Fanatics and Fire-eaters: Newspapers and the Coming of the Civil War (History of Communication)

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9780252072215: Fanatics and Fire-eaters: Newspapers and the Coming of the Civil War (History of Communication)
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In the troubled years leading up to the Civil War, newspapers in the North and South presented the arguments for and against slavery, denouncing opposing viewpoints with imagination and vigor.
Although it is impossible to determine the precise effect of the newspapers on their readers, there is no question that they took the temperature of their communities and recorded the rising local agitations, unifying opinions, raising alarms, and cementing prejudices.
Tracing political accounts and diatribes published in northern and southern newspapers from 1856 to the shelling of Fort Sumter in 1861, Ratner and Teeter assert that newspapers, in their desire to be profitable and promote specific agendas, stoked the fires that heated tensions between North and South, and ably demonstrate the power of a fast-growing media to influence both perception and the course of events.

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Dwight L. Teeter, Jr. is a professor of communications and journalism at the University of Tennessee.

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