This exciting new text traces the common themes in the long and complex history of mass communication. It shows how the means of communicating grew out of their eras, how they developed, how they influenced the societies of those eras, and how they have continued to exert their influence upon subsequent generations. The book is divided into six periods which are identified as 'Information Revolutions' writing, printing, mass media, entertainment, the 'toolshed' (which we call 'home' now), and the Information Highway.
In looking at the ways in which the tools of communication have influenced and been influenced by social change, A History of Mass Communication provides students of media and journalism with a strong sense of the way their chosen field affects how society functions. Providing a broad-based approach to media history, Dr. Fang encourages the reader to take a careful look at where our culture is headed through the tools we use to communicate with one another.
A History of Mass Communication is not only the most current text on communication history, but also an invaluable resource for anyone interested in how methods of communication affect society.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; What Are Information Revolutions?; Political Tools and Weapons; Writing: The Invention of Writing, Skin and Bones and Papyrus, The Alphabet, The Greeks, Carrying the Message; Printing: Turbulent Europe, Gift From China, Books and Universities, Mail in the Middle Ages, Here a New, There a New, Printing and Literacy, Did Gutenberg Know About China?; Mass Media: The Turmoil of a New Age, Printing For Everyone, Paper For Everyone, Information Pump, The Muckrakers, Women Can Type, 'If Anyone Desires' , Solving Postal Problems, Photography, Current News, Voices on a Wire, Signals in the Air, Movies Are Born; Entertainment: Public Recreation, Entertaining Newspapers, Magazines for the Fragmented Public, The Novel, Entertainment on a Plate, Portable Recording, Broadcasting, Improving Pictures, Movies Tell Stories; The Toolshed Home: The Communication Toolshed, Home Mail Delivery, New Uses for Phones, 'Free' Entertainment, Pictures in the Parlor, Tragedy in the Parlor, Wiring the Toolshed, Videotape, the New Book, Setting New Records, We Still Have Books; The Highway: Heavy Traffic, Computer at the Wheel, Magazines Target Their Readers, Multimedia CD-ROM, A Newer Book, Cable Narrowcasting, Footprints on the Globe, Electronic Commuting, The Internet, Mailbox in the Computer, Faxing, Going Up the Highway; Summing Up; Bibliography; Communication Timeline; Index.
I find the book to be quite thorough and provocative.
Fang's book is comprehensive and avoids the usual dryness associated with historical tests. It is perfect for an undergraduate class-quick and painless.
An excellent introduction to the development and subsequent uses of communications technologies throughout the ages. Includes overviews of everything from ancient writings on clay to the electronic newspaper with more than a few significant inventions in between. Most importantly however Fong manages to historically situate these media and examine their considerable social impact ideal for university freshmena d sophomore students.