Cover for ROJECKI: Silencing the Opposition: Antinuclear Movements and the Media in the Cold War

Silencing the Opposition

Antinuclear Movements and the Media in the Cold War

Some of the most important strategic decisions of our times can be traced to compelling official fictions such as Kennedy's "missile gap" and Reagan's "window of vulnerability." Exploring links between nuclear arms policy and the visibility of oppositional groups in the media, Andrew Rojecki assesses the extent to which antinuclear movements have succeeded in debunking official fictions, raising public consciousness, and reorienting government policy.

Silencing the Opposition examines how two cycles of political protestó the test ban movement of the first Eisenhower and the Kennedy administrations and the nuclear freeze movement of Reagan's first termówere represented by the media. He finds that the space devoted to the opposition as well as the quality of the coverage varied widely from the first to the second period, reflecting vastly different climates of public opinion and foreign policy. Rojecki determines that a subtle shift in political culture has reduced the grounds of legitimacy for citizen protest. This shift finds its roots in the rationalization of policy making that characterizes large government agencies, think tanks, and university departments. As public debate over nuclear politics has become increasingly restricted, the potential for ordinary citizens to influence policy has become more and more circumscribed while nuclear weapons have continued to proliferate.


"The book will be "required reading" for all scholars who study social movements and media. Its finding add a great deal to our understanding of how the news constructs the political world." --Regina G. Lawrence

"An excellent review of public policy on nuclear weapons, media coverage of peace movements' efforts to defuse them, and government and media efforts to pre-empt activists' roles. . . . Rojecki's position is well articulated and documented. . . . Well written, thorough, accessible, and well worth reading." -- Bill Israel, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"A very useful study, opening the door to public understanding of how the communications media responded to one of the major citizens' campaigns of modern times." -- ISIS

"Offers a well-documented and carefully crafted study of the pivotal role that the news media play in the success or failure of popular political movements. . . . Though many of the ideas here are not new, Rojecki brings them together in a fresh and thought-provoking manner. " -- Pamela A. Brown, Journalism History

"A very useful study, opening the door to public understanding of how the communications media responded to one of the major citizens' campaigns of modern times." -- Lawrence S. Wittner, ISIS

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