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This unique volume is based on the philosophy that the teaching of history should emphasize critical thinking and attempt to involve the student intellectually, rather than simply provide names, dates, and places to memorize. The book approaches history not as a cut-and-dried recitation of a collection of facts but as multifaceted discipline. In examining the various perspectives historians have provided, the author brings a vitality to the study of history that students normally do not gain. The text is comprised of 24 historiographical essays, each of which discusses the major interpretations of a significant topic in mass communication history. Students are challenged to evaluate each approach critically and to develop their own explanations. As a textbook designed specifically for use in graduate level communication history courses, it should serve as a stimulating pedagogical tool.
Combining timeless readings with cutting-edge, current selections, Kernell and Smith bring judicious editing and important context for students learning the ropes of American government. This collection effectively examines the strategic behavior of key players in American politics, showing that political actors, though motivated by their own interests, are governed by the Constitution, the law, and institutional rules, as well as influenced by the strategies of others. The 5th edition features 17 new readings, including 5 pieces written specifically for this volume. True to form, each and every selection is artfully framed by Kernell and SmithÆs headnotes, providing an invaluable grounding for todayÆs students.
"Even today, with sophisticated surveys and computer-produced margins of error, we have trouble gauging the elusive voice we call 'public opinion,' but no one questions its importance in a democracy. In this insightful new study, Mark G. Schmeller sets out to recreate or approximate the nature of public opinion between independence and the aftermath of Civil War and also examine what leading Americans thought about it. Where could one detect it? How might attitudes toward it, in the abstract and concrete, have changed in this eventful period? 'As Americans contested the meaning of this essentially contestable concept,' Schmeller explains, 'they expanded and contracted the horizons of political possibility and renegotiated the terms of political legitimacy.' He argues that what began life as something close to exceptionally American republican thought (and in a sense unchanging) became something far more malleable and subject to manipulation by means of stump-speech rhetoric, partisan newspapers, trumpeting of the importance of the self in the nineteenth century, etc. Crossing into so many discrete fields of historical research, this project has much potential as a synthesizing meta-narrative"

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