Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America

James Poniewozik

Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America
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Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America

James Poniewozik

In the tradition of great cultural figures like Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman, New York Times chief television critic James Poniewozik traces the history of television and mass media from the early 1980s to today, and demonstrates how a volcanic, camera- hogging antihero merged with America’s most powerful medium to become our forty-fifth president. Beginning where Postman left off, Audience of One weaves together two compelling stories. The first charts the seismic evolution of television from a monolithic mass medium, with three mainstream networks, into today’s fractious confederation of spite-and-insult media subcultures. The second examines Donald Trump himself, who took advantage of these historic changes to constantly reinvent himself: from boastful cartoon zillionaire; to 1990s self-parodic sitcom fixture; to The Apprentice-reality-TV star; and, finally, to Twitter-mad, culture-warring demagogue. A trenchant, often slyly hilarious, work, Audience of One provides an eye- opening history of American media and a sobering reflection of the raucous, gorillas-are always-fighting culture we’ve now become.

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