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Iconic Events

Media, Politics, and Power in Retelling History

Patricia Leavy

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Iconic Events: Media, Power, and Politics in Retelling History examines the processes of collective memory surrounding traumatic events that have been deemed iconic in American culture. Leavy investigates the social and market forces that have shaped the meanings around and enduring significance of events that have captured the public's imagination, including Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Columbine, and September 11th. Iconic Events focuses on three interpretive phases that serve to mold public perception of these events: journalistic representations, political appropriations, and popular adaptations. With a vital, engaging approach, Leavy explores the processes by which traumatic events are made mythic in the public eye. Iconic Events is essential for collective memory scholars and undergraduate courses in communications, American studies, history, and sociology, as well as the general reader. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 220Size: 0 x 0
978-0-7391-1519-0 • Hardback • June 2007 • $93.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7391-1520-6 • Paperback • May 2007 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-5612-4 • eBook • June 2007 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Patricia Leavy is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and director of the Gender Studies Program at Stonehill College.

Chapter 1 1. Iconic Events: Public Imagination and Social Memory
Chapter 2 2. Historical Sketches of Events
Chapter 3 3. The Represented Event: Journalism's Initial Spin
Chapter 4 4. The Representational Event: Political Appropriations
Chapter 5 5. Iconic Events in Popular Culture
Chapter 6 6. The Significance of Iconic Events
[The] analysis is thoughtful and provides a foundation for scholars and general readers interested in these particular events, as well as a possible model for scholars assessing other events' and individuals' places in U.S. collective memory. . . . Recommended....



Patricia Leavy casts a critical eye on how mass-mediated iconography contributes to the contested construction of collective historical memory. By examining competing communities of memory at the social intersections of power, resistance, and the marketplace,Iconic Events makes important contributions to the sociology of popular culture, and to what nations remember about themselves and what they forget....
Stephen Pfohl, professor of sociology, Boston College, and author of Death at the Parasite Café, Images of Deviance and Social Control and Left


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