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Episode Info: Two professors from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada have published a book about how American popular culture reinforces militarism in the United States. In Pop Culture Goes to War: Enlisting and Resisting Militarism in the War on Terror (Lexington Books, 2010) Geoff Martin and Erin Steuter argue that popular songs, Hollywood movies, professional sports, TV news and even children’s toys help generate public support for the use of military force to solve political problems such as international terrorism. At the same time, they also argue that other elements of popular culture such as The Daily Show, the Colbert Report and The Simpsons, for example, actively resist militarism with pointed political comedy and satire. In this New Books Network interview, Steuter and Martin say their book was inspired in part by the ideas of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. who preached against the War in Vietnam. “We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation,” King declared in a speech delivered a year before he was assassinated in 1968. Professors Steuter and Martin argue that King’s opposition to militarism is as relevant today during the seemingly endless post 9/11 War on Terror, as it was then. Erin Steuter teaches sociology at Mount Allison, in Sackville, New Brunswick while her partner, Geoff Martin is a professor of political science there. Bruce Wark is a freelance journalist and retired journalism professor based in the Sackville, New Brunswick. Laura Landon is a librarian at Mount Allison University.Read more »

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