The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word

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9780195098297: The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word

For decades educators and cultural critics have deplored the corrosive effects of electronic media on the national consciousness. The average American reads less often, writes less well. And, numbed by the frenetic image-bombardment of music videos, commercials and sound bites, we may also, it is argued, think less profoundly. But wait. Is it just possible that some good might arise from the ashes of the printed word?
Most emphatically yes, argues Mitchell Stephens, who asserts that the moving image is likely to make our thoughts not more feeble but more robust. Through a fascinating overview of previous communications revolutions, Stephens demonstrates that the charges that have been leveled against television have been faced by most new media, including writing and print. Centuries elapsed before most of these new forms of communication would be used to produce works of art and intellect of sufficient stature to overcome this inevitable mistrust and nostalgia. Using examples taken from the history of photography and film, as well as MTV, experimental films, and Pepsi commercials, the author considers the kinds of work that might unleash, in time, the full power of moving images. And he argues that these works--an emerging computer-edited and -distributed "new video"--have the potential to inspire transformations in thought on a level with those inspired by the products of writing and print. Stephens sees in video's complexities, simultaneities, and juxtapositions, new ways of understanding and perhaps even surmounting the tumult and confusions of contemporary life.
Sure to spark lively--even heated--debate, The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word belongs in the library of millennium-watchers everywhere.

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About the Author:


Mitchell Stevens is Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, New York University. His books include A History of the News, and Broadcast News. He has written on media and contemporary thought for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He lives in New York City.

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"A visionary thinker."
         -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Compelling and engaging.... It will undoubtedly require skeptics to rethink their prejudice against the power and potential of the moving image."
                       -- Houston Chronicle

"Remarkable for [its] depth of research, breadth of thought, intrepid spirit, and provocative conclusions."
                -- Hungry Mind Review

"A fascinating, counterintuitive tour de force."
                -- Wilson Quarterly

"A thoughtful and measured challenge, the kind of...scholarship that helps push us forward."                 
                -- American Journalism Review

"Fascinating to think about."
                -- Library Journal

"A terrific book...forcefully and brilliantly argue[d]."
                  -- Hotwired

"I consider his visionary work to be a great public service."
                  -- FEED

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this work, Mitchell Stephens contends that the image will supersede the word as a means of understanding and entertainment. Although this may indeed signal the end of literacy as we know it, Stephens argues that television and electronic technologies will actually push intellectual progress beyond our wildest imaginings. Just as the development of writing and the invention of the printing press profoundly changed our culture, television has set in motion a third communications revolution. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780195098297

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1998. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this work, Mitchell Stephens contends that the image will supersede the word as a means of understanding and entertainment. Although this may indeed signal the end of literacy as we know it, Stephens argues that television and electronic technologies will actually push intellectual progress beyond our wildest imaginings. Just as the development of writing and the invention of the printing press profoundly changed our culture, television has set in motion a third communications revolution. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780195098297

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