Fanatics and Fire-eaters: Newspapers and the Coming of the Civil War

University of Illinois Press, 2003 M01 28 - 138 páginas
During the years just before the Civil War, key newspapers in the United States became true mass media for the first time, reaching American society as never before. In Fanatics and Fire-eaters, Lorman A. Ratner and Dwight L. Teeter, Jr., examine how this newly acquired power was used and how it exacerbated festering regional issues - preeminently the issue of slavery - as newspapers described and characterized some of the key events preceding the outbreak of the Civil War. Analyzing specific events, from the Brooks-Sumner incident to the attack on Fort Sumter, the authors provide a thorough and colorful background of the descent into war. Tracing political accounts and diatribes published in northern and southern newspapers from 1856 to the shelling of Fort Sumter in 1861, Ratner and Teeter assert that newspapers, in their desire to be profitable and promote specific agendas, stoked the fires that heated tensions between North and South. Fanatics and Fire-eaters examines a time when the press gained greater influence and timeliness because of telegraph lines, steam-driven presses, and faster distribution via railroad networks.

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Fanatics and fire-eaters: newspapers and the coming of the Civil War

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The Civil War was a turning point not only in U.S. history but also in the history of newspapers. Ratner (Powederkeg) and Teeter (coauthor, Voices of a Nation: A History of the Mass Media in the ... Leer comentario completo


The Emergence of a Democratic Press
The BrooksSumner Incident
The Dred Scott Decision and a Society of Laws
Could a Republican Lead the Republic?
A Republic at War with Itself
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Lorman A. Ratner was a professor of history, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and director of the Center of Multicultural Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dwight L. Teeter Jr. is a professor of journalism & electronic media at the University of Tennessee.

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