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