Review by Choice Review
Vecsey (Colgate Univ.) provides a sweeping yet detailed account of the changing role of religion and the social perception of religion, using a detailed analysis of stories and editorials from The New York Times. Although the focus is on religion since 9/11, this book provides a broader context, noting the change in coverage of religion in The Times over the last century. The author discusses the impact of secularization on the declining coverage of religion, and the emergence of a preponderance of journalists who themselves are not sympathetic to religious sentiments and movements. Coverage of religion becomes heightened only around issues involving the collision of religion and politics, such as the emergence of the Moral Majority, debates over evolution and creationism, and most notably the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars. Vecsey provides a microscopic analysis based on stories that have run in The Times. A central focus is Islam and its role in the so-called war on terror, and the impact of reporting on the social perception of Islam. This book highlights both the ability and limitations of the media to deal with complex religious issues. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers. C. L. Kammer The College of Wooster
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.