- Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948, and: The Color of the Law: Race, Violence, and Justice in the Post-World War II South (review)
- Rhetoric & Public Affairs
- Michigan State University Press
- Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2000
- pp. 110-113
- View Citation
- Additional Information
110 Rhetoric & Public Affairs between federal, state, and local contexts was evident in each case study, but was never identified by the author. For rhetorical scholars, this book is both heartening and discouraging. It is heartening because the case studies clearly reveal the significance of communication and persuasion in real life situations. Without ever actuaUy using the term, each case study focuses on the rhetoric used by the various groups to achieve their particular ends. On the other hand, the book is discouraging because it fails to utilize any of the growing work in environmental communication. A scan of the bibliography reveals no mention of the work of environmental communication scholars such as Tarla Rai Peterson, Jimmie KiUingsworth, Kevin DeLuca, and Christine Oravec, though much of their work would clearly add to this analysis (and would in turn benefit from Libby's work). The work of Niklas Luhmann would be particularly useful to Libby, considering the manner in which the case studies seem to track the framing and re-framing of the issues between the "function systems" of economics, law, science, and politics that are the focus of Luhmann's Ecological Communication (1989). In other words, rhetorical scholars may be able to extricate even more insight from the case studies than the author. OveraU, the criticism that the case studies are even richer than the author expresses is hardly a criticism, and Libby should be commended for a fine addition to the growing scholarship in environmental studies. The book, part of the Power, Conflict, and Democracy series edited by Robert Y. Shapiro, would be useful as a supplemental text for environmental studies, interest group politics, or social movement undergraduate or graduate courses. The work should be read by aU scholars of environmental communication, even though the case studies beg for additional rhetorical analysis. Martin Carcasson Texas A&M University Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948. By Barbara Dianne Savage. Chapel HiU: University of North CaroUna Press, 1999; pp. xiii + 391. $45.00 cloth; $18.95 paper. The Color of the Law: Race, Violence, and Justice in the Post-World War II South. By GaU Williams O'Brien. Chapel HiU: University of North Carolina Press, 1999; pp. xiii + 334. $45.00 cloth; $18.95 paper. The past few years have witnessed a renewed popular interest in the cultural impact of World War II. Numerous documentaries, films, memorials, and books, in addition to a series of fifty-year anniversaries, have brought the war back into public consciousness. Two recent books from the University of North Carolina Press engage the war criticaUy to explore the effects it had on race relations in the Book Reviews 111 United States. In Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 19381948 , Barbara Dianne Savage investigates the inteUectual transformation of public discussions on race issues through national radio programming. In The Color of the Law: Race, Violence, and Justice in the Post-World War II South, GaU WiUiams O'Brien examines an attempted lynching to demonstrate the disjunction in race relations after the war in a rural Tennessee county. World War II, these authors argue, fanned a flame of racial unrest that would eventuaUy grow into the fire of the civil rights movement two decades later. O'Brien's book uses what became known as the "Columbia, Tennessee Race Riot" of 1946 as a lens to view post-war transformation in the lives of black and white Americans. The book opens with a narrative that detaÃ¼s an averted lynching and a near-riot in the smaU south-central town of Columbia. WhUe two lynchings in the past twenty years had been etched in the minds of black residents, by 1946 the relationship between black residents and white residents had changed. When the white sheriff learned that groups of whites were gathering in the town square and threatening to abduct two African Americans from jail, for example, the sheriff caUed on his aUiance with black business owners and delivered the two to safekeeping. At the same time the white mob had grown, an armed crowd of black residents of Columbia gathered to protect the two. As shots rang out from the black section...