Pulp Politics: How Political Advertising Tells the Stories of American Politics

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9780742501003: Pulp Politics: How Political Advertising Tells the Stories of American Politics

The 30-second political advertising spots considered by some to be despoilers of democracy can also be seen as evocative and powerful means through which the stories of American politics are told and understood. Often it is the fabric of popular culture, not the imperatives of informed consent, that drives viewer response to campaign commericals. To understand how this works, we can look at how American popular culture—from satire to heroic biography, bone-chilling horror stories to the irreverance of "South Park"—helps weave the tapestries of political communication.

Pulp Politics helps us understand how political ads work by exploring how people think and feel, how our brains work, and how we tell and listen to stories. This book also helps us discover the embedded power of audiovisual political communication that can both enlighten and manuipulate.

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About the Author:

Glenn W. Richardson, Jr. is assistant professor of political science at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Review:

A valuable contribution to the study of political campaign advertising. Highly recommended. (Choice)

Pulp Politics is a nice, easy read for those interested in political advertising. Richardson's theories should inform and enrich the study of modern campaigns, and help both scholars and the news media to rethink the way they evaluate television commercials. (Presidential Studies Quarterly)

In an age when college students often are more familiar with the comedians who satirize polticians than they are with the elected leaders themselves, Pulp Politics would be a useful supplement in a media-and-society or political communication course. The text raises important discussion points about the impact of audiovisual elements in advertising, the effectiveness of negative campaigning and the Ad Watch groups that purportedly monitor such campaigns. (Journalism Studies)

Here is a fresh look at political advertising and what has been written about it. Richardson's research-grounded book is a fine example of how such re-evaluations may proceed and the intriguing findings that may ensue. (Doris Graber Political Science Quarterly)

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