Review by Choice Review
Many books have touched on the various aspects of the media's role in civil rights--e.g., the origins of the African American press and Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm's pioneering Freedom's Journal; the contributions of Elias Boudinot, editor of the Cherokee Phoenix; sports and such notable individuals as Sam Lacy. But few have looked at the contributors to media--newspapers, broadcasting, and online outlets. Gonzalez and Torres expand on books such as Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff's The Race Beat (CH, May'07, 44-4883) in that they do not focus narrowly on the civil rights struggle. They try to touch on it all, hence the "epic" in the book's title. Though they cannot go into detail in 376 pages of narrative (another 77 pages are for the acknowledgments, notes, and index), the fact that they try and in so doing open the door to further scholarship is one of the book's primary contributions. For example, the discussion of Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson and the press storm that surrounded them will give readers new insights into the world those African American athletes faced. Particularly useful as an introductory resource for those interested in the role the news media played in racial integration. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers. J. Marren Buffalo State College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Despite the old dictum that the role of the press is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, when it comes to race, the opposite has more often been true, according to journalists Gonzalez and Torres. Because most media owners are aligned with business and political interests, the press, through distorted and biased coverage, has often helped fan racial tensions and violence and perpetuated derogatory images of nonwhites. Drawing on archival research, Gonzalez and Torres recast the history of journalism in the U.S. from the colonial to the Internet era, along the way uncovering little-known history of the roles of Native Americans and those of African, Latin, and Asian descent in creating an alternative press that challenged the coverage of the mainstream press. Among the well-known and obscure figures in minority journalism, Jose Marti and Ida B. Wells are cast as crusaders for social justice long before the storied muckrakers of journalism history. Gonzalez and Torres detail how federal policies have supported the press and often undermined attempts by nonwhites to gain access. This is journalism history from an entirely fresh perspective, one that challenges the old heroes and shines a sharp light on the role of the media in revealing social inequities in a democratic society.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
With vivid detail, Gonzalez (columnist, New York Daily News; Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America) and Torres (senior advisor, Free Press) trace the history of minority journalism in the United States from Colonial newspapers to today's blogs. They look at how black, Latino, Asian, and Native American populations have struggled to find their voices represented and to have their stories heard. Using extensive archival research, they analyze how the mainstream media perpetuated racial tensions and stereotypes in both the stories they covered and those they failed to report. Likewise, Gonzalez and Torres illustrate the crucial role the minority press played in shaping and preserving the nation's democratic principles. Verdict This important text should be required reading in journalism schools. General readers interested in minority studies, media history, and engaging nonfiction will also appreciate this book.-Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., West Palm Beach, FL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.