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Pulp Politics

How Political Advertising Tells the Stories of American Politics, Second Edition

Glenn W. Richardson Jr.

Pulp Politics argues that the stories of American politics have found their most vivid expression in campaign advertising. It is the central argument of this book that adopting the readily identifiable audiovisual conventions of popular culture is particularly attractive to candidates and communicators, and that analysts can benefit from a closer study of the audiovisual narratives of campaign advertising than scholars have engaged in. From the audiovisual evocation of horror in 1988 ads that read as 30-second trailers for the nightmare on Elm Street that would be the Dukakis presidency to the Bush-Cheney spots in 2004 that drew upon the look and feel of the popular anti-terrorism thriller O24,O evocation of popular culture has proven an extremely effective tool of mass communication in a televisual age. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 196Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/2
978-0-7425-5627-0 • Hardback • July 2008 • $77.00 • (£49.95)
978-0-7425-5628-7 • Paperback • July 2008 • $24.95 • (£15.95)
978-1-4616-4156-8 • eBook • July 2008 • $23.99 • (£15.95)
Glenn W. Richardson, Jr. is an associate professor of political science at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. His research on political advertising and the media has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Political Research Quarterly, and the online American Communication Journal, where his article on political advertising and the media in the 2000 campaign received the 2002 American Communication Journal Article of the Year Award.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Communicating Culture: Audiovisuals in Campaign Advertising
Chapter 3 Political Advertising and Political Thinking
Chapter 4 The Attack on Attack Politics: Why "Negative" Advertising is Good for Democracy
Chapter 5 The Ad Patrol: Campaign Advertising and Ad Watch Journalism
Chapter 6 Visual Political Communications in Campaign 2000
Chapter 7 Political Advertising in the 21st Century: The Audiovisual Politics of Terror
Chapter 8 Reason, Passion, and Democracy in the Digital Age: Poilitical Advertising and the American Republic in the 21st Century
–Focuses on both the communication and politics of political advertising, competing texts are either largely silent on how ads communicate or emphasize communications techniques at the expense of political significance.

–Offers a unique information processing perspective to help explain how ads work by invoking the recognizable audiovisual conventions of popular culture, making them an effective even for audiences with low levels of political information.

–Includes detailed analysis of the 2004 "swift boat" ads and how initially small ad buys became a dominant thread of meaning in the campaign.

–New edition contains a new chapter addressing political advertising in a time of terror.

–New edition has been updated to reflect recent scholarship on political advertising, emotion, and race.

–New edition includes discussion of more recent developments in political campaign communication such as blogs and viral videos.