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Words & Money

A publishing luminary analyzes the crisis of the media and considers the alternatives.
Ten years after the publication of The Business of Books, his groundbreaking critique of conglomeration in the book industry, André Schiffrin turns his attention to the broader crisis in the media. Just as corporatization and the lowest-common-denominator pursuit of the bottom line have had a parlous effect on publishing, media consolidation has contributed to the ongoing demise of serious journalism in newspapers, magazines, serious broadcast news, and online journalism. Schiffrin compares the media crisis in the United States to the situation in Europe and across the globe, and he demonstrates how the American corporate model has extended its reach. But he also describes and considers a range of alternative policies culled from many countries that, if pursued, could help to save journalism and the media in the US. This is a superlative essay that will make everyone seriously interested in the media and publishing think again.


  • “André Schiffrin, a distinguished former New York publisher, has been throughout this decade an indispensable, if rather pessimistic, guide to life after a cultural apocalypse, first in the much-admired The Business of Booksand now in Words and Money. There's a lot that's passionate and useful in Schiffrin's anguished analysis.”
  • “A masterful assessment of the media crisis of our times and a roadmap to workable and effective solutions. This elegant essay is intelligent, informed, reasoned, and humane—exactly the book the world needs at this time.”
  • “A utopian vision, to be sure, but a refreshing one.”
  • “This book reads like a novel. Schiffrin continues to sow ideas for saving the independence of the press, the cinema, and bookstores. Visionary as always.”
  • “A lifelong promoter of independent media, André Schiffrin again leads the charge in Words and Money, offering a host of original and valuable ideas about one of the critical challenges of our day—saving books, movies, and news in an era of chains, blockbusters, and the internet.”
  • “Schiffrin shows how media consolidation is pulling the teeth of serious journalism, and how it can get its bite back.”
  • “Masterfully written and extremely thought-provoking, this work should stimulate a much-needed dialog among those interested in the communications and publishing field.”
  • “A sophisticated voice of reason.”


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