Robert E. Gutsche Jr.

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The city of Iowa City’s website promotes its “small-town hospitality” and its focus on “culture.” But a closer look at Iowa City, home to 70,000 and the University of Iowa, reveals a community trying to redefine itself as urban African-Americans relocate to the area.

This is the focus of Robert E. “Ted” Gutsche’s book, A Transplanted Chicago: Race, Place and the Press in Iowa City (McFarland, 2014). In it, he takes on the “Southeast Side” and all its meanings.

“Southeast Side” has become a coded term by local press to describe an area of Iowa City it associates with crime and unruliness, sometimes even using the term when the actual crime does not occur on the Southeast Side.

“Home to a mixture of white townies and new, black arrivals from Chicago, St. Louis, and other metro regions in the Upper Midwest,” Gutsche writes, “the Southeast Side is known—mythically—as a bastion of affordable housing, black families, and stories of devious behavior.”

Through original interviews and research, Gutsche, a former reporter, shows just how wrong the press has it about Iowa City’s Southeast Side.


Travis VoganKeepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media

April 4, 2014

No professional sports league in the United States wields more social and cultural power than the NFL. It’s not even close. In Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media (University of Illinois Press, 2014), Travis Vogan performs a cultural and structural history of the organization that helped shape the NFL into what [...]

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Erika G. KingObama, the Media, and Framing the U.S. Exit from Iraq and Afghanistan

March 6, 2014

Erika G. King learned a lot during research for her book, Obama, the Media, and Framing the U.S. Exit from Iraq and Afghanistan (Ashgate, 2014), but one item surprised her a bit more than most. “One might have thought, but one would be wrong … that media organizations might just come together and say, ‘Yes, Iraq was [...]

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Matthew CecilHoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image

February 17, 2014

Matthew Cecil brought many questions into his latest historical work, Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image (University Press of Kansas, 2014). Questions included, “Why were some members of the press so willing to serve as J. Edgar Hoover’s pawns, even when it was clear they were [...]

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Joseph UscinskiThe People’s News: Media, Politics, and the Demands of Capitalism

February 8, 2014

“When we criticize the news, who are we really criticizing?” This is the final question asked by Professor Joseph Uscinski in his book, The People’s News: Media, Politics, and the Demands of Capitalism (NYU Press, 2014). The answer, Uscinski says in his interview, is us—the consumer. News producers, he writes, are merely responding to the demands of [...]

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Lauren CoodleyUpton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

February 1, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] Everybody knows the author of The Jungle was Upton Sinclair (or, if they’re a little confused, they might say Sinclair Lewis). As Lauren Coodley shows in her new biography Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual (University of Nebraska Press, 2013), there was a lot more to Upton Sinclair. For one thing, he was the author of [...]

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Ethan Thompson and Jason MittellHow to Watch Television

November 16, 2013

What if there was an instruction manual for television? Not just for the casual consumer, but for college students interested in learning about the culture of television, written by some of the field’s top scholars? In How to Watch Television (New York University Press, 2013), editors Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell have put together a collection of [...]

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Jonathan D. WellsWomen Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South

October 23, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] It’s getting harder and harder to trailblaze in the field of American Studies. More and more, writers have to follow paths created by others, imposing new interpretations on old ones in never-ending cycles of revision. But Jonathan Daniel Wells did find something new: Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South (Cambridge UP, 2011; [...]

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Thomas E. PattersonInforming the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism

October 13, 2013

Is truth in journalism the same as balance? Is fairness really fair to news consumers, or is fairness merely a code word used by journalists looking to get out of the line of fire? In his latest book, Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism (Vintage, 2013), Thomas E. Patterson gets at the heart of a [...]

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George BrockOut of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in the Digital Age

September 27, 2013

George Brock approached his book about newspapers and journalism in the digital age unwilling to write another gloom-and-doom narrative about the death or decline of the industry. When he studied the historical development of journalism and current trends, he found the industry is what is always has been: volatile, evolving, and vital to society’s well [...]

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