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Hearts and Mines: The U.S. Empire’s Culture Industry

Tanner Mirrlees

University of British Columbia Press, 2015.

Author: Dr. Tanner Mirrlees

From Katy Perry training alongside US Marines in a music video, to the global box-office mastery of the US military-supported Transformers franchise, to the explosion of war games like Call of Duty, it’s clear that the US security state is a dominant force in media culture these days. But is the ubiquity of cultural products that glorify the security state a new phenomenon? Or have Uncle Sam and the nation’s top media and entertainment companies been friends for a long time? Hearts and Mines examines the US Empire’s culture industry, a nexus between the US security state and US media firms, and the source of entertainment that promotes American strategic interests around the world. Although the US government and media corporations pursue different interests on the world stage (the former, national security, and the latter, profit), this book documents how structural alliances and the synergistic relationships between them support the production and flow of Empire-extolling cultural goods. Building on Herbert I. Schiller's classic study of US Empire and communications, the book explores how symbiotic geopolitical and economic relationships between the U.S. government and media corporations drive US imperial culture.

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