War and Television
Television, that ubiquitous box transmitting images, is watched daily by 2.5 billion people around the world. Its penetration in the U.S. is staggering. Almost every home has a TV set that is turned on for more than seven hours per day. Polls reveal that more people depend on TV for news and information than any other source. Once dismissed by Frank Lloyd Wright as “chewing gum for the mind,” TV has the power to inform and enlighten. It can also be an instrument of propaganda that shapes and mobilizes public opinion to support military action. Increasingly, TV plays a crucial role in the preparation, planning and execution of war.
Lecture followed by interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at the University of Colorado.
Bruce Cumings teaches history at the University of Chicago. He has made a special study of the connection between war and television. Professor Cumings is the author of The Origins of the Korean War and War and Television.