Hoffman is successful on several fronts. It’s hard to deny after reading this work that the media had an influential, if not defining, impact on the events he outlines, many of which have helped shape the global political landscape. Much of that argument is not new, but what Hoffman brings to the discussion is a sense of how 24-hour news cycles, 140-character bleats and tweets, and citizen journalists—often blamed for the dissolution of the public’s greater understanding of social and political events—can actually help restore nations.

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Christie Chisholm is an associate editor and production editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter at @c_chisholm.