History professor publishes Encyclopedia of Media and Propaganda in Wartime America
Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt, Claude D. Pottinger Professor of History and special assistant to the president, is co-editor of the newly published double-volume Encyclopedia of Media and Propaganda in Wartime America. The volumes document the unique relationship between mass media, propaganda and the U.S. military, a relationship that began in the period before the American Revolution and continues to this day.
“We’ve become aware in the last 50 years of the importance the role various kind of media play in helping Americans understand consequences of military involvement,” Wyatt says. “In creating this reference publication, we want to bring together in one place an overview of the variety of media that form and have formed our sources of information, from fliers posted on trees to the latest in Internet and social media movements.”
These volumes, Wyatt says, are excellent references for journalism and public affairs practitioners in particular to understand how the relationship among media, military action and Americans has evolved over time. Wyatt says he’s learned a lot during his work on this project over the past two years.
Wyatt’s particular area of scholarly interest is 20th-century U.S. political, diplomatic and cultural history, especially as related to American involvement in Vietnam. His doctoral dissertation was published by W.W. Norton asPaper Soldiers: The American Press and the Vietnam War.
He has written and spoken extensively about various aspects of American involvement in Vietnam and comments regularly regarding the role of the news media in American politics and military affairs.
Wyatt was a member of one of the first groups of American academics to travel to Vietnam as the country began to re-open to the world, participating in a trip sponsored by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education in 1992. Since that time, he has traveled frequently to Vietnam and Cambodia, including Centre students on regular study abroad trips. In fact, during CentreTerm 2011, Wyatt took a group of students to Vietnam.
Wyatt received his B.A. in history and English at Centre and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in U.S. history from the University of Kentucky, where he studied under the eminent scholar of American diplomacy, George C. Herring.