Verso_987-1-84467-687-3_news_for_all_the_people_reprint-max_221

News For All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media

Bestselling narrative history of American media that puts race at the center of the story.

From colonial newspapers to the Internet age, America’s racial divisions have played a central role in the creation of the country’s media system, just as the media has contributed to—and every so often, combated—racial oppression. This acclaimed book—called a “masterpiece” by the esteemed scholar Robert W. McChesney and chosen as one of 2011's best books by the Progressive—reveals how racial segregation distorted the information Americans have received, even as it depicts the struggle of Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American journalists who fought to create a vibrant yet little-known alternative, democratic press.

Written in an exciting, story-driven style and replete with memorable portraits of journalists, both famous and obscure, News for All the People is destined to become the standard history of the American media.

Reviews

  • “Juan González and Joseph Torres have rendered a splendid public service with this highly readable and engrossing story of how the press sees—and doesn’t see—who we are as a people. Race and ethnicity, power and privilege, the visible and the invisible are at the core of our democratic crisis today, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to face the challenge than to be armed with the story this book tells so well.”
  • News for All the People is truly a masterpiece; I could not put it down. After years of research, Juan González and Joseph Torres have produced a book that will be nothing short of mandatory reading for all who care about the media or democracy. It will change how you think about media and American history.”
  • “A ‘first-of-its-kind’ rendering of the causes, contexts, and consequences of the American media system across the fault line of race. Haunting and prophetic, this is a must-read for all the people.”
  • “With clarity, exquisite detail and strong scholarship, the authors show us how the neglect of the mainstream press over the years still haunts the nation’s identity about who is an American.”
  • “The historic inability of marginalized communities to control their own images has been devastating. News for All the People illustrates that this lack of control hasn’t been by accident. It’s a part of a greater story of media control and ownership that traces back to the creation of the United States. An essential read.”
  • “This is journalism history from an entirely fresh perspective, one that challenges the old heroes and shines a sharp light on the role of the media in revealing social inequities in a democratic society.”
  • “Meticulously researched, adeptly written, and most important, historically significant…an important work.”
  • “With vivid detail, González and Torres trace the history of minority journalism in the United States from Colonial newspapers to today’s blogs. This important text should be required reading in journalism schools.”
  • “Examines some of the news media’s dirtiest laundry — the media’s active roles in lynching Blacks, exterminating Native Americans and brutally harassing Hispanics and Asian-Americans...insightful [and] awareness-expanding.”
  • “When journalists write history, there is always the danger of that history being shallow, surface-level. This remarkable book is one of the rare instances of such a problem being a positive, due to its great, realized ambition. For this narrative successfully weaves the history of Black media, Native American media, Hispanic media and Asian media within the context of the history of America’s capitalistic media development. As 2011 ends, Gonzalez and Torres provide not just a clear understanding of how the enemy built the empire, but merge historical ideas on how to use the new/old tools at our disposal to resist it.”
  • “[This] groundbreaking book takes the reader on a 400-year journey from the past transgressions to today’s democratic crisis, one largely created by the deeds of those controlling the media and the narratives our citizens are actually 'consuming.' It delves deeply into why those narratives are slanted, misrepresented or scrubbed altogether by the so-called liberal media.”
  • “Offers constant reminders that this conflict has been a true civil war with serious casualties, lasting through many decades and perhaps yet ended. The journalists portrayed here recognized that journalism was a weapon of resistance. If there have been advances, it is in good part because such journalism, bravely wielded, can fight the good fight.”
  • “[An] acclaimed history of race and the US media, which will be a core book for readers in journalism and US history.”

Blog

  • 12 Years a Slave: Verso’s essential reading list on slavery and race relations



    This month sees the UK cinema release of Steve McQueen’s brilliant and brutal new film, 12 Years a Slave. McQueen has been vocal in condemning cinema’s wariness in confronting the subjects of slavery and race, and his film has galvanized a new interest in the unspeakably ugly period in American history. 

    Based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 documentary, 12 Years a Slave takes an unflinching look at the story of a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery.

    Verso has long held a commitment to telling similar stories, and we now present a selection of books as the essential starting point for those looking to learn more about the roots, events and legacies of slavery and racial tensions in America and the world.

    Continue Reading

  • "We are black..."—Verso books for Black History Month

    We are black, it is true, but tell us, gentlemen, you who are so judicious, what is the law that says that the black man must belong to and be the property of the white man? ... Yes, gentleman, we are free like you, and it is only by your avarice and our ignorance that anyone is still held in slavery up to this day, and we can neither see nor find the right that you pretend to have over us ... We are your equals then, by natural right, and if nature pleases itself to diversify colours within the human race, it is not a crime to be born black nor an advantage to be white.

    This excerpt is from a letter written in July 1792 by the leaders of the revolution of Haitian slaves. The letter has been republished in the collection of writings of the black leader Toussaint L'Overture, The Haitian Revolution, which includes also the correspondence between him and Napoleon Bonaparte. In the late eighteenth century, Toussaint L'Overture and his supporters established the first black republic in the world.

    In the United Kingdom, October is Black History Month. The celebration was originally introduced in 1926 on the initiative of Carter G. Woodson, the editor of the Journal of Negro History. In 2007, no fewer than 6,000 events were held in the UK as part of its programme. Here are some key Verso titles past and present that are relevant to the study and celebration of African and Caribbean history.

    Continue Reading

  • In New York, a screening of Juan González's new documentary

    For our New York readers, we've just received word that a screening of "Harvest of Empire," a feature-length documentary based on the work of award-winning journalist and Verso author Juan González, is set to take place at the Quad Cinema this Friday.

    González, who recently published the paperback edition of the best-selling News For All the People: The Epic Story of Race and The American Media with Verso Books, uses his investigative prowess to tell another crucial counter-history in "Harvest of Empire," based on his book by the same name. In addressing the current immigration crisis, the film explores the connections between U.S. intervention abroad and the swelling waves of migration from Latin America. As González reminds us at the beginning of the film: 

    They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government's actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.

    Watch Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now discussing Harvest of Empire: