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Celebrating Democracy

The Mass-Mediated Ritual of Election Day


Mark W. Brewin

How has the mass media changed our experience of Election Day? This chronological account of Election Day in Philadelphia begins in the colonial era and traces the evolution of the democratic process through to the present day. Using a variety of sources, the book documents how Philadelphians have dramatically changed the ways in which they perform and discuss Election Day, and examines the significance of these changes, using them as a lens through which to understand differing conceptions of democratic life. Particular attention is paid to the day’s status as a mass-mediated ritual, and the various forms of media – among them broadsides, newspapers, television, and the Internet – that have dominated public portrayals of the occasion.Well-researched and written, Celebrating Democracy is as much about the history of Election Day as it is about the history of American journalism and mass media.