pp. 179-181

The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, Michael Schudson

Reviewed by Jason Ross Arnold

BUY

   Facebook

   Twitter

   E-mail
 

Michael Schudson went looking in the 1960s for the origin of an unheralded sociocultural change favoring openness and the “right to know” and came up short. He also did not find much evidence of full transparency as a fundamental democratic virtue lurking in the Founding Fathers’ rhetoric—a good second guess. Instead, Schudson discovered, against his sociological training, which favored structure over agency, a disparate group of individuals who brought Americans a broad array of political, economic, and cultural changes, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); a more adversarial, analytical press; environmental impact statements (EIS); consumer-informing disclosures, such as unit pricing in supermarkets; “informed consent” research procedures; and open discussion about formerly private matters, such as women’s health and sexuality from Our Bodies, Ourselves to Betty Ford’s radical mastectomy. The book’s main argument is that these changes together ushered in a “society of self-disclosure” (British sociologist John Thompson) in which openness and transparency became “a practice and . . . a value” (Schudson).

The individuals most responsible for these changes include familiar names
such as Ralph Nader and Henry “Scoop” Jackson along with the less f

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

From the Archives

North Korea

North Korea's Weapons of Mass Destruction: Badges, Shields, or Swords?

Victor D. Cha examines the question about relative merits of engaging or containing North Korea.

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected
newsstand locator
About APS