CHOICE November 2015 vol. 53 no. 03
53-1124 DS559 2014-40914 CIP
Benson, Thomas W. Posters for peace: visual rhetoric and civic action.
Pennsylvania State, 2015. 214p bibl index afp ISBN 9780271065861 cloth, $69.95
[CC] Through an extended essay and 66 color plates of peace posters from the Penn State University Collection, Benson (rhetoric, Penn State) explores the visual rhetoric of political protest posters originating from the antiwar movement in Berkeley, CA, circa 1970. As he writes in his introduction, he examines “antecedents, contexts, and forms” to identify ways in which the posters communicated to audiences within their historical and rhetorical contexts. The historical context is particularly well explained in an accessible and concise review of the antiwar movement and the particular events of 1970 and their impact on Berkeley. Benson also explores the history of the political poster as a rhetorical medium, providing valuable insight into why this particular medium found such vibrant political expression at this time. The historical material Benson offers is as valuable as his rhetorical scholarship. The essay gives readers insights into the meanings that the artists and their audiences found in 1970. The plates alone are worth the price of the book, making the volume as a whole valuable for readers interested in art, pop culture, and Vietnam War–era politics as well as visual rhetoric. The Pennsylvania State University Press should be applauded for its care and investment in this valuable work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; students in two-year technical programs.--J. E. Frost, University of Texas at Brownsville
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