This is an entirely new edition of the author’s 1984 study (originally published by South End Press) of radical media and movements. The first and second sections are original to this new edition. The first section explores social and cultural theory in order to argue that radical media should be a central part of our understanding of media in history. The second section weaves an historical and international tapestry of radical media to illustrate their centrality and diversity, from dance and graffiti to video and the internet and from satirical prints and street theatre to culture-jamming, subversive song, performance art and underground radio. The section also includes consideration of ultra-rightist media as a key contrast case. The book’s third section provides detailed case studies of the anti-fascist media explosion of 1974-75 in Portugal, Italy’s long-running radical media, radio and access video in the USA, and illegal media in the dissolution of the former Soviet bloc dictatorships.
The overriding theme here is the powerful role of the alternative and underground press in social, political, and cultural change in Europe and the United States since the 1500s. Here, we see some of the most significant historical illustrations of the power that radical media may exert despite their small size and sometimes their very gradual transformation of the status quo. In the earlier examples, we see the force of religious elements in subverting official culture, in later examples, both the use of pornography and the subversive implications of even the most decorous of respectable women's media. In between, we can observe earlier examples of international radical media flows. Concluding comments on comics and graphic novels illustrate the priority of how to ...