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America has a long history of protest and rebellion. In People?s Movements, People?s Press, Bob Ostertag recounts the history of the alternative print media that has arisen out of five social movements?abolition, woman suffrage, environmental, gay liberation, and Vietnam antiwar. By telling the story of the newspapers and magazines of these movements, the author shows the power of the written word to mobilize activists behind a political cause.
Ostertag provides a kind of ...
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America has a long history of protest and rebellion. In People’s Movements, People’s Press, Bob Ostertag recounts the history of the alternative print media that has arisen out of five social movements—abolition, woman suffrage, environmental, gay liberation, and Vietnam antiwar. By telling the story of the newspapers and magazines of these movements, the author shows the power of the written word to mobilize activists behind a political cause.
Ostertag provides a kind of people’s history of these social movements by explaining the effect that these publications have had on both the writers and their readership. The newspapers and journals were lively forums in which to argue, express enthusiasm or frustration, mobilize, and educate. People’s Movements, People’s Press saves these publications, some with print runs of only a few hundred, from being forgotten by a new generation of readers and activists. Ostertag also chronicles the rise of well-known publications like the Liberator, Sierra, and the Advocate.
Concise, accessible, and appropriately urgent, People’s Movements, People’s Press is an important book of journalism history as well as a call to arms for young activists ready to change their world.
Bob Ostertag has written widely on political subjects, particularly those concerning Latin America. He is an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California at Davis and lives in San Francisco.
Posted August 6, 2006
People's Movements, People's Press: The Journalism Of Social Justice Movements by Bob Ostertag (Associate Professor of Technocultural Studies at University of California, Davis) is an intriguing work on and about the impact of 'counterculture journalism'. Beginning with the nineteenth century struggles of abolitionist and suffragist newspaper forums and journalist advocacy, Ostertag continues on with gay and lesbian press, the underground GI press during the Vietnam war, and the environmental movement journalism of the past few decades. Ostertag draws upon material from obscure but powerful publications such as the 'Revolution,' 'The Advocate,' 'HomoCore,' 'LA Free Press', 'Vietnam GI,' and 'The (Fort) Lewis-McChord Free Press to illustrate how independent journalists have shaped the history of diverse social justice movements. In an age when corporate journalism is almost all that is available in the 'mainstream press', People's Movements, People's Press is clearly a book whose time is come. Ostertag closes with an especially interesting chapter that pays tribute to the Independent Press Association which was founded in 1996 by John Anner for the purpose of supporting independent publishing. In it, Ostertag speaks eloquently of the need for media reform beyond any thus far attempted. Highly recommended reading for academic library Journalism Studies reference collections, as well as social activist reading lists, People's Movements, People's Press documents relatively recent journalist history which has almost been 'lost' by the current generation who take a free press for granted.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.