Pages from the Past: History and Memory in American by Carolyn Kitch

By Carolyn Kitch

American renowned magazines play a job in our tradition just like that of public historians, Carolyn Kitch contends. Drawing on facts from the pages of greater than sixty magazines, together with Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Black company, girls' domestic magazine, and Reader's Digest, Kitch examines the function of journalism in growing collective reminiscence and id for americans. Editorial views, visible and narrative content material, and the tangibility and souvenir features of magazines lead them to key repositories of yank reminiscence, Kitch argues. She discusses anniversary celebrations that determine the passage of time; the function of race in counter-memory; the lasting which means of celebrities who're mourned within the media; cyclical representations of generational id, from the best iteration to new release X; and expected reminiscence in commemoration after hindrance occasions equivalent to these of September eleven, 2001. Bringing a severely missed type of journalism to the vanguard, Kitch demonstrates that magazines play a unique function in growing narratives of the prior that mirror and tell who we're now.

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Sample text

He got married when everybody else did, got divorced, got drunk, went broke, made a comeback, bought a new car, all at the proper times. It is difficult to hear him tell his story without the eerie feeling that it is not one man who is talking but a million men. Shaw is a prototype. He is like the familiar face that constantly appears and disappears on a crowded street, the tune that is always half heard and half recognized but then fades out. He is the man everyone knows intimately but yet has never met—Mr.

27 The text of the summary issues frequently contained the first-person plural ‘‘we,’’ imagining both journalists and readers as being simultaneously inside and outside the story, as participants and spectators.     Newsweek took such a dual perspective in this sports metaphor for the s: ‘‘At every moment when we might have paused to try to figure out what exactly was happening, to absorb it, to brace for the next onset . . S. ’’ 30 It was in this conversational and communal voice that newsmagazine journalists created public memory in year-end and decade-end reviews throughout the twentieth century.

By championing heroes who rose from humble beginnings through hard work and character (Elvis Presley, Colin Powell, Lech Walesa, Sam Walton), the magazines, by inversion, criticized the schemers of history and reinforced the moral difference between the two types of public figures. S. News & World Report’s ‘‘Strategists of War’’ were American—the heroes who ensured the triumph of democracy—and the ‘‘We’’ in Newsweek’s ‘‘How We Work/Live/ Fight/Heal’’ sections offered a distinctly American definition of the advances of the twentieth century and the promises of the twenty-first.

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