Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thomas J. Hrach

Thomas J. Hrach is associate professor of journalism at the University of Memphis.

His new book is The Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America.

Recently I asked Hrach about what he was reading. His reply:
I am in my 50s, an age when a person realizes that there is more in the rear view mirror than in the front windshield. I recognize that history is not something that happened a long time ago, but rather it was made just in the span of my lifetime. I was born in 1963 so I am reading about a time period that changed the world, and it changed me too.

On my reading table right now is Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, a book about nuclear weapons safety. The book highlights an accident near Damascus, Arkansas, where a Titan 2 missile exploded with a nuclear warhead on top. That happened in 1980, a long time ago, but still well within my lifetime. I am now at an age when history is being written about times and places still within my memory. I think that puts into perspective the study of any history book.

As author of The Riot Report and the News I recognize that too was still within my lifetime, but just barely because the book deals with the 1968 Kerner Commission. It will not be long before that event is out of the lifetime of all but a few.
Learn more about The Riot Report and the News at the University of Massachusetts Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Riot Report and the News.

My Book, The Movie: The Riot Report and the News.

--Marshal Zeringue