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Constructing the Political Spectacle

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Thanks to the ready availability of political news today, informed citizens can protect and promote their own interests and the public interest more effectively. Or can they? Murray Edelman argues against this conventional interpretation of politics, one that takes for granted that we live in a world of facts and that people react rationally to the facts they know. In doin ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published March 15th 1988 by University of Chicago Press (first published March 1st 1988)
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Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
A highly relevant book in today's world of media, filled with clickbaits, sensationalism and disregard for journalistic norms. The book tries to explain how the media narrative comes to be and what impact it can have on society.

The book is utterly pessimistic and offers no concrete solutions or tips on how to battle misinformation thrown at masses and it seems it just makes a point that we are all victims of chaotic manipulation - both readers and actors of news.

It might be just my personal op
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
I read this in grad school and just re-read it along with my own grad students for our seminar in political communication. Edelman talks about the social construction of leaders, problems, and enemies in making the political spectacle. It's a good theoretical framework for analyzing political rhetoric. ...more
Hans Ostrom
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Still the best book on the topic. Long before total-spectacle Trump inflamed white supremacy and misogyny to take power, Edelman described in detail how it works and how politicians and their handlers and the media distract the citizenry from sober analysis.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting subject, hard read
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is Edelman's classic post-structural analysis of American politics. The last two chapters are especially useful for scholars who want to analyze what he calls the "political spectacle." ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book but a tough read.
Ben O'loughlin
Oct 16, 2007 rated it liked it
A decent undergraduate level constructionist account of politics. Written with a focus on US politics but much resonates further afield.
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