The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld

On Sunday mornings I love listening to Weekend Edition (WeeSun), especially the puzzle with Will Shortz, and if we leave the radio on, we also enjoy On the Media with Brooke Gladstone very much.  Last year her book was plugged quite a bit and I bought it for Paul for Christmas.  Would you believe that with all the advertising for it I somehow didn’t realize it is in graphic novel format?? Paul read it fairly quickly and liked it (his review is here), but I was just prompted to read it now as part of the YALSA Best of the Best Reading Challenge.  Until I opened the book I assumed it was an Alex Award winner, and didn’t realize it was Best of the Best because it was a Top Ten Great Graphic Novels title!

This was really impressive and great.  Perhaps because I have listened to On the Media so much I felt like I could really hear Brooke’s voice coming through on every page.  I loved the drawing style and how she was inserted into all the pictures. And the information? Well, it was amazing.  I wish all my history texts in school had been just like this.  She covers so much history, politics, and history of the media and what it is and how society interacts with it and how it works and reflects society and influences politics and everything else–it’s really fascinating! Unfortunately it also left me feeling completely distrustful of the government and politics and the general public.

Definitely recommended.


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