Book Review: Race and Media Larson

Pages: 5 (1427 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The author also relates her thesis in a controlled and concise manner, and then works systematically to prove her statements. Larson has written a scholarly book that does what she intends, but she does have a few issues also.

The problems in the book do not actually refute all that she has to say, but they do detract from her message. One major problem is an obvious bias. The author does not state her position in a clinical manner that allows readers to take in the information and then decide for themselves. She has a definite side that she represents and she wants to have it known that it is the correct side. She also uses sources that are far from current. If the book would have been presented as one that followed media racial bias throughout U.S. history, it would have been more appropriate to discuss the movie Birth of a Nation and its obvious racial issues. However, she uses a film that is more than one hundred years old to prove the point that film is biased against minorities. As stated above she does make a cursory attempt to appease the reader who believes that she is misstating current media, but this seems contrived. The fact that society has changed is greeted with the assertion that racism has not been dispensed with just made more subtle. While this may be somewhat true, she fails to recognize the improvements that have been made.

Larson has created a book that discusses the nature of racial inequality in the United States. It is no secret that many types of people have faced racial injustice at some point during U.S. history. She talks about native Chinese working on the transcontinental railway (but fails to mention the Irish who were treated just as badly) and some of the laws that were created in the state of California to slow their immigration. She lists the many injustices that have faced African-Americans in the U.S. from their forced extrication from their homelands to the extreme depredations of chattel slavery. American Indians (erroneously termed "Native Americans" a name which has long been rejected by the people themselves) have been forced off of their lands, and when they could have been accepted as full members of the American melting pot were still relegated to poverty and alcoholism rather than full status as citizens. The group of people from Central and South America that she groups together as Hispanics have lost land to the imperial whites of the north and been forced to live lives as menial laborers if they venture into the U.S. All of these ideas are true, and add to the strength of the book, but the method she uses diminishes the book as a whole.

If the author wanted the book to be used to make a difference in the struggle for racial equality, she most likely failed badly. Although, as stated, she makes many true statements, they are presented using language that is sometimes incendiary and at other times uses examples that have been antiquated by present cultural advances. Writing a book such as this that reminds people of the times when divisions were stark and very egregious does nothing to assist the furthering of the cause when it is not followed by a discussion regarding how people have become more enlightened. It is true that there have been many problems, and that they still exist, but this argument can be made in such a way that people are willing to make further changes.

This is a necessary discussion because there are still issues of inequality in the media whether they be racial or otherwise. However, it is now possible to have a free exchange of ideas where it was not possible before. The book is too biased and needed to be tempered by someone who could have calmed the rhetoric in which Larson engaged. To be a true work of scholarship and a means for moving past the problems that Larson details, this is actually a very poor attempt.

Work Cited

Larson, Stephanie Greco. (2006). Media & Minorities: The Politics of Race in News and Entertainment. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Print. [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Race and Media Larson."  Essaytown.com.  October 5, 2012.  Accessed April 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/race-media-larson-stephanie/4590792.