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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

The Stanford media scholar Fred Turner has a new book out called The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties, and he’s posted the first chapter.

Today we find ourselves surrounded by screens — on our iPhones, our tablets, our desktop computers. Little do we know that we are living out the multimedia dreams of several dozen Cold War social scientists and propagandists, a handful of Bauhaus artists, and the musician John Cage. As a kind of prequel to my first book From Counterculture to Cyberculture, here I track those dreams from World War II to the psychedelic sixties and lay bare the long-buried cultural roots of an American media revolution.

Here’s a book trailer:

And here’s Fred talking with Clay Shirky about the ideas behind the book in December.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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