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U.S. Politics & Policy

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Media and Politics in Virtual America

"In the pages that follow, we trace the emergence of a place that looks like a real democracy, and a real country, but is in fact a construct, like reality but not real. It is Virtual America."

The new technologies of the 1990s, Ed Diamond and Robert Silverman argue, have helped create a blowhard culture, a talk-show politics driven by instant news analysis, over-reliance on public-opinion polls and focus groups, the power of Know-Nothing call-in shows, and the unchecked gossip of online computer networks.

Author of two widely-read books on the defense industry, Jacques Gansler takes a hard look at the need to convert the industry from an inefficient and noncompetitive part of the U.S. economy to an integrated, civilian/military operation. He defines the challenges, especially the influence of old-line defense interests, and presents examples of restructuring.

These essays from the journal International Security examine the effects of the nuclear revolution on the international system and the role nuclear threats have played in international crises. The authors offer important new interpretations of the role of nuclear weapons in preventing a third world war, of the uses of atomic superiority, and of the effectiveness of nuclear threats.

Contributors: John Mueller, Robert Jervis, Richard K. Betts, Marc Trachtenberg, Roger Digman, Scott D. Sagan, Gordon Chang, H. W. Brands, Jr. Barry Blechman, and Douglas Hart.

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