The Press in American Politics, 1787–2012
by Patrick Novotny
October 2014, 241pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3289-5
$53, £40, 45€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3290-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The press and media have always had tremendous influence on American politics.

From the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the fight for ratification of the Constitution in the pages of America's newspapers through the digital era of 24/7 information technologies and social media campaigns, this book tells the story of the press as a decisive and defining part of America's elections, parties, and political life.

The Press In American Politics, 1787–2012 supplies a far-reaching and fast-moving historical narrative of the decisive and defining moments in U.S. politics as told through the history of America’s press, beginning from the emergence of the press in American politics during the 1787 Constitutional Convention through to 21st-century campaigning that utilize “big data” and harness the power of social networking.

Suitable for general readers with an interest in the history of American elections and political campaigns and students and academic scholars studying the press and American politics, the book tells the story of “the press”—collectively, some of the most familiar institutions in American news, broadcasting, and technology—as a defining part of America’s elections, political parties, and political life. Author Patrick Novotny examines topics such as the expansion of the press into the Western territories and states in the early 19th century, the growing independence of the press after the Civil War, the early history of wireless communication, the emergence of radio and television as powerful media, and the daunting challenges newspapers face in the Internet era.


  • Provides a compelling and unique perspective of American politics through the early adoptions of technology by the press, especially in the era of electronic broadcasting and information technology in the 20th century
  • Thoroughly documents the early emergence of the uses of radio, television, and the Internet across history
  • Offers up-to-date accounts of some of the latest campaigning for elective office in the past decade, up to and including the 2012 presidential election
Patrick Novotny, PhD, has been a faculty member at Georgia Southern University since 1995. He is a professor and researcher in the field of American politics, with a general focus on political parties and the history of politics and the media. His published work includes This Georgia Rising: Education, Civil Rights, and the Politics of Elections in Georgia in the 1940s and Listening, Looking, Living: Qualitative Research, the Study of Politics, and Understanding the World in Which We Live. Novotny received his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995.


"This volume works well as an introduction to the field. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, April 1, 2015
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