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Television has come to play an ever more decisive role in the preparation and planning of war, as well as in its execution. In War and Television Bruce Cumings carefully explores the history of television's relationship to US warmaking since World War II, up to and including its presentation of the carnage in Kuwait and Iraq. Cumings examines Vietnam, long thought to have been the first television war, but finds that characterization more apt for the Gulf conflict which was fought through, packaged by, and sold to the public on television. At the centre of the book is the extraordinary tale of Cumings's own experience as historical consultant to a Thames Television production, Korea: The Unknown War, and his subsequent trials with the Public Broadcasting System when the film was released for North American distribution. Through the alternately funny and tragic story of the struggle with an assortment of media executives, retired soldiers, bureaucrats from both Koreas and various public figures (including a hilarious account of an interview with Henry Kissinger), Cumings shows how the film was shaped by media managers on both sides of the Atlantic to conform to prevailing views of a war that few in the United States or Britain wish to remember with anything approaching accuracy.
Today there is no shortage of prognostications - grim or otherwise - on the role of television. But there are few serious studies of the medium's everyday operations, let alone of its place in politics and warfare. With insight and clarity, Bruce Cumings provides that much-needed analysis. This is a vital book for those who want to understand how, and for whom, television works, and a sobering one for anyone who believes the medium can be used for radical ends.
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Bruce Cumings is Professor of East Asian and International History at the University of Chicago. He is author of The Origins of the Korean War and The Unknown War (with Jon Halliday).From Kirkus Reviews:
An eloquent critique, from a politically progressive perspective, not only of TV's coverage of war but also of its treatment of topical and historical events and of ``politics in contemporary America--an imperious, camouflaged politics known best to those who transgress implicit limits, tread on unvoiced premises [and] traffic in the heterodox....'' Cumings (East Asian and International History/Univ. of Chicago) uses TV's coverage of Vietnam and the Gulf War as a way of analyzing the assumptions underlying its treatment of all sorts of political issues. Drawing on his own experience as an expert consultant on a TV documentary about recent American wars, Cumings shows strikingly how a type of consensus evolves about America's role in wars, a consensus that prevents alternative views from being expressed. The TV coverage of the Gulf War perfectly illustrates this situation, in which, Cumings contends, TV not only failed to present a sophisticated analysis of Arab culture or of the true issues in the war, but also allowed itself to be stage- managed into producing a false account of the fighting (the author claims that the precision of America's ``smart weapons'' was greatly exaggerated, and that the destruction wrought by the war was not adequately covered). Cumings argues convincingly that the purported ``objectivity'' of the camera is an illusion, and that TV is a medium that makes points and takes sides despite its supposed impartial coverage of news events. A provocative and intelligent analysis. (Illustrations--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Verso Books, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110860913740
Book Description Verso Books, 1992. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0860913740
Book Description Verso Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0860913740 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1392865