Messengers of the Right by Nicole Hemmer
Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Politics and Culture in Modern America)

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It’s not possible, in a short summary, to do justice to the great detail and imposing cast of characters that Ms. Hemmer introduces in her narrative of how the first generation of conservative media activists, despite being in the political minority, were able to transform audiences into reliable conservative voters...
-Washington Times

Synopsis

From Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge, Americans are accustomed to thinking of right-wing media as integral to contemporary conservatism. But today's well-known personalities make up the second generation of broadcasting and publishing activists. Messengers of the Right tells the story of the little-known first generation.

Beginning in the late 1940s, activists working in media emerged as leaders of the American conservative movement. They not only started an array of enterprises—publishing houses, radio programs, magazines, book clubs, television shows—they also built the movement. They coordinated rallies, founded organizations, ran political campaigns, and mobilized voters. While these media activists disagreed profoundly on tactics and strategy, they shared a belief that political change stemmed not just from ideas but from spreading those ideas through openly ideological communications channels.

In Messengers of the Right, Nicole Hemmer explains how conservative media became the institutional and organizational nexus of the conservative movement, transforming audiences into activists and activists into a reliable voting base. Hemmer also explores how the idea of liberal media bias emerged, why conservatives have been more successful at media activism than liberals, and how the right remade both the Republican Party and American news media. Messengers of the Right follows broadcaster Clarence Manion, book publisher Henry Regnery, and magazine publisher William Rusher as they evolved from frustrated outsiders in search of a platform into leaders of one of the most significant and successful political movements of the twentieth century.

 

About Nicole Hemmer

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Published August 10, 2016 by University of Pennsylvania Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by John R. Coyne Jr. on Oct 30 2016

It’s not possible, in a short summary, to do justice to the great detail and imposing cast of characters that Ms. Hemmer introduces in her narrative of how the first generation of conservative media activists, despite being in the political minority, were able to transform audiences into reliable conservative voters...

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