Roderick P. Hart (1999). Seducing America: How Television Charms the Modern Voter (rev. ed.) (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications). xi + 208 pp. ISBN 0-7619-1624-7, $84.95 (hardbound), ISBN 0-7619-1624-5, $41.95 (paper). Chapter notes, scholarly references, index.
Although one presidential election has passed and another is in progress since this book was published, there is still a lot of meat in its seven chapters titled: "Political feelings;: "Feeling intimate: the rise of personality politics;" "Feeling informed: the effects of personality politics;" "Feeling clever: the cold comforts of postmodernism;" "Feeling important: the temptations of alternative politics;" and "Residual feelings."
As Hart says in his Postscript, this book "is premised on the heretical notion that the tissue between politics and popular culture has evaporated, that the White House and Melrose Place are now neighbors."
While one of the most media-oriented and vigorous political campaigns in many years is still in its early stages, it is difficult to pronounce a judgment on Seducing America. It may appear prescient, or merely quaint, to future scholars-but I suspect that the former is more likely.
The above article was published in Media Ethics , Spring 2004 (15:2), p. 34.