Using the press coverage of the Franco-Prussian war as a starting point, Mich le Martin's Images at War examines nineteenth-century illustrated periodicals published in France, Germany, England, and Canada (with references also to Italy and the United States), and argues that periodicals during this period worked to reinforce particular national identities. Images in periodicals played an essential role in how the concept of nationalism was expressed and reproduced, usually by pitting cultures and countries against one another. These illustrated periodicals helped to shape nations where nations had not previously existed - such as with Germany, Italy, and Canada, which were only just coming into their own as states. In war, Martin observes, these documents also represented a non-verbal method of communicating emotionally trying, politically challenging, and oftentimes contradictory information to the public, literate and non-literate alike. The history of nineteenth-century illustrated papers underscores their legitimacy as a form of journalism.
They were more than a commodity produced for profit; they offered serious reflection and commentary on the times designed by editors to have specific effects on the readers. Images at War is a much-needed study of this early news medium and its part in the construction of nationalism in the midst of war.
Mich le Martin is a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: The Eyes of the Readers * The Illustrated Press in Its Sociopolitical Context * The Transformation of the Nineteenth-Century Press * The Franco-Prussian War in Context * Making Choices * The Production of Illustrations in Content * The Politics of Visual Representation * Producing Illustrated Newspapers * Contextualizing Production of Illustrations * Making History * Illustrating War * Technical Means and the Discrepancy of Circulationbetween Images and Texts * Making Stories? * Feeding Memories * Choosing What to Remember * The Illustrated Periodicals Analyse the War * A Post-Mortem of Some Participants * Post-War Effects * Makers of National Memories * Preparing for War Coverage * Taking Positions * Breaking the News: A Franco-Prussian War Is On! * Ruptures * Food for Thought * Managing the Unexpected, Boosting National Feelings * Political Ruptures * Periodical Ruptures * Front and Back Pages * Elements of Comparison Conclusion: Constructing Memories * * Ways of Seeing the War * Images versus Texts * Mediated Content * Launching a Process of Memorization Notes Illustration Credits Index