Review of Stories That Changed America - Book Report/Review Example

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Name: Course: Date: Stories That Changed America While undertaking a critical book review of the Carl Jensen work, "Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century," the fundamental aspect is to first look at the background of the author, which will go a long way in informing the reason why the book is written and the actual message that the author wanted to drive home…
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Book review of Stories That Changed America
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Download file to see previous pages He has held the position of a daily newspaper reporter, weekly newspaper publisher and editor, a copywriter of advertisements, as well as a creative director1. Owing to his previous journalism background, he commands the authority necessary for writing in the subject of journalism and communication, considering that he is an insider and thus privy to much journalism knowledge that any other author who has no such background cannot access. Thus, the background of the author is relevant in understanding the book, considering that the reader who knows the author’s background is able to view the content of the book from the lens of a journalist, and thus gain further insights regarding the purpose and the intended message of the book. The thesis of the book is that a pen is definitely superior to a weapon. This is interpreted to mean that journalism can completely change the society, through playing the role of informing the public regarding the ills of the government or its officials, as long as the freedom of journalism is maintained, thus enhancing thorough exposure by the journalists, without any fear of retribution22. This way, journalism provides a different alternative for the protection of the rights of the public, while providing a mechanism of correcting the government and its officials, whenever they go off-course. In defending this thesis, Carl Jensen has discussed the works of 21 journalists who did remarkable work in exposing the different ills of the society in the 20th century, which has made it possible to have a changed and more streamlined society of the 21st century. Considering the role of these investigative journalists who delved deeply into different aspects of the American society that were detrimental to the social development, the term "muckrake", which was previously applied towards describing the tool used to clear the barn off the unnecessary trash and make it clean, was in turn used to describe these journalist3. The essence of the application of this term to describe the investigative journalists is that, they literary played the role of cleaning the American society and getting rid of unnecessary societal trash such as corruption, abuses and the denial of rights to the citizenry, through exposing such ills. The author is very successful in passing his points to the reader, and thus has been able to defend the thesis substantially. First, he exemplifies journalism as an agent of change in the society, through looking at the work of Sinclair, who wrote the novel, The Jungle, which has made a great impact on the improvement of the America’s quality of food1. While further exemplifying the role of journalism in streamlining the society, the author displays the works of Rachel Carson; a journalist, ecologist and scientist, who revolutionized the environmental preservation campaigns, through publishing many stories and articles regarding the environmental degradation that was being perpetrated by the American society. Most notable is her article on tobacco, which enlightened the society of the detrimental effects of tobacco on the human health, and aroused wide interest in the control of tobacco smoking53. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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