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Media Lost and Found

This selection of essays, articles, lectures, and other writings by Erik Barnouw, dean of American media scholars, chronicles the phenomenon of old media giving way to new, and then being replaced by them, as the ghosts of old media rise in new forms. In Media Lost and Found, the sixteenth century will introduce us to early stirrings of photography, as well as the rise of black lists, which have a too-familiar ring within our own lifetime. The collection begins with an article on documentary film pioneer Robert Flaherty. Barnouw then moves to a discussion of his Dutch heritage and its role in Western civilization. This is followed by fascinating accounts of ingenious pioneers of camera obscura and magic lantern phantasmagoria, precursors of the magic of motion pictures. There are lively accounts of Barnouws own experiences, an informative brief history of communications breakthroughs, and an examination of the foibles of media censorship. The final articles discuss the importance of Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray and cinematographer Boris Kaufman, brother of Soviet filmmakers Djiga Vertov and Mikhail Kaufman. In his writing and in his life, Erik Barnouw has been consistently elegant, self-deprecating, affectionate, and redolent of great depths, encouraging us to look for and foster them in our own lives.
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About the Author

ERIK BARNOUW is Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Arts at Columbia University and was Editor in Chief for the International Lincyclopedia of Communications. He s the author of many books, including the three-volume A History of Broadcasting in the United States and Documentary: A History of the Nonfiction Film.


"It is always a joy to come upon a new book by Erik Barnouw. Among film and media historians his writing stands out for the elegance of its prose and the steely clarity of the thinking-there is never a word wasted. Barnouw is remarkable for his ability to keep focused on the big picture, to relate his subject to the wider society and the sweep of history. -- -William Sloan * The Museum of Modern Art * "Erik Barnouw, the guru of media scholars, teachers, and practitioners, once again instructs and challenges us to construct new views on both old and new issues. He uniquely combines personal experience, theory, and even-handed objective judgments as bases for the practical application of knowledge to make the world a better place. In a field that is increasingly technologically oriented, Barnouw continues to focus on humanity." -- - Robert L. Hilliard * Emerson College * "This wonderful collection proves again and again with insight and quiet humor that Erik Barnouw is our keenest observer of the frighteningly complicated world of media. No one has seen more, no one sees more, no one understands more than Barnouw. I am a huge admirer." -- -Ken Burns * Filmaker *

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