Going to War in Iraq: When Citizens and the Press Matter

University of Chicago Press
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Conventional wisdom holds that the Bush administration was able to convince the American public to support a war in Iraq on the basis of specious claims and a shifting rationale because Democratic politicians decided not to voice opposition and the press simply failed to do its job.
Drawing on the most comprehensive survey of public reactions to the war, Stanley Feldman, Leonie Huddy, and George E. Marcus revisit this critical period and come back with a very different story. Polling data from that critical period shows that the Bush administration’s carefully orchestrated campaign not only failed to raise Republican support for the war but, surprisingly, led Democrats and political independents to increasingly oppose the war at odds with most prominent Democratic leaders. More importantly, the research shows that what constitutes the news matters. People who read the newspaper were more likely to reject the claims coming out of Washington because they were exposed to the sort of high-quality investigative journalism still being written at traditional newspapers. That was not the case for those who got their news from television. Making a case for the crucial role of a press that lives up to the best norms and practices of print journalism, the book lays bare what is at stake for the functioning of democracy—especially in times of crisis—as newspapers increasingly become an endangered species.
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About the author

Stanley Feldman is professor of political science and associate director of the Survey Research Center at Stony Brook University. Leonie Huddy is professor of political science and director of the Survey Research Center at Stony Brook University. She is coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology. George E. Marcus is professor of political science at Williams College and the author, coauthor, or coeditor of seven books, including, most recently, Political Psychology: Neuroscience, Genetics, and Politics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Sep 22, 2015
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9780226304373
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 21st Century
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Political Science / American Government / National
Political Science / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The first rule of warfare is to know one’s enemy. The second is to know thyself. More than fifteen years and three quarters of a trillion dollars after the US invasion of Afghanistan, it’s clear that the United States followed neither rule well.

America’s goals in Afghanistan were lofty to begin with: dismantle al Qaeda, remove the Taliban from power, remake the country into a democracy. But not only did the mission come completely unmoored from reality, the United States wasted billions of dollars, and thousands of lives were lost. Our Latest Longest War is a chronicle of how, why, and in what ways the war in Afghanistan failed. Edited by historian and Marine lieutenant colonel Aaron B. O’Connell, the essays collected here represent nine different perspectives on the war—all from veterans of the conflict, both American and Afghan. Together, they paint a picture of a war in which problems of culture and an unbridgeable rural-urban divide derailed nearly every field of endeavor. The authors also draw troubling parallels to the Vietnam War, arguing that deep-running ideological currents in American life explain why the US government has repeatedly used armed nation-building to try to transform failing states into modern, liberal democracies. In Afghanistan, as in Vietnam, this created a dramatic mismatch of means and ends that neither money, technology, nor the force of arms could overcome.

The war in Afghanistan has been the longest in US history, and in many ways, the most confounding. Few who fought in it think it has been worthwhile. These are difficult topics for any American or Afghan to consider, especially those who lost friends or family in it. This sobering history—written by the very people who have been fighting the war—is impossible to ignore.
Over the past two decades anthropologists have been challenged to rethink the nature of ethnographic research, the meaning of fieldwork, and the role of ethnographers. Ethnographic fieldwork has cultural, social, and political ramifications that have been much discussed and acted upon, but the training of ethnographers still follows a very traditional pattern; this volume engages and takes its point of departure in the experiences of ethnographers-in-the-making that encourage alternative models for professional training in fieldwork and its intellectual contexts.

The work done by contributors to Fieldwork Is Not What It Used to Be articulates, at the strategic point of career-making research, features of this transformation in progress. Setting aside traditional anxieties about ethnographic authority, the authors revisit fieldwork with fresh initiative. In search of better understandings of the contemporary research process itself, they assess the current terms of the engagement of fieldworkers with their subjects, address the constructive, open-ended forms by which the conclusions of fieldwork might take shape, and offer an accurate and useful description of what it means to become-and to be-an anthropologist today.

Contributors: Lisa Breglia, George Mason University; Jae A. Chung, Aalen University; James D. Faubion, Rice University; Michael M. J. Fischer, MIT; Kim Fortun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Jennifer A. Hamilton, Hampshire College; Christopher M. Kelty, UCLA; George E. Marcus, University of California, Irvine; Nahal Naficy, Rice University; Kristin Peterson, University of California, Irvine; Deepa S. Reddy, University of Houston-Clear Lake

From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
 
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
 
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
 
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
Clifford Geertz, in his 1973 Interpretation of Cultures, brought about an epistemological revolution unprecedented since L�vi-Strauss's structuralism. In place of L�vi-Strauss's deep structures, Geertz placed "deep meanings" and "thick descriptions," in a synthesis of the American tradition of cultural anthropology and new qualitative approaches in the humanities. He powerfully synthesized and gave the heart of anthropology's tradition a new and enriched conceptual language that came to be known as "interpretive anthropology" and that placed meaning over form in the center of social analysis. This book maps the circuits of cross
fertilizations among disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that have developed from Geertz's "interpretive turn."

Panourgia and Marcus bring together anthropologists working in various parts of the world (Greece, Bali, Taiwan, the United States) with classicists, historians, and scholars in cultural studies. The volume takes into account global realities such as 9/11 and the opening of the Cypriot Green Line and explores the different ways in which Geertz's anthropology has shaped the pedagogy of their disciplines and enabled discussions among them. Focusing on place and time, locations and temporalities, the essays in this volume interrogate the fixity of interpretation and open new spaces of inquiry. The volume addresses a wide audience from
the humanities and the social sciences--anyone interested in the development of a new humanism that will relocate the human as a subject of social action.

Clifford Geertz, in his 1973 Interpretation of Cultures, brought about an epistemological revolution unprecedented since L�vi-Strauss's structuralism. In place of L�vi-Strauss's deep structures, Geertz placed "deep meanings" and "thick descriptions," in a synthesis of the American tradition of cultural anthropology and new qualitative approaches in the humanities. He powerfully synthesized and gave the heart of anthropology's tradition a new and enriched conceptual language that came to be known as "interpretive anthropology" and that placed meaning over form in the center of social analysis. This book maps the circuits of cross
fertilizations among disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that have developed from Geertz's "interpretive turn."

Panourgia and Marcus bring together anthropologists working in various parts of the world (Greece, Bali, Taiwan, the United States) with classicists, historians, and scholars in cultural studies. The volume takes into account global realities such as 9/11 and the opening of the Cypriot Green Line and explores the different ways in which Geertz's anthropology has shaped the pedagogy of their disciplines and enabled discussions among them. Focusing on place and time, locations and temporalities, the essays in this volume interrogate the fixity of interpretation and open new spaces of inquiry. The volume addresses a wide audience from
the humanities and the social sciences--anyone interested in the development of a new humanism that will relocate the human as a subject of social action.

Within anthropology, as elsewhere in the human sciences, there is a tendency to divide knowledge making into two separate poles: conceptual (theory) vs. empirical (ethnography). In Theory Can Be More than It Used to Be, Dominic Boyer, James D. Faubion, and George E. Marcus argue that we need to take a step back from the assumption that we know what theory is to investigate how theory—a matter of concepts, of analytic practice, of medium of value, of professional ideology—operates in anthropology and related fields today. They have assembled a distinguished group of scholars to diagnose the state of the theory-ethnography divide in anthropology today and to explore alternative modes of analytical and pedagogical practice.Continuing the methodological insights provided in Fieldwork Is Not What It Used to Be, the contributors to this volume find that now is an optimal time to reflect on the status of theory in relation to ethnographic research in anthropology and kindred disciplines. Together they engage with questions such as, What passes for theory in anthropology and the human sciences today and why? What is theory's relation to ethnography? How are students trained to identify and respect anthropological theorization and how do they practice theoretical work in their later career stages? What theoretical experiments, languages, and institutions are available to the human sciences? Throughout, the editors and authors consider theory in practical terms, rather than as an amorphous set of ideas, an esoteric discourse of power, a norm of intellectual life, or an infinitely contestable canon of texts. A short editorial afterword explores alternative ethics and institutions of pedagogy and training in theory.Contributors: Andrea Ballestero, Rice University; Dominic Boyer, Rice University; Lisa Breglia, George Mason University; Jessica Marie Falcone, Kansas State University; James D. Faubion, Rice University; Kim Fortun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Andreas Glaeser, University of Chicago; Cymene Howe, Rice University; Jamer Hunt, Parsons The New School for Design and the Institute of Design in Umea, Sweden; George E. Marcus, University of California, Irvine; Townsend Middleton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Deepa S. Reddy, University of Houston–Clear Lake; Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago
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