Todd Gitlin is the author, most recently, of Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.

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Reflections on 1968 and Environs

Nineteen hundred and sixty eight came prewrapped in a mythic version of itself. At every moment, one was aware that this was 1968. The whole year was written in italics. Everything lent itself to media melodrama, but this was not … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

Glib, Tawdry, Savvy, and Standardized

Prognostications about media and society generally oscillate between two poles: to the north, one hears dithyrambs to a projected utopia offering fingertip access to all the information and images a citizen might need to enrich democracy and multiply freedom beyond … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

The Rise of Identity Politics

The rise of “identity politics” forms a convergence of a cultural style, a mode of logic, a badge of belonging, and a claim to insurgency. What began as an assertion of dignity, a recovery from exclusion and denigra- tion, and … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

On Thrills and Kills

Movies have become machines for the sadomasochistic imagination. Die Hard 2 is said to depict 264 killings. But so-called serious cinema has also been skidding down a slippery slope, aiming to meet schlock halfway. Since The Wild Bunch (1969) and … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

Blips, Bites & Savvy Talk: Television’s Impact on American Politics

In the pilot film for the 1987 television series Max Headroom, an investigative reporter discovers that an advertiser is compressing television commercials into almost instantaneous “blipverts,” units so high-powered they can cause some viewers to explode. American television has long … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

Muddled Thoughts

The point is not that Horowitz thought badly twenty years ago. Nineteen hundred and sixty-nine was a bad year for political sense. I, for example, wrote a favorable review of Empire and Revolution in Ramparts, the New Left monthly of … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

Postmodernism: Roots and Politics

Something must be at stake in the edgy debates circulating around and about something called postmodernism. What, then? Commentators pro, con, serious, fey, academic, and accessible seem agreed that something postmodern has happened, even if we are all (or virtually … {…}

By Todd Gitlin

Campaign Images: Mirrors Within Mirrors

It is an appalling visitation. You turn on the television and watch the president of the United States. He delivers his right-thinking homilies, fudges his ignorance, composes his chuckles,strains to summon a fact or two from failing memory banks stuffed … {…}

By Todd Gitlin
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