Summary of The Creation of the Media

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Creation of the Media book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

International in scope, immensely detailed and authoritative, this study successfully incorporates the evolution of technology, laws, political policy and social development to put the origins of modern media into context. This historical perspective is long overdue. Since media development is actually the story of societal development, author Paul Starr does a tremendous job of detailing the roles of such diverse factors as innovation, invention, patronage, luck, law and competition, all of which shaped the media’s development and helped determine its ultimate societal impact. This book is refreshingly light on political criticism, so each set of facts stands on its own. While Starr occasionally meanders from the main topic, the book’s rich detail shows that he clearly enjoyed his research and writing. getAbstract considers his book essential reading for anyone interested in new and old media and how they were – and are – influenced by their societies.

About the Author

Paul Starr is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and co-editor of The American Prospect. His book The Social Transformation of American Medicine won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and the Bancroft Prize in American History.

 

Summary

From Monastery to Profitability

From the beginning of printing in the Western world, around 1450, publishing rapidly expanded from monasteries to stationers who produced and sold hand-copied books in limited quantities. Since Europe’s stationers and printers had increasing commercial incentives to publish and sell books, they sought more titles and distribution channels. As businesses developed a profit motive for expanding the ranks of the reading public, the new print media left the limited distribution of early manuscripts behind and began reaching for larger audiences.

Starting in 1517, the religious conflict fomented by the Protestant Reformation helped the printers’ cause. Reformation leaders relied on the printing press to promulgate their theology, becoming perhaps the first reform movement in history to use print to promote its cause. The Counter-Reformation (starting around 1570) also used print to persuade its followers. Protestants encouraged Bible reading, which helped foster literacy. This accelerated in the 1600s, when Germany’s Petist movement and England’s Puritans promoted daily Bible study.

Traders on early commercial routes carried written...


More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

The Master Switch
9
The Square and the Tower
8
Truth Decay
8
Fake News
8
Frenemies
9
Orbán
7

Related Channels

Comment on this summary