Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History

Front Cover
Avalon Publishing, Feb 13, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 287 pages
1 Review
In this pathbreaking book, Rodger Streitmatter takes the reader on a sightseeing tour of American history as influenced by the public press, visiting fourteen landmark events in U.S. history, from the abolitionist movement and the struggle for women's rights to the civil rights movement and Watergate. These are events that stir the political imagination; but, as Streitmatter shows, they also demonstrate how American journalism, since the 1760s, has not merely recorded this nation's history but has played a role in shaping it.This book is the first of its kind. Streitmatter avoids the mind-numbing lists of names, dates, and newspaper headlines that bog down the standard journalism history textbook. Instead, Mightier than the Sword focuses on a limited number of episodes, identifying common characteristics within the news media. In his final essay, Streitmatter looks at how the news media have shaped our understanding of events; by drawing examples from various episodes, this synthesis chapter identifies some of the common characteristics that the news media involved in shaping this nation have displayed.

What people are saying - Write a review

MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: How the News Media Have Shaped American History

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An easy-to-digest, somewhat pat overview of the media's influence on American history and politics. Streitmatter wrote this book from materials used in one of his classes on the media at American ... Read full review

Mightier than the sword: how the news media have shaped American history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From the beginning of the American experience, the press has played a role in shaping public events. Journalism historian and communications professor Streitmatter (Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay ... Read full review


Sowing the Seeds of Revolution
Abolition Turning Americas Conscience Against the Sins of Slavery
Slowing the Momentum for Womens Rights
Attacking Municipal Corruption The Tweed Ring
Journalism as Warmonger The SpanishAmerican War
Muckraking The Golden Age of Reform Journalism
Defying the Ku Klux Klan
Pushing the Civil Rights Movement onto the National Agenda
Vietnam War Bringing the Battlefield into the American Living Room
Watergate Forces the President to His Knees
Rush Limbaugh Leading the Republican Revolution
How the News Media Have Shaped History Focusing on the How
About the Book and Author

Father Coughlin Fomenting AntiSemitism via the Radio
Creating Rosie the Riveter Propelling the American Woman into the Workforce
Exposing Joe McCarthy Televisions Finest Hour

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Rodger Streitmatter teaches at the School of Communication at the American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Raising Her Voice: African-American Women Journalists Who Changed History and Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America.

Bibliographic information