From Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck and Matt Drudge, Americans are accustomed to thinking of right-wing media as integral to contemporary conservatism. But today's well-known personalities make up the second generation of broadcasting and publishing activists. Messengers of the Right tells the story of the little-known first generation.
Beginning in the late 1940s, activists working in media emerged as leaders of the American conservative movement. They not only started an array of enterprises - publishing houses, radio programs, magazines, book clubs, television shows - they also built the movement. While these media activists disagreed profoundly on tactics and strategy, they shared a belief that political change stemmed not just from ideas but from spreading those ideas through openly ideological communications channels.
In Messengers of the Right, Nicole Hemmer explains how conservative media became the institutional and organizational nexus of the conservative movement, transforming audiences into activists and activists into a reliable voting base. Messengers of the Right follows broadcaster Clarence Manion, book publisher Henry Regnery, and magazine publisher William Rusher as they evolved from frustrated outsiders in search of a platform into leaders of one of the most significant and successful political movements of the 20th century.
The book is published by University of Pennsylvania Press.