Otherness and Power: Michael Jackson and His Media Critics is an innovative study of the cultural impact of Michael Jackson. Jackson had millions of ardent fans around the world, but from the early days of his adult career many in the media mocked and reviled him. How did such divergent attitudes come about? This book examines the origins and psychological underpinnings of the media's hostility by closely analyzing some of the most harshly critical writings about Jackson. While racism and discomfort with Jackson's "otherness" have previously been recognized as the elements that fueled media criticisms, Susan Woodward reveals another important factor: the perception that Jackson was extraordinarily powerful, in ways that went beyond celebrity and wealth. Through research and careful analysis, Woodward explores the ways in which Jackson's power was seen, the largely unconscious response to his power, the functions of the media's criticisms and the origins of the perceptions of Jackson's power.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
No matter what you think of Michael Jackson, this book is a thoughtful, thorough and fresh look at what distinguished him from other artists. Woodward explores two quinessential Jackson qualities (one of which she coins "otherness") that thread through his career, and posits unique and dynamic underpinnings for several of his critics. A fast and fun read!
This book is a valuable discussion of the disconnect between an amazingly talented artist and some of the amazingly negative media coverage about him. Woodward gives an in-depth analysis of writings about Jackson which were critical to the point of slander. The book was an education about Jackson's life and career in a world which often reacted badly to what it did not understand. I highly recommend it.
Otherness and Power. Michael Jackson and His Media Critics.
What I got from this book is the comment by Susan Woodward that ‘it is remarkable that’ despite ‘decades of hostile inaccurate coverage by the media, the image of Jackson as a powerful angelistic being, survived’. So who was the winner in the contest, the Power of the Press versus the Power of MJ? I’d say that MJ won! She repeats negative hostile quotes at great length but, although I was very excited about this book; am a bit disappointed that she doesn’t go far enough to support Michael Jackson to defend them and him, or that it was long enough. Haters will take any opportunity to latch on to anything derogatory. I was concerned that no mention was made of Michael’s huge generous humanitarian efforts over a quarter of a century. I did notice one or two occasional misprints that made me wonder who edited and printed this book. On Page 2. in...
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