The year 1995 was exceptional, a hinge moment in recent American history.
In 1995: The Year the Future Began (2015) Campbell draws on a variety of interviews, oral histories, memoirs, archival collections, and contemporaneous news reports to present a vivid, detail-rich portrait of a memorable twelve months.
The book offers fresh interpretations of the decisive moments of 1995, including the appearence of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the mainstream of American life; the bombing at Oklahoma City, the deadliest attack of domestic terrorism in U.S. history; the sensational “Trial of the Century,” at which O.J. Simpson faced charges of double murder; the U.S.-brokered negotiations at Dayton, Ohio, which ended the Bosnian War, Europe’s most vicious conflict since the time of the Nazis; and the first encounters at the White House between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, a liaison that culminated in a stunning scandal and the spectacle of the president’s impeachment and trial.
As Campbell demonstrates in 1995, the year was one of surpassing exceptionality, a watershed at the cusp of the millennium. And the effects of the pivotal moments of 1995 reverberate still.
Getting It Wrong (2010) debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, among them several of the most cherished stories American journalism tells about itself.
From a review by Jack Shafer, Slate.com:
"Toting big guns and an itchy trigger-finger is American University professor W. Joseph Campbell, whose new book Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism flattens established myths that you were brought up to believe were true: that Orson Welles sparked a national panic with his 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast; that the New York Times suppressed news of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba at the request of the White House; that Edward R. Murrow destroyed Sen. Joseph McCarthy; that publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst told an illustrator, "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war," before the Spanish-American war started; and more."
Campbell discussed Getting It Wrong at the
Library of Congress "Books and Beyond" series
"The best tonic for the brain fever caused by media myths is an open mind and a free inquiry. I especially admire the disciplined way Campbell corrects so many flawed records without taking cheap shots at the perpetrators. "
From a review by Edward Kosner,
Wall Street Journal:
"Persuasive and entertaining ... With old-school academic detachment, Mr. Campbell, a communications professor at American University, shows how the fog of war, the warp of ideology and muffled skepticism can transmute base journalism into golden legend."
The Year That Defined American Journalism:
1897 and the Clash of Paradigms
The Year That Defined American Journalism (2006) tells the story of a remarkable and decisive year in American journalism—1897. It was a year when journalists were wrestling desperately with the character and future of the profession.
From a review in Journalism and Mass
Communication Quarterly: "This book offers a different and well-documented perspective of the Yellow Journalism era... In so doing, [it] makes a significant contribution to our understanding of journalism history and, ultimately, the journalism of today.
From a review in Journalism Studies: "This is a lively and fascinating book, beautifully written and thoroughly researched. It effectively captures the American fin-de-siècle, providing a snap-shot yet admirably convaying the dynamism and anxieties of the period."
Other books by W. Joseph Campbell
The Emergent Independent Press in Benin and Cote d'Ivoire
Yellow Journalism : Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies
The Spanish-American War: American Wars and the Media in Primary