T. V. (June 2014). Digitized Lives: Culture, Power and Social Change in the Internet Era. Routledge.

 

"In chapters examining a broad range of issues—including sexuality, politics, education, race, gender relations, the environment, and social protest movements—Digitized Lives seeks answers to these central questions: What is truly new about so-called "new media," and what is just hype? How have our lives been made better or worse by digital communication technologies? In what ways can these devices and practices contribute to a richer cultural landscape and a more sustainable society?" - Routledge

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