Michael Frisch is Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at State University of New York at Buffalo.
"Frisch's essays penetrate the historical consciousness of the nation and expose its distortions. He is not afraid to 'depart from the usual academic form. ' This volume ranges from insightful essays and interviews to book and film reviews, but despite its sweep of subjects and form, its pieces build coherently upon each other. This is an entertaining, illuminating, and provocative body of work.
"Two pieces from the book—evaluating the New York Times' editing of oral history for publication, and the PBS documentary "Vietnam: A Television History"—provide especially strong examples of the intellectual insight and importance of this book. Both analyze not only the content of the presentations but the omissions, penetrating the values of the editors and raising serious questions about the packaging of history for the public.
"Frisch lends a critical ear to the public presentation of history, particularly history drawing from oral sources. He hears not only what was said, but who said it, and what was asked of them. He questions the assumptions and motivations that transformed oral testimony into publications and documentary films, and the ways in which those products have been popularly received. " — Donald A. Ritchie, U. S. Senate Historical Office